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McLaren Park: Philosopher's Way Loop

San Francisco, California

based on 2 reviews



2.25 miles

Elevation Gain

315 ft

Route Type



Added by The Outbound Collective

Explore McLaren Park, the city's second largest park.

Beyond McLaren's family friendly playgrounds and picnic areas, there are miles of trail to explore. The Philosopher's trail is a well-marked loop (notice the stone markings along the trail with arrows etched into them). There are several parking lots available where you can jump onto the loop. Note that the trailhead off of Mansell street at Visitacion Ave is fairly exposed for about the first 1/3 mile before crossing back into a little more tree coverage. This trail is dog friendly (on-leash). 


The Philosopher's Way Trail was created by Peter Richards and Susan Schwartzenberg (staff artists at the Exploratorium). Per the signage for the trail, this loop includes rest spots to view the landscape (benches along the trail). The route was selected for personal thought and contemplation as it highlights the interrelationships between the area's ecology, geography, history, and experiences of the people who come to visit the area. 

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Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

McLaren Park: Philosopher's Way Loop Reviews

Family friendly hike in McLaren Park. We had our daughter in a carrier and saw plenty of families along the route. This would be tougher with a stroller, but certainly doable with either a backpack carrier or front carrier. Added bonus, there are plenty of benches to stop for water/snack breaks as well as playgrounds/grassy areas along the route if your little one gets tired of the carrier.

This was a beautiful run. I ran into a coyote that I scared senseless.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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