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The Best SF Trail Runs Not Programmed into Your Treadmill

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San Francisco is lucky to be one of the rare urban areas with lots of hiking trails within our city limits. It's also one of the fittest cities in the country, ranking No. 5 in an annual list of health and community fitness. Instead of watching your progress up a blinking digital staircase, try hitting the road dirt on one of SF's many trails. We've even drawn up a map with courses to make things easy for you (just click the course photos to enlarge them). The shortest trail we've mapped is 1.7 miles and the longest is 10, so don't limit yourself by length, or even shoes—there's a barefoot jog right this way.


· Outdoors Week 2014 [Curbed SF]

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1. Inspiration Point

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There’s a mix of paved paths and dirt trails, and you’ll go through some cypress and eucalyptus forests with views of Andy Goldsworthy's public artwork. TOTAL DISTANCE: 3.0 miles

2. Batteries To Bluffs Trail

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This out-and-back trail overlooks the ocean with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and climbs over (you guessed it) old military batteries. TOTAL DISTANCE: 5.4 miles

3. Glen Canyon Park

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Glen Canyon Park
San Francisco, CA 94131

We’ve already sung the praises of Glen Canyon for Outdoors Week, so get out there and see it! TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.4 miles

4. Mount Davidson Park

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Myra Way
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 831-6331
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At 927 feet, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. The trails are not marked and it is weirdly easy to get lost, so keep track of where you’re going. TOTAL DISTANCE: 1.7 miles

5. Twin Peaks & Mount Sutro

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Since these two are pretty close, it’s easy to combine them into one megarun with some of the most amazing views of the city. TOTAL DISTANCE: 4.1 miles

6. Lands End

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El Camino Del Mar
San Francisco, CA 94121

Awesome vistas of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands abound at Lands End on this out-and-back trail, but use caution—there are some steep, unprotected drop-offs. TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.5 miles

7. Fort Funston

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500 Skyline Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94132

Ditch your shoes altogether and go for a barefoot jog on the packed sand. Ocean Beach out-and-back from Cliff House is about 6 miles, but if you want to go all the way out Fort Funston, be sure you time it at low tide or you’ll never make it past the rock embankments. TOTAL DISTANCE: 10 miles

8. Angel Island State Park

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Angel Island State Park
Tiburon, CA 94920
(415) 435-5390
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Angel Island has miles of trails, but remember you can only get there by ferry. Make sure to time your run so you can catch the last one home! TOTAL DISTANCE: 5 miles

9. John McLaren Park

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At 318 acres, McLaren is the third-biggest park in the city. There are tons of hills, so even though the trails may be short, the elevation changes can definitely be tough. TOTAL DISTANCE: 3.4 miles

10. Golden Gate Park

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501 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 831-2700
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Golden Gate Park has a maze of criss-crossing trails, but pretty much all of JFK Drive has a dirt path running along its side. TOTAL DISTANCE: 6.6 miles

11. Corona Heights Park

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Museum Way
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 863-3709
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This is another twofer trail since the parks are so close to each other. Creepy side note: Buena Vista Park’s trails and drainage system are lined in part with headstones from the old SF cemeteries. TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.1 miles

12. San Bruno Mountain State Park

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Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy
Brisbane, CA 94005

OK, so technically San Bruno Mountain is part of San Mateo County, but since it’s blocks from the city line we can't overlook it. At the top, you'll get eyeful of the Pacific, the Bay, the downtown skyline, and Marin in one mindboggling panorama. TOTAL DISTANCE: 6.75 miles

1. Inspiration Point

San Francisco, CA 94129

There’s a mix of paved paths and dirt trails, and you’ll go through some cypress and eucalyptus forests with views of Andy Goldsworthy's public artwork. TOTAL DISTANCE: 3.0 miles

2. Batteries To Bluffs Trail

San Francisco, CA 94129

This out-and-back trail overlooks the ocean with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and climbs over (you guessed it) old military batteries. TOTAL DISTANCE: 5.4 miles

3. Glen Canyon Park

Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco, CA 94131

We’ve already sung the praises of Glen Canyon for Outdoors Week, so get out there and see it! TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.4 miles

Glen Canyon Park
San Francisco, CA 94131

4. Mount Davidson Park

Myra Way, San Francisco, CA 94127

At 927 feet, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. The trails are not marked and it is weirdly easy to get lost, so keep track of where you’re going. TOTAL DISTANCE: 1.7 miles

Myra Way
San Francisco, CA 94127

5. Twin Peaks & Mount Sutro

San Francisco, CA 94131

Since these two are pretty close, it’s easy to combine them into one megarun with some of the most amazing views of the city. TOTAL DISTANCE: 4.1 miles

6. Lands End

El Camino Del Mar, San Francisco, CA 94121

Awesome vistas of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands abound at Lands End on this out-and-back trail, but use caution—there are some steep, unprotected drop-offs. TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.5 miles

El Camino Del Mar
San Francisco, CA 94121

7. Fort Funston

500 Skyline Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94132

Ditch your shoes altogether and go for a barefoot jog on the packed sand. Ocean Beach out-and-back from Cliff House is about 6 miles, but if you want to go all the way out Fort Funston, be sure you time it at low tide or you’ll never make it past the rock embankments. TOTAL DISTANCE: 10 miles

500 Skyline Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94132

8. Angel Island State Park

Angel Island State Park, Tiburon, CA 94920

Angel Island has miles of trails, but remember you can only get there by ferry. Make sure to time your run so you can catch the last one home! TOTAL DISTANCE: 5 miles

Angel Island State Park
Tiburon, CA 94920

9. John McLaren Park

San Francisco, CA 94134

At 318 acres, McLaren is the third-biggest park in the city. There are tons of hills, so even though the trails may be short, the elevation changes can definitely be tough. TOTAL DISTANCE: 3.4 miles

10. Golden Gate Park

501 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Golden Gate Park has a maze of criss-crossing trails, but pretty much all of JFK Drive has a dirt path running along its side. TOTAL DISTANCE: 6.6 miles

501 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117

11. Corona Heights Park

Museum Way, San Francisco, CA 94114

This is another twofer trail since the parks are so close to each other. Creepy side note: Buena Vista Park’s trails and drainage system are lined in part with headstones from the old SF cemeteries. TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.1 miles

Museum Way
San Francisco, CA 94114

12. San Bruno Mountain State Park

Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy, Brisbane, CA 94005

OK, so technically San Bruno Mountain is part of San Mateo County, but since it’s blocks from the city line we can't overlook it. At the top, you'll get eyeful of the Pacific, the Bay, the downtown skyline, and Marin in one mindboggling panorama. TOTAL DISTANCE: 6.75 miles

Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy
Brisbane, CA 94005