Best Run - 2011
Mount Sutro Open Space Preserve
Believe it or not, you can spend hours in San Francisco running through what seem like isolated forests without getting near Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, or McLaren Park. The Mount Sutro Open Space Preserve is eucalyptus-covered state-owned land nestled behind the University of San Francisco. For the past few years, the volunteer Mount Sutro Stewards have been performing God's work restoring century-old trails traversing the forested knoll, making it possible to imagine you're perusing a national park despite being yards from a high-rise hospital. To get at the trails, start at UCSF's Surge Parking Lot and run along the footpath that parallels Medical Center Way, cutting left along the brambled trail that emerges at the UCSF married student housing. Keep going uphill until you reach a narrow paved pathway that continues until you're atop Mount Sutro. Even for the well conditioned, that's one mound of tough running.