Nearly five years in the making, the San Francisco Crosstown Trail officially opened Sunday for your hiking or biking pleasure.
Hikers and bikers now have kind of their own version of the 49-Mile Scenic Ride, except it’s 16.5 miles and it’s much of it is not intended for cars. The Chronicle reported this weekend on the opening of the San Francisco Crosstown Trail, a 16.5 mile hike or bike route that connects various parks, hiking trails, and several of the city’s best known — and least-known — outdoor spaces. Hoodline notes that a “years-long collaborative effort” between the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and a number of park and outdoor advocacy groups helped make the trail a reality, and the trail also accommodates bike riders.
The full San Francisco Crosstown Trail is nearly seventeen miles long, so not everyone can walk that in a day. According to series of downloadable trail maps, the path starts at the Sunrise Point Campsites at the Candlestick Point State Park Recreation Area, traverses through Visitacion Valley and McLaren Park, continues through Glen Canyon and Forest Hill, and treks up through Golden Gate Park and Land’s End. The hiking and biking paths do differ slightly, so check the maps or use an app called OuterSpatial to navigate the trail.
Sunday was the soft opening of the trail, and apparently the whole trail does not have all of its signage in place yet. But the Chronicle notes that certain areas, like the Visitacion Valley Greenway, have been restored in recent years, and probably deserve another (or a first) look.
Per Hoodline, the trail was proposed in 2014 as part of the city’s Recreation and Open Space Element plan, but its development stalled. In 2018, San Francisco Crosstown Trail leader Bob Siegel recruited a team of volunteers and nonprofit groups to successfully map out and establish the trail.
While Sunday was technically the opening of the trail, Walk SF is hosting a sort of inaugural Crosstown Trail Walk this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (They ask a $25 donation from Walk SF members, or $50 for non-members.) But the San Francisco Crosstown Trail is otherwise free for biking or walking.
Related: The 9 Best Urban Hikes In SF [SFist]