A 17-Mile Hike to Unite San Francisco

A 17-Mile Hike to Unite San Francisco

I was feeling down on my hometown, a fractured city of appalling inequality out of which has sprung an industry that’s contributed to the ruin of our country — and also, probably, my mind. The quirky tech scene had soured, while the houses had gotten grander and the homelessness more brutal. My family has been in San Francisco for six generations, but maybe with me it would be done.

It was in this state that I stumbled on something unusual: a new crosstown trail, a 17-mile hike cutting across the whole of San Francisco.

I looked at a map. The route sweeps up hills, through working class and wealthy neighborhoods, connecting new trails, community garden corridors, state and local parks, stairways, hidden pathways along chain-link fences and two waterfronts. It crosses from the city’s southeast corner to its northwest. And it seemed to arrive almost like tech: out of nowhere, fully formed, right on top of familiar territory.

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