ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Five Best Places to Run In San Francisco

Updated on March 30, 2012
Source

One may think that running in a big city offers little scenery, but San Francisco offers several ideal running locations with beautiful sights. Whether someone is looking to pound the pavement or find solitude in a single track dirt trail, San Francisco landscape offers it all. There is plenty of distance to cover and training for a marathon is easily feasible. If your flavor is speed, then there are numerous tracks and parks where one can do speed work. And who can forget about the famous San Francisco hills? There are plenty to test your strength and endurance. After choosing the correct running shoes, check the list of the five best places to run in San Francisco. It is by no means exhaustive, but these spots are sure to please by offering plenty of variety in terms of terrain and distance.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is such an amazing park with amazing history. Hidden within are polo fields, lawn bowling grounds, baseball fields, museums, lakes, tunnels, and dirt trails. A great place to enter is at the end of the panhandle right off of Stanyan Street. If you stay along John F Kennedy Drive on the North side of the park, you'll pass a waterfall, Stow Lake, and a herd of buffalo. At any point you may observe a dirt trail cutting off to the center of the park. Go explore a little and see some of the more secluded parts of the park. You may also follow signs for the polo fields to enjoy a large open grass area. There is a dirt track surrounding the field that is 1 mile all the way around. You will end up at Ocean Beach and when it's not foggy, you can enjoy an amazing sunset before running back.

If you enter the park and stay along Martin Luther King Jr Drive, you'll pass Kezar Stadium (the former home of the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers), the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and end up at Ocean Beach. The nice thing about this side of the park is that there is a dirt trail close to the road that runs from 19th Ave. all the way to the beach. It's a little quieter and easier on the knees.

Both sides of the park are equally beautiful with plenty to see. To the beach and back is roughly 8 miles round trip, but it is easy to drive and park your car somewhere in the middle. Just remember most roads in the park close on Sunday. Overall, this is one of the best places to run for its beauty, diverse terrain, and few cars.

Map of Golden Gate Park

Source

Photos at Lands End

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Lands End

Lands End is a beautiful coastal trail along a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Views of the Golden Gate Bridge are breathtaking. There are a few accessible beaches and plenty of parking at the top of the hill. Much of the trail is wheelchair accessible since 2006 renovations.

The trail starts up the hill from the Cliffhouse on a fairly wide, paved trail. There is a large set of stairs in the middle that are certainly some work to tackle. On the other side of the stairs the trail narrows and winds along the clifftop to a road called El Camino Del Mar in the esteemed Sea Cliff neighborhood. Out and back is just over 3 miles. Add a few miles by starting at ocean beach or running through to the Presidio.

Slideshow of Lands End from Parks Conservancy on Flickr

Sights Along The Embarcadero

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The Embarcadero

The Embarcadero has a lot to see and is a bit more crowded than other running spots in San Francisco. Notable sights are AT&T Park, home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants, the Ferry Building where on a Saturday you are sure to find a delicious post-run snack at the farmers market, and the famous Fisherman's Warf. The pathway is concrete and fairly wide as to avoid obstacles you may encounter. The Embarcadero is certainly good for people watching, including the many street performers and skateboarders.

Starting at AT&T Park, the round trip run to Fisherman's Wharf and back is roughly 10 miles. Certainly one can start and stop anywhere along the Embarcadero and can even run past Fisherman's Wharf into the Marina if attempting more than 10 miles. There are some great pieces of art along the way and of course the bay is gorgeous, especially on a clear day.

Crissy Field

Crissy Field boasts spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Originally a Presidio airfield, the park lies along the entrance to the bay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marina. There are dirt trails and large grass fields along the water, as well as old buildings from the 1920s currently in use by private businesses and the Coast Guard. There is plenty of parking at the East end of the park where you can begin your run watching the kite surfers. Run along the waters edge all the way to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. A 4 mile round trip run is easy, but for longer distances, one may run up to and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Crissy Field is a spectacular place to run along the Presidios edge and highly recommended.

The Presidio

The Presidio used to serve as an Army post for more than 200 years. There are numerous museums, historic sites, nature sites, and spectacular views. There are over 25 miles of trails within the Presidio, so there is a huge opportunity to explore and get in a good run. There are several overlooks and plenty of old Army buildings to admire. It's easy to get away and have a trail all to yourself and you may experience the most variety in the Presidio.

Entering at the 25th Avenue gate allows the opportunity to run along the ocean while entering the Arguello gate allows for more exploration of the internal Presidio. Fort Point is a great goal for a run through the Presidio and is also accessible from Crissy Field. Fort Point lies just beneath the San Francisco side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The view from under the bridge is absolutely amazing and a great spot to rest and admire the scenery before heading back.

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Cooper Harrison 

      17 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      This is great - I'll definitely give some of these new routes a try!

    • AnthonyJ33 profile image

      AnthonyJ33 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Great hub. I live in So. Cal (Long Beach area), but I hope to relocate to SF sometime in the near future. The Bay area is an awesome place.

    • profile image

      ann s. michaelsen 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for a great page! I intend to try this when I'm in San Francisco in January. Looks great!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub! I love running in SF, so many great places to choose from.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Super hub!! I ran the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco last year. Over 26.2 miles, we got to see a lot! My favorite part was running through the Golden Gate Park. Big thumbs up - Steph

    • Matt Stark profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt Stark 

      7 years ago from Albany, CA

      Thanks Marellen! Very true, these places are enjoyable in several ways.

    • profile image

      marellen 

      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful destinations. You don't have to be a runner to enjoy these sights.

    • Matt Stark profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt Stark 

      7 years ago from Albany, CA

      Thanks Robin. San Francisco is quite an amazing place to run. The views are unbelievable. I feel quite lucky.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      What a great Hub for San Francisco runners or runners coming to San Francisco on vacation! We use to go to Crissy Field all of the time and walk along the path. It is probably one of my favorite places to go in all of San Francisco! Welcome to HubPages!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)