Mountain Lake Park

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For the town in the eastern United States, see Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.

Coordinates: 37°47′12.97″N 122°28′4.75″W / 37.7869361°N 122.4679861°W / 37.7869361; -122.4679861

Mountain Lake Park
Type Municipal (San Francisco)
Location 9th and Lake Streets, San Francisco
Area 14 acres (5.7 ha)
Created 1875
Status Open all year

Mountain Lake Park is a San Francisco park in the Richmond District neighborhood, located north of the intersection of Lake and Funston. It was designed by engineer William Hammond Hall in the late 19th century, circa 1875. Hall also designed Golden Gate Park and was significantly influenced by Frederick Law Olmsted. Mountain Lake is a small body of water east of State Route 1 (Park Presidio Boulevard). On the south side of the lake is a playground and tennis court. A hiking trail that starts at Funston and Lake weaves along the south of the lake and then continues east along the southern edge of the Presidio. The trail forks at the southeast corner of the lake as the other trail turns north, weaving around the wilder east and north of the lake before going under Highway 1. The lake is at the southern tip of the Presidio of San Francisco and just south of the Presidio Golf Course. A variety of birds can be observed around the lake's water including California seagulls and ducks. The lake has even played home to a white alligator that was abandoned in its waters. On the east and south sides of the lake, native plants have been planted.

The Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza stopped by the lake in 1776. While here he located a site for the Spanish presidio that was later built. There is currently a plaque near the point where he stayed.

The park comprises approximately 14 acres. In addition to the playground and tennis courts already mentioned, there are other amenities. One of the oldest Parcourses (a "fitness trail") in San Francisco (1980) has exercise stations around the perimeter of the park. Many of these were renovated by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department in 2009. There is a cinder block structure opposite the 9th Avenue entrance known by neighbors as the "card shack" which has picnic tables and is a popular location for birthday and neighborhood parties. Each year a neighborhood park support group, the Friends of Mountain Lake Park, organize a Party in the Park to which all neighbors are invited. The park has two meadows, one larger than the other. The large meadow is widely used for picnics, team soccer and lacrosse practice and general relaxation. Users can reserve most of the facilities in the park by obtaining a permit from the Recreation and Parks Department.

At the east end of Mountain Lake Park is an area set aside for owners to take their dogs off leash for exercise and socialization. It is a widely used neighborhood gathering place.

The Friends of Mountain Lake Park and the Recreation and Park Department organize regular park cleanups and plantings to augment the City's chronic shortage of gardener resources.

The aquifers under Mountain Lake feed Lobos Creek.

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