Parks and Rec
A sage new trail in McLaren Park
We’re spoiled when it comes to urban parks. Between big hitters like Dolores and small wonders like Tank Hill, it’s a lush jungle out there. But how often have you been to McLaren Park? Ever?
We’ll admit we’ve neglected SF’s second-largest park too. And that’s precisely the reason it’s getting a little face-lift in the form of a thought-provoking new trail called Philosopher’s Way.
This is no regular walk in the, er, park. The city teamed up with the San Francisco Arts Commission to dot the 2.7-mile loop with 14 “musing stations,” which are basically granite slabs inscribed with site-specific commentary (for example, one that overlooks Bayview Hill is etched with a quote from Rabindranath Tagore). Designed by local artists Susan Schwartzenberg and Peter Richards, they’re intended to encourage you to pause and reflect on the landscape.
The immaculately clean, blissfully quiet trail, which winds around the park, has panoramic vistas of Visitacion Valley, San Bruno Mountain and the Pacific.
Park in the Overhead lot off of Mansell Street, follow the 62 marking stones carefully (we definitely lost the path at one point) and bring your pup, because you’ll stumble upon a spectacular swimming hole just for dogs about halfway through.