Major Gift Completes Challenge Grant for Presidio Trails

For Immediate Release
March 25, 2010

Media Contact
David Shaw, Director of Communications
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
(415) 561-3064


Realizing the Vision of the Presidio as a Beautiful National Park For All


San Francisco, CA: Work to transform the Presidio’s trail, bikeways, and overlook system gained momentum in the New Year with a generous grant to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy from the S.D. Bechtel. Jr. Foundation, a San Francisco-based family foundation. This gift to support the implementation of the Presidio Trails, Bikeways, and Overlooks Plan achieved the $7 million benchmark needed to trigger a $10 million match from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Many miles of trails in the Presidio have already been built and restored thanks to the historic gift of $15 million from the Haas, Jr. Fund, first announced in 2007 for the Presidio, but there is still more work left to complete on the trails. 


The generous support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation helped fulfill a $17 million funding goal to complete a 24-mile system of classic and high-quality trails, bikeways and overlooks in the Presidio—creating a dynamic and enduring new public resource for the residents of San Francisco Bay Area and visitors from around the world.


The Presidio is a place for all to enjoy, in ways personal and profound. Runners, walkers, hikers, cyclists, birders, picnickers and beachgoers find a vast playground. Layers of history, natural refuges, and stunning vistas remind all that they are in a place of national significance. No park feature is more important to connecting people with these park experiences than the trail network. The Presidio trails and overlooks project will build 12 major trail corridors linking the eight signature overlooks mentioned below.


This significant grant will allow the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust, and National Park Service to transform the trail network—and welcome the public to explore their park. In addition to previously constructed Inspiration Point Overlook (2001) and Immigrant Point Overlook (2005), two more overlooks were recently completed in 2009: 

  • Crissy Field Overlook: this soaring vista point above Crissy Field offers spectacular views of the City skyline, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and Angel Island, as well as the marsh and historic grass airfield. This overlook was funded by a gift from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and is located off Lincoln Boulevard near Crissy Field Avenue. 
  • Cemetery Overlook: this scenic overlook is set amidst the historic forest above the San Francisco National Cemetery and sets a stunning, contemplative vantage point that celebrates the contributions and honors the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans. Located in the Southeast corner of the National Cemetery, just off the Bay Area Ridge Trail.  The Cemetery overlook was funded by a gift from T. Robert & Katherine Burke. Mr. Burke is a member of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors.

Future overlooks to be completed in the months ahead include:

  • Lobos Valley Overlook: this overlook will provide spectacular views over the Lobos Valley dunes towards the Pacific Ocean.
  • Pacific Overlook: this overlook perched atop the coastal bluffs will offer hikers along the California Coastal Trail a beautiful new spot to rest and enjoy panoramic views north and west over the Marin Headlands and the Pacific Ocean. 
  • Presidio Overlook: located just inside the historic Presidio Gate, this overlook will offer visitors a new spot to enjoy the park’s wooded ridge tops and entry into the park’s trail network. 
  • Golden Gate Overlook: Strategically located at one of the Presidio’s major park entrances, this overlook will offer a singular view over one of the world’s greatest landmarks—the Golden Gate Bridge.

Support the work of the Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust, and National Park Service at El Polin Springs, in the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, and on the California Coastal Trail and key connector trails throughout the park. To learn how you can help realize the vision of the Presidio as a beautiful and accessible national park, contact Kathryn Morelli at (415) 561-3050 or

About the Presidio Trust
Responsible for the transformation of the Presidio from an historic Army post into a premier national park that is financially self-sustaining, the Trust is leading the nation’s largest historic preservation project, restoring the park’s buildings and landscapes, and creating innovative programs. To learn more, visit or call (415) 561-5300. 


About the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
The Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit membership organization created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experiences of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future. The Conservancy is an authorized “cooperating association” of the National Park Service, and is one of more than 70 such nonprofit organizations working with national parks around the country. To learn more, please visit or call (415) 561-3000.

About the National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior charged with managing the preservation and public use of America’s most significant natural, scenic, historic, and cultural treasures. The NPS manages the Golden Gate National Parks, as well as 394 other park sites across the U.S. For more information, visit or call (415) 561-4700.