The Outdoor Workout Spaces Of The Upper Haight

The Outdoor Workout Spaces Of The Upper Haight
Photo: Orin Zebest/Flickr
By Diana Fan - Published on November 01, 2014.
Fall and the end of daylight savings may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and moving in and around the neighborhood. As you digest your Halloween candy and look forward to Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and more, we've gathered some ideas for staying active and getting some fresh air in your own backyard.
Buena Vista Park
Buena Vista offers multiple routes up the hill to the peak from its various entrances. It’s a great way to change up the routine and keep your body surprised, while offering a steep and challenging climb for a quick, high intensity workout and the reward of a view at the top.

 If you want to continue the workout, a short walk through residential streets takes you to Corona Heights Park, which is less steep and provides great views of the Castro.

Eugene Kim /Flickr

Panhandle/Golden Gate Park
With pedestrian pathways on both sides of John F. Kennedy Drive on the north side, the park is a popular route for those looking to fit in a workout after a day of sitting at the office. On Sundays, the roads are closed to vehicular traffic and provide even more open space to roam, including more space for cyclists, rollerbladers, and skateboarders. 

Other good physical activity options inside the park include disc golf, lawn bowling, archery, and setting up your own net for a game of volleyball or organizing a kickball game in the baseball field. If you’re looking for more people-watching activities while you do your thing, the Panhandle offers a paved path around the perimeter and a consistent stream of dogs and children to watch as you walk, run, or bike by. Pedestrians and cyclists alike should keep their wits about them during rush hour and at night


Kezar Stadium Track
If putting your foot to the ground and just going is more your style, then the Kezar stadium track is a great option. The steps surrounding the track also provide a high intensity stair-stepper option, but in this case all your steps will actually take your somewhere. You may have to wait until the ongoing renovations are complete, but a new drinking fountain will mean you won’t have to weigh down your workout by carrying water.


Twin Peaks
A favorite route with a fantastic view at the end, Twin Peaks is within walking distance of the Haight. Follow Clayton Street south (just keep going up) until it merges with Twin Peaks Boulevard and continue up the residential sidewalk to make a left-hand turn to continue on Twin Peaks Boulevard. The climb up here is more of a gradual buildup compared to Buena Vista, but the view is expansive and unencumbered by trees.

Bill Couch/Flickr

Tennis Courts
Nearby parks also offers a variety of tennis courts open to the public, including in Buena Vista (near the Baker Street side), Alamo Square (at the top of the hill), and Golden Gate Park (near the intersection of Nancy Pelosi Drive and John F. Kennedy Drive). 

For a different type of court activity, handball courts are available to the public behind the Academy of Sciences. The courts at Golden Gate Park can be reserved starting on Wednesday for the upcoming weekend, and on weekdays fees can be paid at the booth. Use of the courts is $2 for seniors, $4 for adults until 4:30pm and $5 after that time, with free admission a child under 18 is with you. All other courts in the city are on a first come, first serve basis.

These are just a few ideas to get your fitness gears going, but we want to know: what's your favorite way to take to the streets and get your heart rate up?