This is my favorite area of the park: the whole south side with the forested slope down, view of San Bruno Mountain across the valley, and this stairway: 195 steps from the west dead-end of Campbell in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood up to curvy Visitacion Ave. in the park, pix 7 thru 12. Especially now when the whole park is blanketed in green after the rains.
At the foot of this, the park’s longest stairway, at Campbell, headed east a couple blox to Delta St. Up Delta (eight steps to start) for this roughly paved narrow walk in Visitacion Valley: 13 thru 16.
At the top of this pedestrian-only trail, continued up and hung a left to access another trail into the park from Wilde & Ervine. The trail’s paved; the stairs (57) are not visible until you’ve climbed a little, as it curves around. Exhilarating and highly recommended! Pix 17 thru 27.
At the top of this openspace trail you’ll find benches (28 thru 31) and more musing stations. Including a couple of brief explanations as to what Philosopher’s Way is all about, but go check this out for yourself, please:
I do wish writers, etc. would stop, after all these years, calling McLaren “San Francisco’s second largest park.” Since 1994 the Presidio has been the largest park within the city limits. SECOND in acreage now is Golden Gate Park, with McLaren THIRD. The Presidio is within San Francisco’s city limits and its acreage does now surpass that of Golden Gate Park. People have not been making a distinction as to whether the park is a GGNRA/national park or a city park when they say this, but have been talking about actual acreage.
Crossing divided Mansell, it was imperative that I do a favorite trail down the northeast slope (Portola neighborhood side). This switchbacks a few times out in the open with a delicious view to the north, including the south side of Bernal Heights: 32 thru 37. At the foot is Lake McNab with its playground, picnic tables, ducks and other birds.