Last time I did this, was rather put off by a drunk-acting dude on the T-metro who (without paying his fare) proceeded to sit on the floor by the door (and near me) yelling random offensive epithets, including the N-word, armed with a spray container of whipped cream and a banana. Though some other passengers thought this quite funny, I felt the conductor (at the other end of the car) should've called the cops to get the guy ejected as he was loudly aggressive, obviously far from sober, and you can't be certain someone like this is gonna be harmless. So this turned me off that particular route for a while. Sure, I complained on MUNI's website but got no response.
The Sunnydale is the last stop for the T-line, a few blocks walk to the neighborhood shopping street, Leland, and the first of six delightful Greenways that stairstep up the hill.
The first of these miniparks opens off the main street at Leland and Peabody, up to Raymond, with more people just hangin' here than in the higher Greenways. First pic: just outside the first one.
The second, completed in 2008, is the Community Garden Greenway, Raymond to Arleta. The garden is fenced and locked but easily viewed (second pic).
Walk alongside the garden to the third, my favorite, the Herb Garden Greenway (Arleta to Teddy) with its tiered planters and short stairway (pics 3, 4, 5).
The fourth is the Children's Garden Greenway, Teddy to Campbell, a small playground at the foot and a short stairway and benches at the top (pics 6, 7, 8).
The fifth is the Agriculture Lot Greenway, Campbell to Tucker. This garden is also kept locked but easy to admire through the fence (pic 9).
From Tucker to Tioga is the Native Plant Garden Greenway, the sixth and highest. My second favorite, it's has beautiful curving walkways (pics 10, 11, 12, 13).
Continuing to McLaren Park, turned left on Tioga a half block or so to Delta. Up Delta to Wilde, and left on Wilde to Ervine, a few blocks.
The trail into the park curls up from Ervine. The stairway (57 steps, pic 14) doesn't start until partway up the winding trail so you can't see it from the trailhead. At the top are some benches, two of the Philosopher's Way musing station plaques (15th pic), and a view across the valley to San Bruno Mountain.
This area has picnic tables (south side of Mansell) and parking space just off Visitacion Ave. To walk back down into Vis Valley, the top of the park's longest stairway (16th pic) can be accessed a little way downhill on Visitacion, out to the west dead-end of Campbell (195 steps).
About the musing stations:
I think I've seen all of 'em. Wish more parks had stuff like this (and that somehow the artwork could be protected from vandalism).
Did a few trails north of Mansell (pics 17, 18), enjoying the grasses rippling in the breeze, over to the John F. Shelley stop for the #29 Sunset bus (taken down through the Excelsior neighborhood to the Balboa Park BART).