Had to cross a freeway entrance to get to the first uphill street for this hike (fortunately there's a light): Tara. This is an ethnically diverse neighborhood that slopes up across from the Balboa Park BART station.
It had been a while and the climb was well worth it. Tara is on the east side of the hill. I like the neighborhood, views, and many of the older homes. Transportation is good out here too with your choice of BART, Metros, and buses.
Tara turned into Majestic and got steeper. At the top is a dead-end, even for walkers, so back down to Lakeview and a block west up to Margaret and Summit. Margaret has a few street-to-sidewalk steps and the "drawbridge" mural on the garage is still here (first pic).
At Summit and Minerva is a WOW-view cliffside openspace, including south to San Bruno Mountain (hazy today though).
Especially love the houses on the south side of Lakeview on the way up to the Orizaba-Shields Rocky Outcrop Park (a small rocky space at the top of the hill with spectacular views: second pic).
This is a dead-end for vehicles but not for hikers. Unfortunately the sides of the houses up here facing the tiny park - and one of the Significant Natural Resource signs - are covered with unsightly graffiti. I could smell and see dog poop nearby as I trailed around to the guardrail at the east end of Shields.
Probably Shields here starts the Merced Heights 'hood. The larger Brooks Park is a bit further to the west (Shields at Ramsell). I'm not sure which streets are supposed to divide the Oceanview-Merced Heights-Ingleside area up into separate neighborhoods. Third pic: view north from Faxon and Lakeview with Mount Davidson beyond.
Continuing into Brooks Park, the community garden is well-maintained, with healthy looking veggies, and extended somewhat from my last visit. Didn't see the porta-potty that used to be in the garden. Out the garden gate and into the rest of the small park, was going to sit on a favorite bench on the west edge, but this was occupied by a couple of kids. There used to be a home up here and you can still see some of its foundation in the park (fourth photo).
Walked around the park a bit before descending on Ramsell all the way down to Ocean, taking the K-Ingleside Metro back to the Balboa Park BART station.
Fifth pic: A former earthquake shack on Montana.