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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

  • San Francisco, California

    Take in a Sunset on Marshall's Beach

    4.8
    If you're looking for one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marshall's Beach gives you just that without the tourist crowds of Baker Beach.This small and hidden beach offers a narrow stretch of sand for those looking to throw a frisbee around or just hang out with friends. As it's tuck...
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  • Inverness, California

    Tomales Point Trail

    4.7
    9.47 mi / 1165 ft gain
    This hike will take you through the Tule Elk Preserve in Point Reyes Nation Seashore, and offers fantastic views of Bodega and Tomales Bay, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. This trai...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Bike the Golden Gate to Sausalito

    4.7
    Riding your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, and then enjoying some drinks on the back deck at Sam's, is a great way to spend a nice day. The views along the way are simply breathtaking. After your ride and a day of fun in Sausalito, you can return to San Francisco by ferry. It's ...
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  • Inverness, California

    McClures Beach

    1.44 mi / 243 ft gain
    This beach is really easy to get to. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. It's an easy hike down from the parking lot.  There is very little shade, so make sure to bring some sunscreen. Be extremely cautious with getting into the water. There is likely underwater cu...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Bouldering at Indian Rock

    4.8
    Indian Rock is one of the most popular outdoor bouldering spots in Berkeley. With over 80 problems, there's plenty of routes for beginners to the most advanced climbers. After parking in the surrounding neighborhood, it's an easy walk into the park. Aside from enjoying the challenge of new routes...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Camp at the Rob Hill Campground

    5.0
    Rob Hill Campground is a hidden treasure, located at the Presidio’s highest point above Baker Beach amid a beautiful eucalyptus grove. The campsite welcomes groups of all kinds and is also home to the Camping at the Presidio (CAP) program, which provides youth with meaningful outdoor experiences....
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  • Sand Ladder, California

    Baker Beach Sand Ladder

    4.4
    0.25 mi / 138 ft gain
    The Baker Beach Sand Ladder is a section of the Pacific Coast Trail that is comprised of 200 ten foot poles tied together to form stairs down to North Baker Beach from Lincoln Blvd. If you’re looking for a lung and butt-busting workout, and you’d like a break from your standard routine, you need...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Aquatic Park

    3.7
    Take an early morning swim and watch the sunrise over the east bay or catch an afternoon swim on a sunny SF day. A full lap around the buoys (out-and-back) is about 1/3 mile and the perimeter of the park is 1 mile. Bring your dog for a swim too! Afterward, you can head up Columbus to one of the m...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Fort Mason

    4.8
    When the sun comes out in San Francisco, Fort Mason's Great Meadow Park transforms into ground zero for bocce ball, corn hole, wiffle ball, music, dancing, wine, and beer. While it lacks the diversity and quirkiness found at Dolores Park, it makes up for it with a beautiful panoramic view of the ...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Baker Beach

    4.8
    If you're looking for a beach that's a little more protected and scenic than Ocean Beach, then Baker Beach is it. Bring a cooler and some burritos out and kick it with your friends. On a sunny weekend day in SF, there's usually a sizable crowd here, so if you need parking, be sure to get here ear...
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  • Santa Rosa, California

    Taylor Mountain Loop

    4.2
    1.5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    From the northern entrance to the park, you can access an 18-hole disc golf course as well as a number of trails. The Eastern Trail takes you up a steep 1,000 feet to the top of Taylor Mountain, where you can see most of Sonoma County laid out before you. Mt. St. Helena is visible in the distance...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Seaview and Big Springs Loop

    4.5
    4.28 mi / 1007 ft gain
    The trail is dog and horse friendly, and many trail loops make Tilden Regional Park fun for families and those of any skill level. The Seaview and Big Springs Trail loop is typically used by avid hikers, trail runners, or mountain bikers. The first half of the trail is exposed to the sun and rock...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Crab Fishing at China Beach

    5.0
    It's illegal to catch Dungeness Crab inside the bay, but once you reach Baker Beach and China Beach, it's legal to catch 10 per valid fishing license. When you're ready to start your crabbing adventure, head to Gus' Discount Tackle. They'll get you set up with the right equipment (a crab trap, zi...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Mile Rock Beach

    4.7
    1.64 mi
    This rocky, secluded beach is tucked in along the Land’s End Coastal Trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Located 100 or so steps down from the main trail, you’ll find this mysterious little beach that will make you feel like you’re in an old pirate movie. There are a lot of logs an...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Wildcat Peak via Nimitz Way

    4.7
    4.16 mi / 459 ft gain
    Tilden Park is a beautiful recreational area with scenic hiking trails, a swimming lake, small animal farm, a steam train and botanical gardens. The versatility of this park makes it very family and kid friendly, and those who are looking for a moderate hike within the park have almost forty mile...
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  • Orinda, California

    Wildcat Peak Loop

    4.0
    5.89 mi / 1050 ft gain
    From Inspiration Point, head toward Nimitz gate. Once you pass through the gate, keep an eye out for Curran Trailhead; this is the trail you'll be starting on. After about 1/8 of a mile, you'll reach a junction with the Meadows Canyon Trail. Turn right onto this trail to continue the loop. This p...
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