McLaren park, immediately to the east of the Excelsior district, is San Francisco’s second largest park after Golden Gate park. Even though it ranks just behind Golden Gate park in size, it lags miles behind in popularity. It was originally proposed by Daniel Burnham in the Burnham Plan published in 1905 but the vision didn’t become reality until 1934. Progress always seems to have been slow going since the first recreation facility didn’t open in the park until 1958.
The long neglected stepchild of San Francisco outdoor space, McLaren park has over 300 acres of park space, and is home to:
- Gleneagles Golf Course (named a Top 20 “Best 9 Hole Golf Course” in Feb. 2010 by Golf World Magazine)
- McNab Lake
- Louis Sutter Playground
- Herz Playground
- Mansfield-Burrows Playground
- Wilde Overlook
- Jerry Garcia Ampitheater
- Yosemite Marsh
… and tons of open space, hiking trails, and community gardens.
If recreation is what you are looking for, McLaren Park offers you an incredible number of options. The largest cluster of recreational facilities is near Sutter playground, and includes a community clubhouse, two baseball diamonds, a full size basketball court, tennis courts, playgrounds for kids, and a soccer field
Tennis courts are scattered throughout the park, with tennis courts near Sutter and Herz playground, as well as an additional 6 courts near the crest of the park at approximately Mansell & Visitacion streets.
Picnic opportunities abound, with roughly 75 picnic Â tables scattered throughout McLaren park. Depending on the size of your party, you may want to reserve a table in advance with the San Francisco recreation and parks department.
And if you want to get out of the house and do some hiking or jogging, there are miles of trails that wind throughout McLaren Park. While there are some very hilly areas of the park, you can pretty much create a jogging or hiking course of any difficulty.