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Ecology Trail

Enjoy Redwoods, native grasslands, and an inspiring San Francisco Bay view on this nature hike.


Main Post Region, Southern Wilds Region

Use Type

Multi-use Trail (Unpaved)

Top Amenities

Accessible Parking, Paid Parking, Free Parking, Bike Parking, Muni Bus-accessible

Nature lovers will get the most bang for their buck on the Ecology Trail, a short route connecting the Main Post to Inspiration Point.

The trail lies within the Presidio’s largest watershed, Tennessee Hollow. As the name suggests, you’ll experience distinctly different habitats. 

The trail passes through restored serpentine grasslands where, from spring to early summer, you may see the endangered Presidio Clarkia and other native wildflowers in bloom. At other points, you’ll find yourself amid towering Redwoods, oaks, eucalyptus, Monterey pine and cypress. 

You’ll also want to take the connecting trail to El Polín Spring, where hummingbirds and butterflies dance. 

 At the south end of the trail is Inspiration Point Overlook, where you’ll get an eyeful of the bay, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. Look west to see Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire. 

Since the Ecology Trail isn’t long, it’s a great option if you have limited time but want maximum exposure to nature. 

Presidio Trail Tip 

At the south end, restrooms are inside Presidio Golf Course. At the north end, they can be found inside the Presidio Officers’ Club. 


1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers)

Activity Level



Average grade: 8%

Maximum grade: 16%

Trail Surface

Gravel and compacted earth, with some steps.

Estimated Walking Time

28 minutes

Note: The upper trail is pedestrian only. Pedestrians and cyclists are welcome on the lower trail. 

Getting to the Ecology Trail

Map of the Ecology Trail


From the south end, pick up the trail at the Inspiration Point Overlook. From the north end, pick up the trail behind the Inn at the Presidio. 

Parking & Public Transit

At the south end, limited free parking is available at Inspiration Point Overlook with a three-hour time limit.At the north end, paid parking is available near the Presidio Officers’ Club. To get to the Presidio by bus or shuttle, visit the Public Transit page.

Connecting Trails

Mountain Lake Trail

Mountain Lake Trail traces the southern Presidio from Baker Beach to the Broadway Gate.

Learn More

Bay Area Ridge Trail

The Bay Area Ridge Trails runs from the Arguello Gate to the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Learn More
Visitors, including one with a dog, walking along the edge of Mountain Lake.Mountain Lake is great place to enjoy nature in the city. Photo by Myleen Hollero.