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This hike was popular when I led it in June, despite the 'not for everyone' aspects. Read on!
We'll spend about three and a half hours visiting San Francisco acres you're unlikely to see with most San Francisco tours, including:
• the lovely St. Mary's Park neighborhood
• the northern end of McLaren Park, including McNab Lake
• the Portola district, and bustling San Bruno Avenue
• the undeservedly neglected Bayview Park in the Bayview, which offers stunning views
• the lovely gardens of the Visitacion Valley Greenway
Why isn't this hike for everyone?
(1) We'll be finishing three miles from the starting point! More below.
(2) The attractions listed above are all well worth seeing, but our route between them will take us through many plain vanilla residential blocks that you wouldn't cross town to see on your own. We'll also traverse a few blocks that are frankly homely, particularly when we climb Third Street and Bayshore alongside the 101 to get from Bayview Park to Visitacion Valley.
I think this tour will interest some locals who want to investigate every corner of San Francisco. If you're a less frequent visitor, I recommend that you exhaust the better-known destinations first. Please don't sign up if you're here from Europe for three days, and will never visit San Francisco again!
We'll climb a steep hill from Key Avenue to the crown of Bay View Park, and also will negotiate some hills in Visitacion Valley. I don't think the hike will be particularly strenuous otherwise.
Meeting Place: On the steps leading into the south end of Holly Park in the College Hill/Bernal Heights neighborhood, at the corner of Murray and Holly Park Circle.
Getting there, transit: There's a J stop nearby at San Jose and Randall, and stops for the 14 and 49 at Mission and Highland and at Mission and Richland.
Getting there, car: You probably can find street parking, but I don't know this area and can't vouch for the safety of your vehicle.
Ending Place: We will not be wrapping up at the starting point! Instead we will finish about three miles away, at the corner of Leland and Bayshore in Visitacion Valley. This will put us at an 8X and 9 stop, and a few blocks from a stop for the T light rail line.
I plan to take the 8X and 14 after the hike; you're welcome to ride with me, at least if we all can fit on the bus. The 14 will stop a few blocks from our starting point, as noted above. Transit riders also could return to the starting point via the 9 and the 23 or 24, or the T light rail and the 23.
Time: About three and a half hours from Holly Park to Visitacion Valley. This does not include travel time to return to the starting point.
• We will meet on the steps at 1:00 p.m. and leave promptly at 1:15. I'd go nuts trying to arrange halfway-through-the-hike rendezvous points, so if you get there at 1:18 and the group is gone, well, don't say I didn't warn you!
• I anticipate one bathroom break about midway through the hike. We also will wrap up close to the Visitacion Valley library branch, which includes a bathroom, too.
• Both McLaren Park and Bayview Park are dog friendly, but please bear in mind that we'll be winding up far from our starting point. Muni pet policy is at http://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/accessibility/animals-muni .
You are responsible for your own safety on all City Steps walks. Your yes RSVP confirms that you have read and agree to our liability waiver found here http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Liability_Disclaimer_and_Waiver/ and have reviewed our safety tips found here http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Safety_Tips/