Lands End Restoration Moves Full Steam Ahead

October 14, 2008


Merrie Way Work Complete; Lands End Work Just Begun

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Lands End—historic place of steam trains, recreation, and scenic beauty—will unveil its newly rehabilitated Merrie Way overlook, trailhead, and parking area to the public on Saturday, October 18, 2008. With its wild and rocky cliffs, wind-sculpted cypress trees, and dramatic ocean vistas, Lands End is a familiar San Francisco landmark with a fascinating past—and one of the Golden Gate National Parks’ most treasured places.

“The restoration and enhancement of this rugged edge of San Francisco with its rich history and prime bird habitat ensures that this beautiful park will be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Greg Moore, executive director of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. “And the work here has only just begun. The Parks Conservancy in partnership with the National Park Service and support from our generous donors, members, and volunteers will continue to work on this gorgeous parcel of land with more upgrades to the Coastal Trail and the USS San Francisco Memorial area.”

Culminating the dramatic first phase of Coastal Trail work and habitat restoration over the last two years at Lands End, visitors to the Merrie Way area can now enjoy:

  • A stunning new ocean overlook above the Sutro Baths, running along the western edge of a parking area with enforced safety and environmental features and offering views of the Sutro Baths, Pacific Ocean, and Cliff House
  • ADA accessibility for both the new overlook and trailhead above the Sutro Baths.
  • New signs have been added at all the overlooks and along the trails with maps and information about the natural wonders and fascinating history of the area
  • Benches and bicycle parking around the overlook
  • New interpretive kiosks and signage at an adjoining Coastal Trail trailhead will provide announcements of programs, walks, and events at Lands End
  • Beautiful native plants throughout the area and at the trailhead, which will be continued along the Coastal Trail corridor
  • The new parking lot with 135 car spaces and five bus spots

“The new trailhead amphitheater space creates a visible and welcoming entrance to the Coastal Trail that provides a gathering space for groups for talks and presentations,” said John Skibbe, principal architect on the Lands End restoration project. “Bringing the community together in this stunning location has always been one of our goals.”

Our upcoming work at Lands End includes:

  • Planting around 20,000 trees and plants this fall and winter to continue to enhance the area and bring back native habitat
  • Several monthly walks arranged by the National Park Service and the Parks Conservancy to introduce Lands End to all neighbors and visitors
  • Visitor surveys, volunteer stewardship, and our signature Trail Keepers program will continue at Lands End

With family-friendly highlights at our October 18 celebration such as a Ferris wheel, a miniature train, ranger-led nature and history walks, and plenty of carnival food, we intend to open a window to Lands End at the turn of the 20th century, when it was a recreation destination built by Adolph Sutro.

This work would not have been possible without the generous support of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, California State Coastal Conservancy, and all our project friends, Parks Conservancy members, volunteers, and donors.

Photo Galleries

Lands End Restoration and Volunteer Work 

Lands End Historical Images