Tired of exercising in your living room? We understand! Join us in taking the workout OUTSIDE with weekly curated routes for running, hiking, and biking!

We will share two routes per week, one for hiking/running and one for biking, taking you to different locations all over San Francisco. Additionally, we will share a BONUS route contributed by Y Walkers and supporting members.

Join us in exploring the city and enjoy the great outdoors!

Click on maps to take you to individual routes on strava.

Lake Merced 10k

Route: Lake Merced 10k 

Trailhead/Starting Point:Taraval Street & Great Highway (6.3 miles)  

Please keep in mind that we do not meet in person on this day. This route will be available for a week for you to do on your own or come back to in the future.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Are you training for Chinatown YMCA’s 43rd Annual CCHP Chinese New Year Run?! If you’re thinking about it and specifically thinking about the 10k distance, this week’s route could be a good practice run or a great option for your virtual race.  

Starting out from where Taraval Street meets the Great Highway, you’ll get a flat warm up before running the slight uphills and downhills around Lake Merced. We mapped it out as a counterclockwise loop but if you’d like a little more practice running a longer downhill, then we suggest running it clockwise.  

As you get to the southern end of the lake, take the concrete bridge for a slight shortcut. If you miss the bridge, not to worry, you’ll just get a little more distance! 

Please continue to wear a mask and social-distance whenever possible.

A Bit of Paradise (26 mi)

Route: A Bit of Paradise 

Trailhead/Starting Point: Fort Baker (26.8 miles)  

CLICK HERE FOR STRAVA

Please keep in mind that we do not meet in person on this day. This route will be available for a week for you to do on your own or come back to in the future.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

We took the popular Paradise Loop and made it a little easier to tackle for those that are still building their endurance. This is also a great loop for those that want to get in a bit of hill work while being short on time.  

This route starts from the shores of Fort Baker and leads you through the town of Sausalito. On a sunny morning, you’ll share the road and the Mill Valley Sausalito Bike Path with plenty of other cyclists. Upon reaching the end of the bike path, you’ll jump on Tiburon Blvd to start your Paradise loop. If you’d like to ease yourself into the rolling hills, go counterclockwise. If you’d prefer to ride on the non-cliff side of the road, you’ll head onto Juno Rd before making a right on Paradise Dr and riding the clockwise loop. Either way, you’ll make your way back to Fort Baker the same way you came in.  

As a reminder, this is a popular route for newer and seasoned cyclists. Additionally, the road can be winding and often feel narrow, especially when cars are trying to pass. As with all road riding, please be respectful of the rules of the road, let other riders know you intend to pass, and don’t forget to enjoy the gorgeous views.    

Please continue to wear a mask and social-distance whenever possible.

FAQs

What is the intended impact of Routes of the Week?  

The intended impact is to explore our backyards – the streets and neighborhoods that are within walking, running, or biking distance that can be seen and felt in a way that is hard to see or feel in a car or bus.  

Routes of the Week are also intended to just provide a different place to exercise that may be less crowded.   

What kinds of routes will there be?  

All kinds! Trails, roads, stairs, hills, flats. The routes don’t always include parks, but we're hoping to connect city parks as much as possible since we know that green spaces can also be good for mental health.    

How are they chosen?  

Location: We try to provide routes in all neighborhoods in San Francisco, knowing that not everyone has access to Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, or the waterfront of the Embarcadero. Since these Routes of the Week started during the Shelter in Place, providing options that were less obvious or gave people a chance to climb a new hill, or see a new connecting street, while still being able to exercise safely felt important.  

Distance: Providing a route that can be done in 45minutes to 90 minutes made it a bit more feasible for parents, families, people to take a manageable outdoor break without it eating up a huge chunk of the day. 

Highlights: Some routes are chosen for their views, some for the history, and some for just the pure desire to get a solid workout by climbing a long hill, which are hard to avoid in San Francisco. For routes in Marin and San Mateo, we’re trying to use less popular trailheads and combine them with popular features – just to provide other ways of getting to the same popular places.  

What makes you choose the ones you do?  

I personally find the less obvious stuff interesting. So I’ll look for a route that is less obvious to someone that has ran or biked that area before a hundred times. We all (myself included) get in the habit of learning something/a route and then doing it again and again because we know what to expect, we can cover it faster, we want to not have to think about getting lost, but sometimes it’s nice to find something slightly different that you can “master.”  

How does this align with SiP orders?  

Under current SiP orders, outdoor exercise is allowed in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo, provided that we still wear masks, follow social-distancing guidelines, and respect the rules set in place by parks and counties. Since hiking, running, and riding rarely requires you to touch anything other than your own equipment, these Routes of the Week provide opportunities to exercise with individuals while still being safe.  

With parking lots at trailheads closed at popular parks, like the Marin Headlands and Mount Tam, having options to hike, run, or bike in places that didn’t require driving also inspired these Routes of the Week. 

As the SiP orders evolve and eventually disappear, we hope that the Routes of the Week will just provide more opportunities to continue exploring and seeing other places nearby that might get overshadowed by the more popular trails/routes.  

 

What is different about these routes than other orgs/websites with suggestions? 

Other orgs/websites provide really great options for nature education, scenic views, etc. They often provide the best option to see everything that park has to offer. Which is a great place to start exploring new spaces and getting comfortable with wayfinding, especially if this is not a strength for people. Some of our routes also include those popular routes.  

However, our routes also provide an opportunity to see streets or thoroughfares that connect neighborhoods/parks that we may not have known existed before. The hope is that when people are out on a daily walk, that it brings a bit more variety to daily options, versus having to wait for the weekend to go visit a place. Plus, the more areas you get familiar with, the more you’re likely you are to make your own routes.

What information will be included? 

Routes of the week will include: 

  • Location description with distance and map 

  • Highlights of the area/fun fact 

  • Ideal times to go visit 

  • Multiple starting options to access route 

  • Recommended places to park if you have to drive to the trailheads 

  • Options to make it different: longer, harder, easier, fast, etc.

Presidio Trail Run Official Course Maps

Presidio Trail Run 10k

Presidio Trail Run 5k

Presidio Trail Run 1.5mi

Hike and Peak

Program Registration is Open Now 

 

 

Hike and Peak will help you build hiking skill, strength and endurance. 

With open spaces galore, the Bay Area is an ideal place to take day hikes or short overnight trips. Whether you wish to visit Yosemite National Park, Desolation Wilderness in Lake Tahoe or simply trek the millions of acres of National Forests and State Parks across California, it's never been a better time to Hike and Peak!

STANDARD PROGRAM INCLUDES:

  • A training plan to build hiking endurance 
  • 3 one-on-one Coaching sessions with one of our trained Outdoor Specialists
  • Custom practice hikes on Strava
  • 10% off at Sports Basement to gear up for your next hiking or backpacking adventure
  • 10 rainy day guest passes to any open YMCA facility for treadmill or stepmill use
  • Program price: $125 for Members, $150 for Non-Members

 

READY FOR NEXT LEVEL?

  • Add a Personal Training package to our Standard Program and you'll receive individualized exercise instruction to build overall body strength/mobility plus gain access to YMCA Facility Membership, including our in-person facilitiesoutdoor exercise and virtual wellness experiences!

Click to learn about pricing with this option

Non-members

Standard Program (no Personal Training): $150  
Standard Program + 3 Personal Training Sessions:  $299 
Standard Program + 4 Personal Training Sessions:  $599
Standard Program + 8 Personal Training Sessions:  $949
Standard Program + 12 Personal Training Sessions:  $1199 

Members

Standard Program (no Personal Training): $125  
Standard Program + 3 Personal Training Sessions:  $249 
Standard Program + 4 Personal Training Sessions:  $399
Standard Program + 8 Personal Training Sessions:  $699
Standard Program + 12 Personal Training Sessions:  $939 

 

Register by: Calling any open YMCA facility during operating hours and one of our friendly Membership Staff will complete your registration.

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROGRAM