Lake Merced Park

Lake Merced, a large freshwater lake in San Francisco’s southwestern corner, is the heart of a 614-acre park that is popular with boaters, hikers, bicyclists, and birdwatchers. A 4.5-mile paved trail circles the lake’s perimeter; facilities include many picnic areas and a boathouse, fishing pier, and boat launch. The park is bounded by three golf courses, including City-owned Harding Park.

Lake Merced is major water, recreational, and natural resource for the City and County of San Francisco and the surrounding area. It is also an important stop for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. More than half of the park is managed by the Recreation and Parks Department’s Natural Areas Program, which works to restore and protect habitat for birds and other wildlife, as well as to maintain and improve trails.

Originally inhabited by the Ohlone people, the land around Lake Merced was a ranch during the era of Mexican rule. In the 1850s, a famous duel took place near the lake’s shore, between David S. Terry, formerly chief justice of the Supreme Court of California, and the Honorable David C. Broderick, a U.S. senator. Broderick died of his wounds, but Terry was later acquitted; a plaque now marks the location.

The lake has supplied water to the City since the late 1860s. The park was established in the 1950s, after the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which manages the City’s water supply and owns the land, turned its management over to the Recreation and Parks Department. The park is bounded by John Muir Drive, Skyline Boulevard, and Lake Merced Boulevard.

What's New

San Francisco State University Freshmen Welcome Days

On Saturday, August 24, SFRPD collaborated with community partners, the SF Parks Alliance and the Dept of Public Works to host a day of volunteer service at Lake Merced and Golden Gate Park for incoming students to San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco.   Over 120 matriculating freshmen … Continue reading

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Friday

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Saturday

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Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Fishing – All Ages 8:00 am 11:30 am Lake Merced Park Lake-North All Ages Aquatics - Waterfront Activities TBA TBA 13-Feb 13-Feb

Come and fish at San Francisco’s beautiful Lake Merced. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned angler enjoy fishing at our North or South Lake where you will find common species of fish such as Rainbow Trout, Catfish, and Black Bass. Other common species found since 2007 are Carp and Sunfish. We provide the equipment and the fun! All you need to provide is the fishing license. Kids 16 years and under may fish without a license, anyone above 16 years old must have a valid California Fishing License. You can purchase a fishing license at the California Fish & Wildlife website http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ or at your local fishing shop. Meeting Place is 1 Harding RD, Lake Merced Boathouse.

For more information pleae contact Ellen McCarthy at 415-539-9699 or ellen.mcarthy@sfgov.org

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Sunday

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Trail Map

Lake Merced Trail Map

Location Map