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RPD Park Improvements: McLaren Park - McLaren Park Trails

Posted on: December 1, 2022

McLaren Park Trails Project Presentation to Commission on 12/7!

Capital Project Update

The final draft conceptual design for the McLaren Trails Priority Improvements project will be presented to the Recreation and Parks Capital Committee next Wednesday 12/7 at 2pm. Connection details are at the bottom of this post.

A summary of the project scope is written below, and you can click these links to view plans of the proposed improvements in the Visitacion Avenue Corridor and the three priority areas within Natural Resource Management Areas north of Mansell.

Support, objection, and any final comments on the design can be shared directly with Project Manager Lauren Chavez and/or Commission Secretary Ashley Summers.


The McLaren Trails Priority Improvements project presented in this conceptual design address the objectives listed for each of four priority areas identified in the McLaren Park Vision Plan: Upper Reservoir; Shelley Loop Interior; University Hill/ connection between Louis Sutter and Mansell Courts; and Visitacion Avenue Corridor. The design also responds to more newly emergent needs and opportunities. The scope has been detailed and iteratively shared and refined through extensive planning and engagement over the last three years.

The proposed improvements build on the existing McLaren Park trail network, and align with the organizing framework and best management practices described in the Vision Plan, and approved by the Recreation and Parks Commission in November 2017.

The scope achieves the project goals to:

• Ensure safe recreation and access  

• Maintain and build on natural character

• Protect natural resources 

• Clarify circulation routes 

Throughout the four priority areas, the project proposes hazardous tree removals and pruning, habitat restoration plantings, and erosion mitigation, as well as updated trailhead maps and new wayfinding and interpretive signage at key locations. The majority of consolidated and rerouted trails will have native soil surfacing. Stabilized natural surfacing material will be used for the Upper Reservoir trail and box steps and the multi-use ribbon trail connecting Louis Sutter and Mansell Courts. Rustic fencing will border select areas of the northern edge of the University Hill grassland, and will also be used to frame two lookouts: one west of the University Hill grassland, along a new multi-use ribbon trail; and one at the northern edge of Philosopher’s Hill.

The trail improvements consist primarily of consolidating and re-routing trails in order to clarify circulation, increase accessibility, reduce erosion, and establish larger areas of contiguous habitat. Wayfinding posts and improved trail maps (that will reference Muni bus stops) will help visitors travel on their desired pedestrian or multi-use routes, more easily moving through the park and to desired locations. Access will be enhanced in three high-use areas, providing more trail length and loop routes for folks who require easy (<8%) or moderate (<10%) slopes. Hazardous tree pruning and removals near trails will increase visitor safety. Slight re-routing and improved grading of the access road, and removal of trails from the University Hill grassland will significantly reduce erosion.

Natural features restoration is focused on habitat enhancement in the University Hill grassland and the riparian zone around Grey Fox Creek, and the creation of a new seasonal wetland habitat north of the Upper Reservoir. The current poorly-graded trail and myriad social trails in the University Hill Grassland will be decommissioned, and the area restored with a variety of native bunch grasses. The project will decommission the trail that runs through Grey Fox Creek, and adjacent tree removals will remove hazards for volunteers and let in more light, enhancing and protecting this precious riparian habitat. The area north of the Upper Reservoir will be shaped to better capture stormwater runoff, slowing and sinking water into the hillside to feed Yosemite Creek and providing improved habitat for wildlife.


PUBLIC COMMENT CALL-IN (LISTENING AND/OR COMMENT ONLY): (415) 655-0001 | Access Code: 2484 349 0416

ONLINE WEBINAR ACCESS (VIEWING ONLY): Join Using This Link | Webinar Password: cap1 (2271 from phones)

Providing Public Comment 

Ensure you are in a quiet location – Speak clearly – Turn off background sounds (TVs, phones, radios) 

  1. Wait for the item you would like to speak on to be called. 
  2. When prompted, dial *3 to be added to the queue to speak. 
  3. The system will notify you when you are in line and waiting. 
  4. Unless otherwise indicated, speakers will have 2 minutes to provide comment


Additional Info...
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