Lake Merced is a freshwater lake in the southwest corner of San Francisco serving as a recreational spot, surrounded by much parkland. It is the heart of a 614-acre park that is popular with boaters, hikers, bicyclists, and birdwatchers.
The lake is surrounded by three golf courses: the private Olympic Club and San Francisco Golf Club, and the public TPC Harding Park. It was the last area of San Francisco to develop, making it the best place to put the large San Francisco Zoo and the campus for San Francisco State University. It offers a 4.4 mile loop trail along paved trails encircling Lake Merced Park.
There are many benches and picnic tables located throughout the course of the lake. The Lake Merced and Brotherhood Way entrances have picnic tables if you cross the small foot bridge. It's a perfect place to run, walk your dog or go fishing. It's a great spot for bird watching too. Be on the look out for hawks, grebes, loons, egrets, cormorants, and smaller birds.
On September 13, 1859, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court David S. Terry killed United States Senator David C. Broderick in a duel at the lake.