Added by Heidi M
Redwoods, prairie, wildlife, and fog just a quick drive across the bridge and a great escape from the city.
Nestled in the Samuel P. Taylor State Park this ten miler was a perfect escape from the chaos of the city. Hikers are able to pay a $10.00 park entry fee that includes plenty of parking spaces and restrooms before you hit the trail.
The hike starts along the Cross Marin Trail, a path popular to park campers. After about 2 miles of flat wooded terrain you will have to cross a busy road and will arrive at the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area. At this point you will hook into the Shafter Grade Fire Road where all 1200 feet of your elevation gain takes you through the next 1.7 miles of wide dirt path.
You know you have reached the top when you get to a T in the trail where you should take a right turn onto the Bolinas Ridge Fire Road. As you hike you will have to go through a series of gates that were used to keep cattle off of the trails. (Pro Tip: There is a slightly random picnic table that would be a great lunch spot!)
After just under 4 miles along this sunny downhill trail with great views, butterflies, and crickets galore you will continue the hike onto the Jewell Fire Road (1 mile) and back onto the Cross Marin Trail (2 miles) to complete the loop. (Pro Tip: If you're anywhere near as hungry as we were after those 10 miles, the Mill Valley In-N-Out makes for a great early dinner.)
- Trail Map / Directions
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.