Within view to the south is a short stairway into McLaren Park, San Francisco's third largest (about 318 acres) after the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. The park's Blue Water Tower is just above. Didn't do these stairs this time and can't seem to find a past count. Off the steps is a narrower side area than the Athens/Avalon Greenspace has, but it appears that maybe neighbors are thinking of planting alongside these too.
To climb the Athens/Avalon Greenspace steps (99 steps), downhilled a couple blocks to reach the foot. Posted about the Greenspace several months ago (earlier this year: April 17) when they'd just finished it and the whole area was strikingly blanketed with California poppies. Surprised to see only a few thriving here this visit (pics 2 through 7).
I'd think there'd be enough wildflowers that'll grow in summer, especially if helped along by watering, especially these very hardy little guys. So why's it looking so bare now? "If I lived here …" (I do have lots of favorite houses in this 'hood.)
At the top of the stairway exited at Valmar. Valmar curves up to the right (pic 8), but continued downhill a block to Peru for the stairs here that ascend to Valmar & Peru. Same thing here, at least at the foot: plenty of space for gardening but some of it was really dry. There's a bench at the top: 77 wood steps (pic 9).
South on Peru for a few blocks (past Felton) took me to Burrows where the park begins. This area was under construction when I was last up here. They still weren't quite done but this time could see a new playground with a concrete ramp. Several pieces of play equipment were in place, half unwrapped.
Continued to the west edge of the park and onto a concrete trail in the welcome company of several butterflies, birds, and a bush full of bees. Shortly came out just above the reservoir and just below the Tower (pic 10) where there's a vehicle street and small parking area (pic 11). Took the old wood stairs down to the paved walk around the lake and noticed a swing alongside the steps (pic 12).
Headed east on Mansell across the top of the park (view north: pic 13). Pic 14: Part of the public restroom mural next to the tennis courts off Mansell.
Caught the convenient-for-hikers scenic-crosstown #29 on Mansell (pic 15: bus stop at University, top of the Portola neighborhood). This bus runs through the park E-W; stayed on it for a change instead of changing to BART at the Balboa Park station.
Out of the park on the west (Excelsior neighborhood) side, it descends to Mission, then runs on Grafton a little way up into the OMI. I enjoy the steeper streets (like Orizaba) in this 'hood. It also stops at Lee & Ocean across the street from the newest Whole Foods.
It continues from just above Lake Merced onto Sunset Blvd. This long, divided street has miles of beautiful trees on each side with an oceanview off to the west. When it finally reaches Lincoln, one is treated to more trees on the south side of Golden Gate Park, then S-N for a half mile through the park (19th Ave.) out to Fulton.