McLaren Park: Stairways, Wildflowers, and Great Blue Heron
April 21, 2014 1 Comment
This is another of our Park Visitor series: First-person accounts of visits to our San Francisco parks. This is by Tony Holiday, a San Francisco hiker and blogger. It’s adapted from his blog, Stairways are Heaven and published with permission.
Go HERE for the original post on McLaren Park (and more pictures).
Passing on recent pix of a McLaren Park stairway that some SF stairway walkers may not be familiar with: The longest in the park with 195 steps, and starts up at the dead-end of Campbell Ave in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood. It’s set back a bit from the street, thus slightly “hidden.”
It climbs past Visitacion Valley Middle School and up to Visitacion Ave. When you reach the top, continue up steep Visitacion to divided Mansell.
South of Mansell is the Visitacion Valley neighborhood. North of Mansell, to the east of the park, is the Portola ‘hood.
From the foot of the stairs, this time downhilled on Campbell a couple of streets to Delta. Left on Delta to the next street up, Tucker, and onto the skinny, steep, rough concrete walk (seven steps to start).
INTO THE PARK
At the top of this pathway, the next cross-street up is Tioga, then Wilde. Turn left on Wilde to Ervine for a steep curving trail into the park, the old observation tower above.
You can’t see the stairs until you’re partway up (about 56 steps) at the top of which are a couple of Philosopher’s Way musing stations and view benches.
There’s a seriously steep trail off the stairway, also up to the view benches.
Especially love the south, open space part of McLaren with big sis San Bruno Mountain across, everything green and wildflowery now at both parks.
What is this flower seen south of Mansell?
Unfortunately one of the nearby musing station plaques had been graffitied-upon; hope there are ways to remove the paint from the artwork.
Check out these daisies all over the place, just north of the tennis courts, with Bernal Hill in distance.
A favorite trail descends to Lake McNab that starts a short distance below the tennis courts, north of Mansell.
It’s steep, switchbacked, hard-packed dirt.
Critters seen: a squirrel (too far away), a lizard (too fast), and this guy.
McLaren is around 318 acres and the third largest park within SF city limits. However, since the Presidio’s a national park, some people don’t include it when talking about acreage, even though it’s larger than Golden Gate Park. So one is likely to hear city park McLaren still spoken of as being the second largest SF park.