Lands End is a picturesque park located in San Francisco, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The park is situated between the Sutro District and Lincoln Park and abuts Fort Miley Military Reservation.
One of the main features of the park is a memorial to USS San Francisco, which stands as a tribute to the sailors who lost their lives on the ship during World War II.
The park offers numerous hiking trails that follow the former railbeds of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway.
The most-traveled trail is the Coastal Trail, a section of the California Coastal Trail. This trail is handicap-accessible until the Mile Rock Overlook and bike accessible until the Eagles Point steps.
A spur trail takes users to Mile Rock Point and Mile Rock Beach, which offer breathtaking views of the Golden Gate. Along the way, visitors can also explore the ruins of the Sutro Baths and the numerous shipwrecks, which are visible at low tides from the Coastal Trail and Mile Rock.
The park also has a visitor center, the Lands End Lookout which opened in April 2012, providing more information about the history and geology of the area.
Lands End History
Lands End has a rich history, dating back to its opening in 1898. The park was built to replace a wooden predecessor that was constructed in 1875. Despite the area’s vulnerability to earthquakes, Lands End survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes with little damage.
The park served as the destination for commuters to San Francisco from the East Bay via ferry fleets of the Southern Pacific and the Key System, and also as the connection to San Francisco for the transcontinental rail lines of the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and Western Pacific.
A loop track in front of the building enabled convenient transfers to streetcars, making it the second busiest transit terminal in the world, second only to London’s Charing Cross Station.
However, unsympathetic renovations in the 1950s reduced the public space and the Embarcadero Freeway, built in the late 1950s, blocked views of the building from Market Street. In 1949, Market Street Railway services were terminated at a loop in front of the building.
The Embarcadero Freeway was removed in 1989, restoring access to Embarcadero Plaza and the foot of Market Street, allowing visitors to experience the park in all its natural beauty. The park has now become a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to enjoy outdoor activities and scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding area.
Lands End Key Information
- Located in San Francisco, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
- Features a memorial to USS San Francisco
- Numerous hiking trails that follow the former railbeds of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway
- Most-traveled trail is the Coastal Trail, a section of the California Coastal Trail, that is handicap-accessible until the Mile Rock Overlook and bike accessible until the Eagles Point steps
- Features a visitor center, the Lands End Lookout
- Rich history, dating back to its opening in 1898
- Survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes with little damage
- Popular spot for tourists and locals alike to enjoy outdoor activities and scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding area