Is it possible not to break into a huge smile while flying back and forth on a swing? There’s something about that gleeful rush of air and ability to see higher and higher as you go up that sparks a joyful feeling. Whether or not it comes with a view, everyone can agree that ropes tied to trees—with or without seats attached—rock.
San Francisco has its share of these babies, most of them with a view, to boot. Now, for the sake of this piece, we’ll define “swing” as any rope attached to a tree onto which you may either grab or sit and safely take flight. Here’s where you can find that beautiful nostalgic feeling of swaying on a swing in San Francisco.
Bernal Heights Hill Swing
Where: On top of the Bernal Heights Hill in Bernal Heights
Besides a lovely hiking trail, Bernal Heights Hill has one other delightful addition: a tree swing at the top. As one Yelp reviewer notes, “The view from here never gets old.” We’d have to agree, especially when it’s seen from the vantage point of this swing you’ll find at the end of your journey.
Strawberry Hill Swing
Where: At the top of Strawberry Hill past Stow Lake, inside Golden Gate Park
The Bold Italic writes of the existence of a “west-facing rope swing” at the top of Golden Gate Park’s highest peak. This is definitely a lesser-known one, as it doesn’t have any reviews on Yelp, but the author notes that it’s a spectacular place to watch the sunset, which is reason enough for us to head up there and take a swing.
Kite Hill Park Swing
Where: At the top of Kite Hill Open Space Park in Eureka Valley, bounded by Yukon and 19th streets on the west and north
This swing isn’t described as gloriously as other beloved ones throughout SF, sure, but it still sounds like a nice, small one that’s less-trafficked and deserves some love. One Yelp reviewer just calls it “a simple swing attached to the tree,” and notes that it looks “very Americana.” In SF Curbed’s description of Kite Hill, the swing is mentioned first: “A grassy open area with a single swing, jog/walking paths, benches and yet another place for world-class San Francisco views.” This little guy has caught multiple eyes, and is definitely a charmer.
Presidio Heights Tree Swing
Where: At Jackson Street and Cherry Street in Presidio Heights
It may seem like a random place for a swing, and it probably is, but man, does it look fun. Out in Presidio Heights, you’ll stumble upon this little gem deep in suburbia. As one Yelp reviewer advises, when you see this thing you should, “Let the child inside out…I promise I won’t tell.” Good enough reason for us to venture out there and swing away.
Glen Canyon Park Secret Swing
Where: Deep inside Glen Canyon Park, which is between Bosworth Street and Elk Street in Diamond Heights
As noticed by multiple Yelp users, there is a hidden swing at the end of the hiking trails in Glen Canyon Park. For whatever reason, it’s definitely a secret as well: one Yelp reviewer simply wrote, “Scavenger hunt project: find the tire swing!” and another, insisting on keeping it a secret, wrote: “Bonus points if you can find the hidden tree swing down the meandering paths. But I’m not telling!” SF Curbed even mentions the existence of this swing in an article titled, “10 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Glen Canyon.” I don’t know about you, but that’s piqued our curiosity enough to go find it.
Tank Hill Swing(s)
Where: At the top of Tank Hill over by Twin Peaks
There is apparently more than one swing at this cool neighborhood spot, but we can confirm at least one that exists in a cleared-out area of the hill, giving you plenty of room to move in any direction. Fog City Secrets talks a little more about the rope swings in this area, and the Tank Hill Swing has also given us whatever this is.
Billy Goat Hill Swing
Where: At the top of Billy Goat Hill at 300 Beacon Street
You probably already know about this one, but we couldn’t not include it. (It is San Francisco’s premiere tree swing, after all.) If you haven’t been on any tree swings in San Francisco, make sure you at least get to this one—you’ll get to soar over some fantastic views of the city. Word to the wise, though: according to Yelp, the lines for it can form rather quickly, so be prepared to have to stand around watching other people take glorious rides (and Instagram shots) while waiting to swing away.
Lands End Rope Swing
Where: Somewhere toward the water on the Lands End Trail
If only because this seems like one of the most gorgeous areas of San Francisco to go swinging, we hope it’s not too hard to find this guy. Here’s an account of where it is, according to one Yelp reviewer: “Oh, and that cliff/plateau thing…with the circle/maze, where people leave stuff in the center? It’s so pretty…There’s a rope swing in that little isolated area to the northeast of that plateau (where it dips down to that other little beach where sea lions sun-bathe – on the top of the hill at the other side). It’s really rad.” Okay, so we all know where the plateau is with the labyrinth—from there, you’ll probably have to do a bit of exploring to find the rope and take flight.
Golden Gate Heights Park Swing
Where: At 12th Avenue and Rockridge Drive, Inner Sunset
This little guy is tucked away inside Golden Gate Heights Park in the Inner Sunset, but seems like a quiet area to go swing and contemplate. No crazy drops over the city here—just a swing worth perching on after strolling through the park.
Those were a few of our favorites. Any that should definitely be on here that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.