Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project

Oak Woodlands Trails


While most of Golden Gate Park has been landscaped with lawns, flowerbeds and other ornamental features, a few remnants of San Francisco’s oak woodlands still exist in this world-renowned park. The northeast corner of Golden Gate Park is home to some of the oldest coast live oak trees in San Francisco. Myriad redundant social trails wind through the woodlands, causing erosion and habitat destruction.

For a more extensive description, click here to visit the Natural Areas page.

Scope of Work

The Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project will create one primary, continuous nature trail with wayfinding and interpretive signs. Hazardous trees and invasive plants that are a threat to habitat will be removed and replaced with plants that are aesthetically pleasing and have high habitat value. Exposed open soil will be planted with drought-tolerant species that are appropriate to the area.

The trail alignment will connect points of interest along the route including the overlook near Stanyan and Hayes, the Horseshoe Pits, the hillside near the organic dump, the overlook at Arguello, the Ghiradelli picnic area and card shack. The proposed trail restoration will improve visual quality, access, safety and enhance the trail experience in the Oak Woodlands Park while retaining the rustic quality of the trail.


  • 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: $500,000
  • 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond: TBD
  • San Francisco Parks Alliance through a generous grant from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company:$94,859

For more Trail Improvement Project details, please click on the FAQs TAB below.

GGP Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project Out to Bid

The Golden Gate Park Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project has been advertised to contractors. Pre-bid conference and site walk was held on March 6.  Bids are due on March 22.  We are hoping to present construction contract award to the Rec and Park Commission in April and start construction in … Continue reading

Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project Schedule

The target timeline that we posted late last year was to complete construction documents and advertise to contractors sometime this summer.  Please see updated anticipated project schedule below.  The largest reason for the updated timeline is that our landscape architect was unexpectedly out on leave for several months; however, there … Continue reading

Site Visit and Survey of Green Waste Transfer Area for Oak Woodlands Trails Project

You may wonder- what does the green waste transfer area along Conservatory Drive have to do with the Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project?  Because we are planning a trail that runs along the north edge of this zone, we want to make sure to separate the utility area with the … Continue reading

Golden Gate Park Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project Progress

The originally scoped budget for the Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project, as part of the 2008 Bond, was $300,000, with additional support from a Coca‐Cola Bottling Company grant for $94,859.  We’ve learned a great deal about construction methods and cost from previously completed trails projects.  Our trails team has revisited … Continue reading

Natural Areas Program at Oak Woodlands

A snapshot of the SFRPD Natural Areas Program staff and volunteers taking care of some of the oldest Coastal Live Oak trees in the city of San Francisco at the Oak Woodlands, an extraordinary remnant of native landscape in the northeast corner of Golden Gate Park. Come join the fun … Continue reading

Oak Woodlands Trail Improvement Project: Hazardous Tree Mitigation Work to Proceed Fall 2013

[This photo shows a dead tree standing, one of the hazardous trees slated for removal] Pending approval by the Rec and Park Commission in September, we will begin the hazardous tree mitigation component of the Oak Woodlands Trails Improvement Project this Fall. The Trails Improvement Project is the result of … Continue reading

Oak Woodlands Trail Update

The Oak Woodland Trail Restoration project is moving forward. On September 15th the Recreation and Park Commission approved the Oak Woodland Trail concept plan that was developed with input from community members.  The project will now begin the design development phase and is anticipated to begin construction in 2012. Oak Woodlands Trail concept … Continue reading

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Project FAQs

Urban trails allow residents to escape the city's hectic pace and explore nature in their own neighborhoods. One of the things San Franciscans value most about our parks and open spaces is the opportunity they provide for hiking and enjoying the beauty of our natural landscapes. The Recreation and Park Department's Urban Trails Program is a two-part initiative to restore key trails and expand the current volunteer trail corps to help create and maintain a trail network in the city's natural areas.

San Francisco's natural areas contain almost 30 miles of trails, but many are in poor shape--difficult to access, uneven, steep, and prone to erosion. The Urban Trails Program will restore and enhance miles of trails for hikers and recreational enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy, thanks to the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, approved by voters in 2008. This bond dedicated $5 million to improving trails and trail safety in our natural areas, restoring and protecting the natural landscapes around trails, and creating new and improved trail connections between neighboring parks.

Renovated trails will improve access to a variety of urban nature outings, from streamside rambles to breathtaking climbs to panoramic viewpoints. New and improved trail connections will help establish regional trails, enabling residents and visitors to experience miles of uninterrupted natural beauty in the middle of the city.

Because funding for trail improvements is limited, the Department has worked with community groups and stakeholders to focus spending on parks and open spaces that have the greatest needs and would provide the greatest benefits if improved.

Location Map