A new ropes course located in San Francisco’s McLaren Park is fully open after city leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past week to celebrate the new site — the first ropes course on city property.

Although the McLaren Park Ropes Course had a soft-opening 11 months ago, the full opening will allow the space to increase capacity, serving both students and the community, according to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Prior, only the site’s high ropes course was open during the soft opening because of COVID-19 restrictions, however with the full opening, the site will now include more low and high team elements to the course starting in early 2022.

Additionally, the site will increase capacity from 650 students over the last year to 2,000 in 2022 and then 3,000 in 2023, according to Outward Bound, the organization that oversees the course.

“The ropes challenge course, with its expanded ability to serve, is an invaluable resource to neighborhood youth and their communities.”

Supervisor Shamann Walton

The course is the first on the city property. Another ropes course exists on federal land in San Francisco at Fort Miley Military Reservation, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

“Equitable access to nature and outdoor adventure is critical,” Supervisor Shamann Walton said in statement. McLaren Park is part of Walton’s district.

“The ropes challenge course, with its expanded ability to serve, is an invaluable resource to neighborhood youth and their communities,” he said.

“We are overjoyed to finally welcome our community to this course that has been years in the making,” Outward Bound California Executive Director Nettie Pardue said. “Piloting courses in a pandemic was not easy but we were proud to offer in person, impactful programming centered in resilience, compassion and belonging for local youth.”

“The pandemic made clear the benefits of outdoor recreation, especially for youth,” San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said. “Being in nature, as well as gaining confidence and building trust, boosts our physical health and mental wellbeing. I’m thrilled that more people will have access to this wonderful program.”

The program will serve schools and non-profit groups that serve students. Additionally, Outward Bound will offer free community days the last Saturday of each month, although all slots through February have been booked.

More information about how the program works with students from underserved communities is available online.