Explore the most popular lake trails near San Francisco with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
17 days ago

It is for the paved road running, not trail running. The loop is a perfect distance to train for a half Marathon. It is relatively flat, so I can maintain a very steady pace. The trail has enough barrier/room from the roads next to it, so the passing traffic doesn’t bother me, and there isn’t much car exhaust smell at all. I love it for a running trail (I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much as a walking trail).

Great urban walk/hike. Park on the west side of Great Highway and go clockwise.

The park was so beautiful!

life like half mile away, helped me lose 20lbs.

Nice walk around the lake. Crowded every now and then, but not too bad.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful park, but obviously very busy when the weather's nice.

walking
4 months ago

World-class urban park. JFK a bit more scenic than MLK, but both provide reduced-traffic walking. Amazing achievement of City planning! Restrooms at Polo fields, Stow Lake boathouse, DeYoung museum, Cons. of Flowers, Sharon Meadow playground.

hiking
4 months ago

Good but can get plenty crowded on the weekend which is,when I did it.

hiking
5 months ago

I really liked this trail. Although you can hear the sounds of the city in the distance, they have done a wonderful job putting this together. It would be even better when they have the waterfall turned on. Looks like the stream would run through the separations between the pads on the east part of the island.

hiking
6 months ago

I was able to find parking near 8th & Irving for this hike and noticed that there is 2 hour free parking Mon-Fri or unlimited free parking Saturday and Sunday. I would recommend doing this hike on the weekend if you drive here since this hike will take longer than two hours for most hikers of average ability.

I kept on getting semi-lost on this trail even with the downloaded map and kept on having to make micro-corrections to my route along the way. It’s a mixed use trail and I saw walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists along the way. There will also be plenty of tourists just standing around.

You will be on a mix of paved sidewalks and dirt trails, but at no point on the trail will it feel remote. I felt very safe doing this alone as a woman during a weekend day. However, I don’t recommend coming alone because this trail can be rather boring to do by yourself. If you do this trail, I would recommend bringing a friend so you could have a conversation along the way.

I’m glad I experienced this trail, but I don’t see myself prioritizing coming back anytime soon as someone from out of town.

walking
7 months ago

walking
7 months ago

7 months ago

Not hike or really a trail but living here for 10 years still one of my favorite sweet spots and we enjoyed hangout by with the butterflies in Conservatory after it was closed so long. Beautiful winter weather ❤️

hiking
8 months ago

Golden Gate Park is a great urban resource for hikers/bikers/joggers. The trail is flat nearly the entire way. Ignore an earlier review that said the park is on a hill. Golden Gate Park is most definitely NOT on a a hill. The western end of the park is nearly at sea level and the elevation change from end to end is only 262 ft. The park consists of approximately 1000 acres and is about 3 miles in length and a bit over 1/2 mile in width. The area was originally sand dues and was master planned and then planted into an arboretum type of setting. Easy and enjoyable urban hike.

I love this place, the lake is down in a canyon, so the wind doesn’t affect you too much..

walking
10 months ago

Cool, park, but has a side walk part, at one point of the trail, that has traffic noise driving through

walking
10 months ago

Too many joggers for me if you want a nice leisurely stroll enjoying the scenery. Two times now when I have went to enjoy walking my dogs, a track team called West Valley Track has been sprinting around the inner lake trail with several groups of runners nearly knocking us iff the trail several times. It was highly annoying since they are running at full speed in groups of 10 or more and doing several laps. When I inquired with the coach about why he has so many grouos running at the same time kicking up a lot of dust and nearly running us over every few minutes he just shrugged me if. So what was once a nice walk has now turned into a must avoid unfortunately.

walking
11 months ago

my family and I love this place. the lake is beautiful and the park area is really nice also.

road biking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

I biked Golden State Park in August as part of my route from downtown to Sausalito. What an amazing park! There's so much to explore -- from manicured gardens to grassy stretches to wooded knolls; even a windmill and bison(!) -- I know I didn't get to see it all. The park is on a hill, so it tests your endurance for sure! I don't have any specific advice, except to give yourself plenty of time and don't forget to visit the beach at the bottom of the hill/park. It's surreal to be amongst all that green one moment and then squish your toes in the sand, overlooking the ocean, just minutes later.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Great for running!

walking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

a nice walk but becareful when you reach to the end of fort funston. There isn't really a pave-way for walkers. So watch out for the cars. Its a nice overview walk to see some nice houses and Stern Grove, then the Lake Merced. Just know to keep a look out once you reach the end.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

As a local the less I'm walking next to a road the better. This is worth doing on a weekend when traffic is blocked off of JFK on the eastern end of the park. This hiking route in particular has you going through the botanical garden which $ for admission, while beautiful - not worth paying to simply walk through on the way somewhere else.

walking
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lots of runners, walkers, and strollers. Don't forget to cross the bridge!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Monday, November 28, 2016

As others have said, more akin to walking down the street on the sidewalk than walking around a lake on a path. would be a good biking path for little kids, though.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Amazing park

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Always a treat.

walking
Thursday, June 09, 2016

Lots of traffic especially east side. Cut through Harding golf course for a breath of fresh air

walking
Monday, May 09, 2016

It's a nice paved road circuit, but too many cars do go by here since it's right next to the main Streets and highway. the noise here is so loud that it gets you to the point where you wish you could find a place that was quiet. bring earphones to drown out the noise. Definitely safe to do it considering you don't need to cross the street in oncoming traffic.

trail running
Thursday, April 28, 2016

First time ever in San Fran. Went on a morning run down to the coast and back through Golden Gate Park. Absolutely loved the tall trees. Don't usually see such beautiful greenery in Southern Cali. Can't wait to go back and explore some more!

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