Novato, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Novato, California, offer top outdoor adventures. The Indian Tree Preserve is a must-visit for hikers, renowned for its scenic views and diverse vegetation. This 6.5-mile loop trail is moderately difficult, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The trail features a stunning array of native plants and wildlife, with a creek crossing adding to its allure. For those interested in bird watching, the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve is a prime location. The flat terrain and wetlands attract a variety of bird species. The Stafford Lake Park, set against the backdrop of Mount Burdell, offers fishing, picnicking, and disc golf. For rock climbing, Ring Mountain is the place to be, known for its unique rock formations and panoramic views of the bay. These attractions make Novato a top spot for outdoor activities.

Top Spots in and near Novato

  • Mill Valley, California

    Dipsea Trail

    4.6
    13.03 mi / 3701 ft gain
    The Dipsea Race is the 2nd oldest foot race in the US. The race is named after the Dipsea Inn at the end of the trail at Stinson Beach. The good news is that you can enjoy this scenic trail and its sweeping ocean views at your leisure. The bad news is that the race is only one-way. If you choose,...
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  • Richmond, California

    Explore Point Pinole Shoreline

    5.0
    Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is a 2,315-acre parkland that juts out into the San Pablo Bay. Only a brief car ride from San Francisco, this is a great spot for a Sunday stroll, picnic or simply to find a quiet space.There are several short trails to choose from that wind through eucalyptus grov...
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  • Marin County, California

    Dipsea Trail - Steep Ravine Loop

    5.0
    3.97 mi / 1204 ft gain
    This is definitely a worthwhile short hike, with views of the Bay Area, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate, and the San Mateo coastline. It's a 3.8 mile loop which takes you through forests of Redwoods and out to the coastline, even above the clouds on a lucky day. The trailhead begins at the Pantoll ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Camp at Mt. Tam's Pantoll Campground

    5.0
    Need an escape from SF, but can't seem to find an available campground, then head to Pantoll Campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park. If you get there early on friday (or even better Thursday afternoon), you should be able to lock down one of these first-come, first-serve campgrounds. Each of th...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Trojan Point

    4.5
    0.25 mi / 75 ft gain
    The endlessly scenic Trojan Point can be reached by taking the Panoramic Highway to Pantoll road from Stinson Beach to the west, or Mill Valley / Highway 1 to the east. It can also be reached by taking West Ridgecrest Boulevard from the north from the Fairfax-Bolinas road.  Park at the large par...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Steep Ravine Trail via Pantoll Station

    5.0
    3.96 mi / 1079 ft gain
    The trailhead Pantoll Station is easy to find on GPS and there are friendly rangers there as well to answer questions.Maps: Paper map are available at the trailhead Pantoll Station in Marin, CA.   For a moderate hike, I suggest going the one and a half miles down the trail to the ladder and retu...
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  • Tiburon, California

    Bouldering at Ring Mountain

    0.5 mi / 400 ft gain
    Itching to climb outdoors near San Francisco?  With only a quick drive from the city, Ring Mountain is a beautiful nature preserve overlooking the city of San Francisco offering two main rock formations, Turtle Rock (Pictured) and Split Rock.  Split Rock is the slabby rock south of the parking ar...
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  • Richmond, California

    Picnic at Point Molate Beach Park

    The beach park is very small but has sand along the shore for water access. Along the small cliffs of the beach there are picnic tables and grills for a nice cookout and family picnic. This beach would also be a great place for kayaking or standup paddle boarding as it is fairly secluded and away...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Matt Davis-Steep Ravine Loop

    4.7
    6.62 mi / 1726 ft gain
    This loop is made up of three of the most popular Marin trails and for good reason. These trails offer not only expansive ocean views, but a variety of topography and environments. This 6+ mile loop offers up waterfalls, dense forests, redwoods, and open grasslands overlooking the pacific. Starti...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Matt Davis-Coastal Trail Loop

    4.7
    6 mi / 2231 ft gain
    This hike is an alternative to the famous Matt Davis to Steep Ravine Loop. The hike starts at Stinson Beach, just behind the fire Station. I recommend parking at the Beach parking lot. The Matt Davis trail is one of the best constructed trails I have ever seen. After 2.2 miles, turn left on the ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Canopy, Panoramic, Redwood Trail, Sun, Dipsea Trail Loop

    4.7
    4.31 mi / 1145 ft gain
    While there are other, less crowded redwood groves in the Bay Area, Muir Woods National Monument is easily one of the best. It is a beautifully maintained site, with wooden footpaths meandering between towering redwoods that are between 600 – 800 years old. It’s home to some true giants, with its...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Cruising Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California

    4.8
    Start your drive on US Highway 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway just North of San Francisco. The drive will take about 1 -2 days so plan on overnighting somewhere. Hotels are scarce in the unpopulated areas but there all lots of Cabin rentals throughout and several campgrounds around. Just make sure y...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Bouldering & BBQ at Stinson

    4.5
    Stinson offers up a great beach day with a few activities for everyone to enjoy. If you head toward the south end of the beach, you'll come across a few boulder problems, including the 2 most popular: Are You Experienced and The Old Man. Are You Experienced is the smaller of these 2 boulders, but...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop from Stinson

    5.0
    5.99 mi / 1568 ft gain
    Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop from Stinson is a loop trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Stinson Beach, California.
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Relax at Stinson Beach

    4.3
    Stinson beach is a popular destination for Bay Area residents and tourists alike.  Located just 20 miles north of San Francisco, it is a 30-40 min drive away from the Golden Gate Bridge (it's a one-lane windy road once you're on HWY 1).  It is also a popular stop when hiking the nearby Mount Tama...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Sky Trail Loop

    5.0
    9.55 mi / 1818 ft gain
    Sky Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is a dramatic, mostly single-track trail that runs along the main spine of the Inverness Ridge and across highest mountains in Point Reyes, looming above the Olema Valley and Highway 1 which mark the San Andreas Fault rift zone and the dividing line betw...
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