Saturday, June 01, 2019

Saturday scenes and scenery: Lake Merced

Most weeks for many years, I have run the 4.5 mile perimeter loop around Lake Merced in San Francisco's southwest corner at least once. The circuit is truly my home turf. I've been nodding to familiar groups of walkers and runners there for decades.

But the lake is also part of one of San Francisco's 596 precincts, so a couple of weeks ago I walked the periphery, photographing familiar scenes.

The lake is bounded by three well-used golf courses. Here's Park and Rec's description.

Lake Merced, a large freshwater lake in San Francisco’s southwestern corner, is the heart of a 614-acre park that is popular with boaters, hikers, bicyclists, and birdwatchers. ...

Lake Merced is a major water, recreational, and natural resource for the City and County of San Francisco and the surrounding area. It is also an important stop for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. More than half of the park is managed by the Recreation and Parks Department’s Natural Areas Program, which works to restore and protect habitat for birds and other wildlife, as well as to maintain and improve trails.

Originally inhabited by the Ohlone people, the land around Lake Merced was a ranch during the era of Mexican rule. ... The lake has supplied water to the City since the late 1860s.

The west end includes a fenced off police shooting range hidden by trees and marsh.

There are always runners.

And there are usually high school and club boaters ...

... sometimes working their hearts out.

No one was fishing on this visit, as I happened to walk the week before the annual stocking.

The lake could be called well used, but I suspect that few residents of the city's eastern side get out there.

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