Hidden Lanes of Glen Park

Glen Park is one of those San Francisco neighborhoods that can trip up even native San Franciscans. It’s a sweet little neighborhood on the southeast side of the City, but it often feels isolated from the rest of the city. It’s tucked down beneath the ugly condos in Diamond Heights. Highway 280 cuts it off from the eastern part of the city and it backs into Glen Park canyon, a neat little wild space.

But it’s easy to connect to Glen Park from Noe Valley. If you keep walking south, you’ll likely soon find yourself in Glen Park village. (If you want directions, from 30th street turn left on to Chenery — and you’ll pass this wacky carnival-themed front yard on the way).

There’s plenty to do in Glen Park — have pizza at Gialina or walk through Glen Park canyon — but lately, my favorite part of Glen Park is its hidden lanes.

While many San Francisco neighborhoods are known for their stairways, Glen Park has charming little dirt roads that bisect certain blocks. Poppy Lane, for example, runs from Conrad Street to Diamond Street, and my favorite is Ohlone Way, which runs between Sussex and Surrey streets. The lanes are quiet and car-free, but the best part about them is that they feel like secret shortcuts.

Even if you know these hidden lanes are nearby, it can be hard to find them. It’s easy to get off-track in the winding streets of Glen Park. But if you are heading to Ohlone Way, one tell-tale sign is ornately painted red-and-black house that is across the street from the Sussex entrance.

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