Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Established in 1927, San Francisco's second largest park is named after John C. McLaren, superintendent of Golden Gate Park from 1887-1943. This 312-acre park has received seven grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, from 1967-2003. These have helped develop public trails, landscaping, restrooms, picnic areas, playfields, tennis courts, interpretive signs, and an observation area. More than seven miles of trails wind through a 165-acre natural area with meadows, grasslands, and wetlands. In addition, it has an amphitheater, golf course, swimming pool, and lake.
McLaren Park is one of San Francisco's best-kept secrets-an extensive natural oasis with miles of trails and multiple recreational amenities tucked away in the city's southeastern corner, unknown even to many residents.
Rich in native plants and animals, the park also contains 165 acres that have been designated a significant natural resource area and are managed by the Recreation and Parks Department's Natural Areas Program.
Miles of paved and unpaved trails wind through and around McLaren Park's rolling hills, many of them built during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration. You can hike through a variety of habitats, both native and introduced, including forests, grasslands, and marshy riparian areas, where springs feed Yosemite Creek.
In the 1840s, the land that is now McLaren Park was part of a rancho granted to a pioneer merchant by the Mexican government. In 1905, a subdivision was proposed for the area, but architect Daniel Burnham proposed setting the hilly areas aside for a public park. In 1926 the city's Board of Supervisors began the process of creating the park, and in 1934 John McLaren took part in its dedication. In 1958, the final properties were purchased, bringing the park to its current size.
Situated to the west of Candlestick Park, McLaren Park lies between the city's Excelsior and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.
2) Golden Gate Park: San Francisco's Backyard
As part of our MLK Drive Repaving project in Golden Gate Park, we have moved construction on the Stow lake Drive segment of the project to next week (September 19-23), instead of the week of October 11-15. Starting next Monday (9/19), and through Friday (9/23), Stow Lake Drive will close for public access to fully grind and repave this roadway and adjacent parking lot. The segment of Stow Lake Drive between JFK Drive to near the boathouse parking lot will remain open, including access to our Permit and Reservations Office at the Log Cabin. The scope also includes replacement of curb ramps, then later striping and signage provided by SFMTA.
We're proud to welcome more than 13 million visitors each year to Golden Gate Park, one of San Francisco's greatest treasures. From a vast, windswept expanse of sand dunes, park engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren carved out an oasis--a verdant, horticulturally diverse, and picturesque public space where city dwellers can relax and reconnect with the natural world. The rest, as they say, is history.
Within Golden Gate Park's 1,017 acres you'll discover gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments, plus an array of cultural venues, events, and activities. To help you plan your visit, we've highlighted just a few of the park's special features and activities below. For more information, stop by McLaren Lodge to pick up a map, get involved, and find out what's happening in San Francisco's backyard. For information about reserving facilities for picnics, athletic events, weddings, and special events, please contact our Permits & Reservations Division at (415) 831-5500.