Ridge Trail & SF Slow Street Combos

May 20th, 2020

Eileen’s Ridge Trail & SF “Slow Street” Combination Picks

Several counties in the Bay Area have started “Slow Street” programs where they are closing streets to thru-traffic. Some of these streets intersect with the Ridge Trail for wonderful combination itineraries that are especially good for social-distancing. Please pick an itinerary that is closest to your home and follow your county’s guidelines. Be sure to download maps before you go!

Eileen Morris is the Ridge Trail’s Development Director and shares her favorite Ridge Trail and “Slow Street” combinations in San Francisco. Enjoy!

1. The Presidio Loop
Why I love it:
  In the middle of a busy city, it’s great to find a place where you can experience charm, seclusion, natural wonders, and historic and cultural variety. I love the stunning views. The interpretive panels throughout the Presidio provide interesting information about local natural and cultural history. I love learning about my city!

How: Hike or bike
County: San Francisco
When Open: Saturdays in May 10am-4pm
Description: Wooded, great views, art installations
Parking and driving: If starting at Arguello, there is street parking outside the gate. If you’d like to park in the Presidio, you can enter through the Arguello gate and park near the promenade. Parking in Presidio is by paid kiosk.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Mileage: 4 to 5 miles, with many ways to make shorter or longer.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 to 400 feet

Suggested route:
Start in the Presidio near the Arguello gate and begin on the Ridge Trail just south of the Presidio Golf Course Clubhouse parking lot entrance. (Note: you can cross the road, before starting this itinerary for a quick peek of the view at Inspiration Point.) Once on Ridge Trail, walk past Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire until you come to Washington Blvd. Take a left onto Washington. Follow Washington (the road changes names a couple times) until you hit Park Blvd. Complete the “Presidio Loop.” If not on bike, you also have the option of short-cutting part of Washington Blvd. to see the National Cemetery Overlook.

Eileen’s Fave Food Picks:
* Ariscault Bakery on Park Presidio arguably has the best croissants in the Bay Area. Soooo buttery. Soooo Flaky.  Due to Covid, they have limited hours so be sure to check their answering machine first (415) 750-9460. As of today (5/20/20) they are open Friday-Sunday 8am-3pm.
* If you are going through the Inner Sunset on your way home, grab a New York-style pizza at Pasquale’s. I grew up on the east coast and don’t take the term NY-Style lightly.

Ridge Trail Presidio Map
Presidio’s Slow Street Loop Info
Presidio Trail Map
OuterSpatial Mobile Map

2. Twin Peaks
Why I love it:
The top has stunning views and it’s in my backyard. Also, I love knowing that the Ridge Trail will eventually connect Twin Peaks to Mount Sutro, Golden Gate Park and the Presidio with the Ridge Trail’s project to re-route the trail into our iconic green spaces.

County: San Francisco
Description: Exposed, iconic city views. Lots of stairs, if desired. (Can also be avoided if stairs are not your thing.)
Parking and driving: Street Parking
South of Twin Peaks street parking:
Option 1: From Portola Drive turn north onto Glenview Drive. Park in the Portola Drive cul-de-sac or go further up Glenview or Sunview drives.
Option 2: From Portola turn on to Twin Peaks Blvd. Take a left on Panorama Drive and park in this neighborhood. If you would like to shorten your hike, you can park at the end of Midcrest Way. There is a trail entrance at the end of the road.
North of Twin Peaks street parking:
Option 1: Burnett Ave. or surrounding neighborhood streets.
Option 2. Clarendon Ave.
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
How: Hike or Bike
Mileage: 2 miles or less round trip from either side.
Elevation gain:
Approximately 300 feet

Suggested route:
Start at either end of Twin Peaks Blvd. Hike or bike or skate to the peak. The top has just been repaved!

Eileen’s Fave Food Picks:
South Side:
* Molly Stones at “Tower Records” on Portola has made-to-order deli sandwiches and other prepared and fine foods.
* Tower Burger: Has yummy Niman Ranch burgers, veggie burgers, and fish and chips.
North Side:
* The pickings are slim on the north side for grab-and-go food. If you are starting near the Castro, Dinosaurs on Market and 16th has amazing banh mi. It’s worth going out of your way. My Fave? Shaking Beef!

Ridge Trail Map
SFMTA Slow Streets Map
OuterSpatial Mobile Map



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