Lake Merced

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Now: Larger by far than any other lake or reservoir within San Francisco, Lake Merced is just on the other side of the Fort Funston cliffs and Pacific Ocean at the city's southwest corner. Harding Park separates the north and south sections, and can be entered via Skyline Boulevard. Fort Funston is a windy oceanside playground for off-leash dogs and hang gliders.

Then: A natural lake, fed by an underground spring, its shores were once a home to the Ohlone Indians. Fort Funston was a military installment with enclosed gun batteries operated during World War I and II. It became a national park in 1963.

How To Get There: This is way out on the edge of the city, so a Muni ride on the M-line (which goes to Stonestown), or the L-line (which goes to the zoo, near Sloat Boulevard) can take a while. If you're driving, parking is easy inside Harding Park, and some limited parking directly off of Skyline Boulevard, at the entry paths to Fort Funston.


  • Bridge across south section of Lake Merced, off Lake Merced Boulevard, near Brotherhood Way

  • Southeast section of Lake Merced

  • Walkway at the edge of Lake Merced

  • Inside Harding Park, off of Skyline Boulevard, on the shore of Lake Merced

  • Shore of Lake Merced, inside Harding Park

  • Walkway at Lake edge in Harding Park

  • Inside Harding Park

  • View of Lake Merced

  • Lake Merced, inside Harding Park

  • Shaded lawns inside Harding Park

  • Steps leading up to Fort Funston, off of Skyline Boulevard

  • Looking east toward Lake Merced from edge of Fort Funston

  • Lake Merced and city view from Fort Funston

  • Battery Davis, one of the old concrete gun battery enclosures at Fort Funston

  • Cliffs overlooking the ocean at Fort Funston

  • Shoreline from Fort Funston

  • Roots at the cliff edge at Fort Funston

  • Cliff top at Fort Funston

  • Broken fence at Fort Funston cliffs

  • Wildflowers at cliff top

  • Pacific Ocean, from Fort Funston

  • Many dogs at Fort Funston

  • Stonestown Galleria Shopping Center, off of 19th Avenue, east of Lake Merced

  • Inside Stonestown Galleria Shopping Center

  • Merced Manor Reservoir, at 23rd Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Sloat

  • Top of Merced Manor Reservoir

  • Rolph Nicol Park, off Eucalyptus Drive, at 24th Avenue

  • Rolph Nicol Playground, near Stonestown Galleria

  • Houses in Merced Manor, between Ocean Avenue and Eucalyptus Drive