Lake Merced Park

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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Facility Schedule

Monday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Waterfront Camps – Waterfront Adventure Camp – Ages 9-15 Session 3 9:00 am 4:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Lobby Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/10

In this camp students will experience multiple waterfront outdoor sports in San Francisco. These outdoor activities include; hiking, canoeing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, and kayaking or sailing depending on conditions. Students will have fun and learn more about these individual outdoor sports and the ecosystems they are played in. Please note on Fridays there may be field trips scheduled so pick-up & drop off locations will be at another facility (TBD – Information will be sent out closer to camp date). All safety equipment is provided. Campers should dress comfortably and bring daily lunch, snack, water, change of clothing/towel, jacket, and sunscreen. There is no extended care offered for this camp.

Sign Up!
Outdoor Rec – Eco-Camp Lake Merced/Mather Expedition Session 3 9:00 am 3:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Mulitpurpose Room Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/17

This is a 2 week camp! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The first week is held at the newly renovated Lake Merced Boathouse where campers will learn about the diverse habitat and eco-systems of the area through day hikes and fun activities. The second week features a trip to Camp Mather, near Yosemite National Park, where campers will tent camp and have the opportunity to participate in Camp Mather’s amazing activities like canoe rides and archery. The trip will culminate with an opportunity to experience Camp Mather’s brand new ropes course! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The Eco-Camp portion begins at 9am and ends at 3pm. Extended Care is available for drop off between 8am-9am and pick up between 3pm-6pm.

Sign Up!

Tuesday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Waterfront Camps – Waterfront Adventure Camp – Ages 9-15 Session 3 9:00 am 4:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Lobby Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/10

In this camp students will experience multiple waterfront outdoor sports in San Francisco. These outdoor activities include; hiking, canoeing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, and kayaking or sailing depending on conditions. Students will have fun and learn more about these individual outdoor sports and the ecosystems they are played in. Please note on Fridays there may be field trips scheduled so pick-up & drop off locations will be at another facility (TBD – Information will be sent out closer to camp date). All safety equipment is provided. Campers should dress comfortably and bring daily lunch, snack, water, change of clothing/towel, jacket, and sunscreen. There is no extended care offered for this camp.

Sign Up!
Outdoor Rec – Eco-Camp Lake Merced/Mather Expedition Session 3 9:00 am 3:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Mulitpurpose Room Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/17

This is a 2 week camp! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The first week is held at the newly renovated Lake Merced Boathouse where campers will learn about the diverse habitat and eco-systems of the area through day hikes and fun activities. The second week features a trip to Camp Mather, near Yosemite National Park, where campers will tent camp and have the opportunity to participate in Camp Mather’s amazing activities like canoe rides and archery. The trip will culminate with an opportunity to experience Camp Mather’s brand new ropes course! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The Eco-Camp portion begins at 9am and ends at 3pm. Extended Care is available for drop off between 8am-9am and pick up between 3pm-6pm.

Sign Up!

Wednesday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Waterfront Camps – Waterfront Adventure Camp – Ages 9-15 Session 3 9:00 am 4:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Lobby Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/10

In this camp students will experience multiple waterfront outdoor sports in San Francisco. These outdoor activities include; hiking, canoeing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, and kayaking or sailing depending on conditions. Students will have fun and learn more about these individual outdoor sports and the ecosystems they are played in. Please note on Fridays there may be field trips scheduled so pick-up & drop off locations will be at another facility (TBD – Information will be sent out closer to camp date). All safety equipment is provided. Campers should dress comfortably and bring daily lunch, snack, water, change of clothing/towel, jacket, and sunscreen. There is no extended care offered for this camp.

Sign Up!
Outdoor Rec – Eco-Camp Lake Merced/Mather Expedition Session 3 9:00 am 3:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Mulitpurpose Room Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/17

This is a 2 week camp! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The first week is held at the newly renovated Lake Merced Boathouse where campers will learn about the diverse habitat and eco-systems of the area through day hikes and fun activities. The second week features a trip to Camp Mather, near Yosemite National Park, where campers will tent camp and have the opportunity to participate in Camp Mather’s amazing activities like canoe rides and archery. The trip will culminate with an opportunity to experience Camp Mather’s brand new ropes course! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The Eco-Camp portion begins at 9am and ends at 3pm. Extended Care is available for drop off between 8am-9am and pick up between 3pm-6pm.

Sign Up!

Thursday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Waterfront Camps – Waterfront Adventure Camp – Ages 9-15 Session 3 9:00 am 4:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Lobby Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/10

In this camp students will experience multiple waterfront outdoor sports in San Francisco. These outdoor activities include; hiking, canoeing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, and kayaking or sailing depending on conditions. Students will have fun and learn more about these individual outdoor sports and the ecosystems they are played in. Please note on Fridays there may be field trips scheduled so pick-up & drop off locations will be at another facility (TBD – Information will be sent out closer to camp date). All safety equipment is provided. Campers should dress comfortably and bring daily lunch, snack, water, change of clothing/towel, jacket, and sunscreen. There is no extended care offered for this camp.

Sign Up!
Outdoor Rec – Eco-Camp Lake Merced/Mather Expedition Session 3 9:00 am 3:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Mulitpurpose Room Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/17

This is a 2 week camp! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The first week is held at the newly renovated Lake Merced Boathouse where campers will learn about the diverse habitat and eco-systems of the area through day hikes and fun activities. The second week features a trip to Camp Mather, near Yosemite National Park, where campers will tent camp and have the opportunity to participate in Camp Mather’s amazing activities like canoe rides and archery. The trip will culminate with an opportunity to experience Camp Mather’s brand new ropes course! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The Eco-Camp portion begins at 9am and ends at 3pm. Extended Care is available for drop off between 8am-9am and pick up between 3pm-6pm.

Sign Up!

Friday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Activity Course Start Time End Time Location Room/Area Age Group Class Type Instructor Start Date End Date Description
Waterfront Camps – Waterfront Adventure Camp – Ages 9-15 Session 3 9:00 am 4:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Lobby Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/10

In this camp students will experience multiple waterfront outdoor sports in San Francisco. These outdoor activities include; hiking, canoeing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, and kayaking or sailing depending on conditions. Students will have fun and learn more about these individual outdoor sports and the ecosystems they are played in. Please note on Fridays there may be field trips scheduled so pick-up & drop off locations will be at another facility (TBD – Information will be sent out closer to camp date). All safety equipment is provided. Campers should dress comfortably and bring daily lunch, snack, water, change of clothing/towel, jacket, and sunscreen. There is no extended care offered for this camp.

Sign Up!
Outdoor Rec – Eco-Camp Lake Merced/Mather Expedition Session 3 9:00 am 3:00 pm Lake Merced Park Boathouse Mulitpurpose Room Youth, Tweens & Teens Camps - Summer TBA TBA 07/06 07/17

This is a 2 week camp! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The first week is held at the newly renovated Lake Merced Boathouse where campers will learn about the diverse habitat and eco-systems of the area through day hikes and fun activities. The second week features a trip to Camp Mather, near Yosemite National Park, where campers will tent camp and have the opportunity to participate in Camp Mather’s amazing activities like canoe rides and archery. The trip will culminate with an opportunity to experience Camp Mather’s brand new ropes course! Participants must attend the entire first week in order to go on the trip to Camp Mather. The Eco-Camp portion begins at 9am and ends at 3pm. Extended Care is available for drop off between 8am-9am and pick up between 3pm-6pm.

Sign Up!

Saturday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

There are no Classes at this time

Sunday

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

There are no Classes at this time

Trail Map

Lake Merced Trail Map

Location Map