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Fort Scott with the San Francisco skyline in the background. Photo by Charity Vargas.

Fort Winfield Scott

Fort Winfield Scott is located along the Presidio’s western shore which it once defended.


Golden Gate Region


Military & Historic Site, Recreation & Wellness


History, Recreation, Nature & Sustainability

Top Amenities

Accessible Restrooms, Golden Gate View, Muni Bus-accessible, Shuttle-accessible

Once the site of the headquarters for the Army’s coastal defenses in the Presidio and Bay Area, Fort Winfield Scott is a place of beauty and history.

Fort Scott is set in a historic forest of cypress and eucalyptus trees in the western Presidio, with commanding views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s an easy walk from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Built between 1909 and 1912, for half a century this 30-acre campus held the headquarters for defending the Bay Area’s coastline. Today, it hosts homes and workplaces, an athletic field, Presidio Nursery, and the popular Log Cabin. Still more buildings await their future use.


Explore the hidden history of Fort Winfield Scott in with KQED’s Bay Curious.

Getting to Fort Winfield Scott

Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco, CA

Google Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 28 19th Avenue

Stop: Golden Gate Bridge Visitor Center

By Presidio Go Shuttle

Route: South Hills Route

Stop: Kobbe Avenue and Harrison Street

Fort Scott Parking

There are several paid lots at Fort Scott off Ralston Avenue, as well as a lots near the Log Cabin and Fort Scott Field.

Why We Love Fort Winfield Scott

Though just a short stroll from the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Scott is a quiet space where nature and history mix. You’ll see the earliest example of the Mission Revival architectural style at the Presidio, which set the precedent for white buildings with red roofs that is now typical of most Presidio buildings. And you might also see a Red-tailed hawk.

Accessibility at Fort Winfield Scott

Parking spots for those with mobility limitations are available near public buildings and visitor destinations. There is an accessible portable restroom near Fort Scott Field.

Insider Tip

This is a great spot for birdwatching. The historic parade ground comes alive every spring with native plants, including Smooth Owl’s Clover, once thought endangered. It’s not uncommon to see herons and hawks while enjoying a picnic on the lawn.

Fort Scott with the Golden Gate Bridge.Photo by Ric Miller.

History and Nature at the Golden Gate

At the core of the 30-acre Fort Scott campus are 10 Mission Revival-style barracks around a historic parade ground, now an expansive natural habitat supporting native plants and animals, including herons and hawks.

History of Fort Winfield Scott

Fort Winfield Scott introduced the Mission Revival architectural style to the Presidio and was one of the largest construction projects in its history. It housed and trained 1,000 artillerymen who operated the nearby coastal gun batteries like Battery Chamberlin. For much of the 20th century, it was also the site of the Coast Artillery headquarters for the seacoast defenses around the Bay Area. Rendered obsolete by 1950, the guns were removed from the batteries, and Fort Scott was used for other Army purposes.

Hidden History

Tucked away in an attic of one of the barracks (Building 1216) are murals painted by the 21st Engineer Company in 1956-57 when their commanding officer decided the walls of their training room were too boring. Covering all phases of Army life in vivid color, they provide a rare glimpse into life at the Presidio in the 1950s. When the building is one day rehabilitated, we hope to make this art available to the public.

Fort Scott Field

Fort Scott Field can be used by the public. Scheduling for organized teams, leagues, schools, and private use is determined by lottery. Learn more on the Presidio playing fields page.

Kids playing baseball at Fort Scott Field.
Photo by Charity Vargas.

Special Events at the Log Cabin

The rustic Log Cabin at Fort Scott is one of San Francisco’s most popular wedding reception venues, with indoor and outdoor space and a view of the San Francisco skyline.

Presidio Nursery

Each year, Presidio Nursery at Fort Winfield Scott grows thousands of native plants for restoration sites around the park. They offer regular volunteer opportunities for the public.

Nearby Overlooks

If you’re looking for a photo of the western coastline that Fort Scott once defended, you’ll find it at the nearby Golden Gate Overlook and the Pacific Overlook.


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Frequently Asked Questions

There is an accessible portable restroom near Fort Scott Field and additional restrooms in a building behind the basketball court. Additional restrooms are at the Golden Gate Bridge.

The closest place to buy food and beverages is the Round House Café at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nature Notes

It’s our goal to make sure people can enjoy the Presidio’s natural beauty for generations to come. We work to protect native plants and animals while reducing our impact on the environment.

From Lawn to Native Habitat

At the Fort Scott parade ground, we’re converting the historic lawn into a landscape with native wildflowers and grasses that better support wildlife.

Learn More
Volunteers plant native plants at the Fort Scott parade ground in the Presidio.

Park Itineraries

Need help planning your day at the Presidio? We’ve put together some itinerary ideas for things to see and do in the park. Whether you’re planning to spend a few hours or an entire day, there’s something for everyone at the Presidio. 

We’re Here to Help

Have a question about the park? Want help planning your next visit? We’ve got you covered.

Representatives from the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust standing in front of the Presidio Visitor Center