I am fortunate enough to live minutes from the Presidio, which makes for a pretty easy choice when I head out to do a little pre or post-work running.
I joined Trails Forever, thank the volunteers whenever I see them out, and am appreciative of the work that’s done. But lately I’ve seen a move to turn every trail in to a superhighway. Singletrack is being widened and “improved” with stone borders and edging, paths are being graded with huge machinery, and one high-use path near the bridge is getting a coat of tarmac.
Trail improvements are great when they are actually improvements – taking something and making it better, not bigger, cleaner, and less wild. We need to keep what few natural areas we have – and San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world at this, all told – and to enhance the experience, not lower them to the lowest common denominator.
To think that I may come back in 10 years time to tread trails, now literally hidden jewels of nature within the city, and find them just another walk in an urban park, is saddening.