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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

    Lands End Trail

    4.7
    3.26 mi / 500 ft gain
    The Lands End Trail is a 3.26 mile out-and-back hike located in the northwest corner of San Francisco along the city's rugged coastline. Offering spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and the Pacific Ocean, the hike is one of the most popular trails in San Francisco for ...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Swim at Lake Anza in Tilden Park

    5.0
    Lake Anza makes for a great warm weather swimming hole. The parking area is close to the beach along with the trail, which will take you around the lake. The beach gets plenty of sun and is fairly wind protected, which makes for a relaxing day. Bring some picnic food out to the lake and snag your...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Hidden Waterfall in Codornices Park

    4.0
    0.5 mi
    Park along the street in front of Codornices Park in Berkeley. Follow the stream to the left of the playground. Take the path up the hill to the right (don't head over the bridge on the left). Keep walking up multiple concrete stairs. After the first flight of stairs you'll see a path on the left...
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  • Berkeley, California

    Berkeley Rose Garden

    4.0
    I'm always surprised at how few people know of this beautiful garden. I'm often alone when I visit, which allows for perfect serenity. Visit in early spring for maximum blooms. Park on Euclid Ave, which is where you'll find the entrance to the amphitheater (you can't miss the giant sign). Spend ...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Lyon Street Steps

    4.5
    Rumor has it there are almost 300 stairs from top to bottom. This is a great place to get some exercise in if you're up for running or walking up the stairs. Do a few laps (roundtrip) and you'll be pretty happy with your workout. If you're really looking to get after it, throw in a few pushups an...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Presidio Bay Area Ridge Trail

    5.0
    2.73 mi / 203 ft gain
    Presidio Bay Area Ridge Trail is a point-to-point trail where you may see wildflowers located near San Francisco, California.
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  • San Francisco, California

    Presidio Ecology Trail

    5.0
    1.82 mi / 427 ft gain
    Presidio Ecology Trail is a loop trail through the Presidio located near San Francisco, California. This loop can be started at the Upper Ecology Trail off of Arguello Blvd near Pacific or down at the Lower Ecology Trail near the Inn at the Presidio. This trail is dog friendly on-leash. 
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  • San Francisco, California

    Presidio Loop

    5.95 mi / 823 ft gain
    This route starts and ends on Jackson street in the Presidio Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco. This loop can be started in several areas of the Presidio including off of the Lyon street steps, but this starting point creates a good midpoint of the loop.  Along the route, be sure to keep an ...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Lover's Lane, Ecology, Mountain Lake Trail Loop

    4.5
    2.04 mi / 344 ft gain
    Tucked into a corner of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the Presidio, a beautiful little oasis of forests, beaches, and sweeping views that locals love. While the coastal trails get most of the attention here, the park covers 300 acres of prime real estate with lots of notable attract...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Sutro Baths Ruins

    4.5
    Whether you simply look down on the ruins from the [conveniently located] parking lot above, or choose to walk down the stairs and explore, you will be greeted with stunning views of the Baths, and the Pacific Ocean stretching infinitely beyond. The highlight of any trip to the Sutro Baths is ...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Run the Coit Tower Stairs

    3.8
    There are 2 sets of stairs for Coit Tower on Sansome St. The first set is at Greenwich and the second is at Filbert. The Filbert steps are a little deeper per step and are mostly wood and concrete. The Greenwich steps are a little tougher because of the shallower, brick stairs as you get toward t...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Bouldering at Ocean Beach

    4.0
    Tired of climbing in a gym, check out one of the city's best outdoor climbing spots! Below the Cliff House at the north-end of Ocean Beach, there are several great bouldering problems and a retaining wall to climb. The rock is comprised of greenstone and sandstone with cracks and edges. These rou...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Catch a Sunrise at Ina Coolbrith Park

    5.0
    This tucked away neighborhood gem is less than a square block in size, but offers some of the best views of San Francisco. After a quick, but steep, 5 minute walk, you'll be rewarded with incredible views of: the city skyline, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, and the Bay Bridge. There are a few benches avai...
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  • Saint Helena, California

    Hike Bald Mountain, Sugarloaf Ridge SP

    5.0
    6 mi / 1540 ft gain
    Park at the top of Adobe Canyon Road in the gravel parking lot to the left of the ranger kiosk. There is a $7.00 parking fee.There are many options for routes to the top; the easiest of which is mostly paved (although still steep in parts). To take this route, head north out of the trailhead park...
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  • Kenwood, California

    Pony Gate-Canyon Loop

    4.0
    2.17 mi / 568 ft gain
    The Pony Gate-Canyon Loop within Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a new favorite of mine on my list of family and kid-friendly hikes. Our little girls did great with this hike and loved it. If you can get moving early in the day and begin your hike around breakfast time, you might find there are few...
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  • Yountville, California

    Bike the Napa Valley Wine Trail

    12.5 mi / 100 ft gain
    The Napa Vally Vine Trail is an ongoing project of the Napa Valley Vine Coalition which has the stated goal of creating a 47 mile long bike trail along the entire length of Napa Valley. Currently 12.5 miles of trail is available between downtown Yountville and Kennedy Park in the city of Napa. Yo...
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