Instead of continuing up Battery Caulfield as originally planned, turned back and down the same stairway onto the Mountain Lake Trail since I continue to be curious about all the ongoing renovations, improvements, and lake-dredging. The 14th Ave. park entrance for pedestrians and bicyclists is one street over from busy Park Presidio. From up here you can look across at the work going on across the highway at Mountain Lake.
Mountain Lake Park's old restroom building has disappeared; a new one is to be constructed. Along the lake's south shore where the short down-to-lake stairways are, there's no shortage of various kinds of birds.
Continued east along Mountain Lake Trail just behind the houses. There are some Parcourse Fitness Circuit installations like in Golden Gate Park, some benches, and a dog play area. The trail is hugely popular with dogwalkers. It curves at Eighth Ave. where there's a short stairway down to the street (second pic).
Curving around, down eight old stone steps to a wide paved trail (third pic), this uphill W-E part of the trail isn't among my favorites. A chainlink fence separates the golf course from the trail on the north side with a low wall and homes on the south side.
Golf courses take up such massive amounts of space in a few of our larger parks and hikers tend to be restricted since they can't just walk through normally but have to detour around them a long way. One of my pet peeves. I'd like to see an elevated trail down the middle of this one (and Lincoln Park's) for walkers to use without getting in the way of the golfers.
At the golf course's parking lot there's a sidewalk and low wall one can sit on.
After crossing Arguello/Finley at the crosswalk, Inspiration Point Overlook (pics 4, 5, 6) was just ahead. Here a sign indicates the trailhead for the Ecology Trail: 45 steps down from here to start (next four). Winding around and down on the Ecology (last two), you'll pass through a shady forest, then continue downhill past the second infosign that sez "Revitalizing the Upper Tennessee Hollow Watershed" until you reach the top of the newer westside stairway (69 steps) that descends to the El Polin Spring picnic area.
Where the old eastside stairway used to be are now newly emerging plants poking out of heavy netting. It's gonna be so beautiful around here when these little guys mature. There are various kinds, evenly spaced, on each side of the new accessible trail that connects El Polin Spring with the Mountain Lake Trail.
Out at the east trailhead for this new connector onto one of the minor trails for a short distance. Then back to the main Mountain Lake Trail and up to the trailhead for Lovers Lane near the park exit at Pacific (3200) and Presidio Blvd.