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The trail passes through the Presidio’s forest. Photo by Charity Vargas.

Blazing Trails at the Presidio

Work commenced on new trail


Presidio of San Francisco (December 3, 2008) — “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And sorry I could not travel both . . . long I stood.” Presidio visitors will no longer have to face Robert Frost’s weighty burden of The Road Less Traveled. Work has begun on new pathway that will connect two of the Presidio’s most popular destinations – Immigrant Point Overlook and the California Coastal Trail.

The new trail, to be completed in January, will link major trail corridors – the statewide California Coastal Trail on one end and the regional and national Bay Area Ridge Trail and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trails, on the other. It will also provide an important connection between Rob Hill Campground and the coast.

“This new pedestrian trail will transport visitors through the sandy and forested area below Immigrant Point Overlook to the expansive western Coastal Bluffs of the Presidio,” says Amy Deck, project manager for trails with the Presidio Trust. “Imagine passing through a beautiful forest while catching stunning glimpses of the Pacific Ocean and Marin Headlands, and then emerging into coastal scrub.”

Visitors have already gone out of their way to create this experience, and the unintended damage can be seen in the hillsides themselves. Numerous “non-designated” or “social” trails have been carved over time into the steep slopes. The new trail will create a safe, well-defined path and will include stairs and a small bridge, among other features. The remaining informal trails will be decommissioned in order to prevent erosion and restore the surrounding area.

The project was made possible in large part by federal funding provided in support of the Trails Forever initiative, a an effort to enhance trails throughout the Golden Gate National Recreation Area sponsored by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the Presidio Trust.

The Immigrant Point/Coastal Connector trail is one of the many trails and bikeways planned for the Presidio. Presidio trails and overlooks are being transformed thanks to a lead gift and challenge grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Twelve major trail corridors are being overhauled as part of this comprehensive, 3-year trail improvement program. Once complete, the trail network will provide a variety of journeys – from more rugged experiences to in-road bike lanes for experienced cyclists, and wide multi-use trails where pedestrians and bicycles share the path. In total, more than 24 miles of major trails and 19 miles of in-road bike lanes are planned.

“The park’s trail network is perhaps the most important feature connecting people with the Presidio. Once complete, it will encourage visitors to delve into the park’s 1,491 acres – to explore, at their own pace and in their own way, the park’s amazing landscapes,” says Deck.

In addition, a series of scenic overlooks along the trail and bikeway network will provide places for visitors to rest and take in the park’s dramatic and diverse views. Immigrant Point is one of the three existing overlooks, along with the Crissy Field Overlook completed in July and Inspiration Point. In all eight overlooks are planned.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to manage the Presidio of San Francisco, a former Army base located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains the infrastructure of a small community as well as expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District, making it unlike any other national park.”

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Presidio Trust Media Relations

Lisa Petrie

(415) 264-7787