By Bonnee Waldstein
The trail connecting Walter Haas Park with Billy Goat Hill will open the week of May 22, according to Joey Kahn of San Francisco’s Rec and Park department. The exact date has not been set, and there will be no ceremonial ribbon cutting. Folks will just need to wander up there and see for themselves. (See Glen Park News, Summer 2015, p.14 for more background and details about the planning process.
There has always been a makeshift, or what city planners call a “social,” trail between the two sites. The improvements will allow for a more pleasant experience of walking through one of our neighborhood’s secluded natural areas.
The new trail was made possible by $147,000 in funding from the Open Space Contingency Fund.
The concept of the trail improvement hasn’t been without its detractors, particularly among neighbors who say they have observed illegal camping, dumping and drug dealing in that area. However, it is expected that making the trail more accessible and inviting to the public will discourage such activities.
The trail will meander for about 560 feet in length, comprising 82 percent earthen surface and 18 percent steps. There are a number of switchbacks, which lessen the grade from top to bottom. It was designed to have the least possible impact on the natural environment.
Neighbors also were concerned about privacy, so buffer zones were put into the plan to address that issue, and also to lessen the possibility of erosion.
The informal trail will be naturally covered with African Ivy within a year or so. The new trail should last 50 years.