Six Wonderful Winter Family Hikes in Marin
January 4, 2013Posted by pamela |
Since we seem to be getting a break from the rain, why not take advantage of the beautiful weather by taking a family hike? There are so many amazing spots in Marin County that are perfect for a hike or nature walk with kids, whether they're in a baby backpack, a stroller, or walking on their own.
The winter landscape in Northern California can be breathtaking, too, with bright green grass and even some wildflowers showing their faces. Here are five of our favorite amazing Marin hikes for families, perfect for winter or any time, really. Remember to wear layered clothing, and it's usually a good idea to let the kids wear their rain boots on muddy winter trails.
- The Fairway Waterfall in Novato (also known as the Arroyo de San Jose Waterfall) is a fantastic destination for a winter family hike. It's short and there's an amazing payoff at the end of the trail in the form of a 30-foot waterfall!
- Tennessee Valley is one of Marin's most popular hikes, and for good reason—this easy walk to the beach and back is perfect for all ages and features spectacular scenery. Go early in the morning or on weekdays to avoid crowds and parking hassles.
- Novato's Rush Creek Open Space Preserve offers gentle trails perfect for a family hike or bike ride. Fantastic views of Mt. Burdell and the surrounding wetlands add to the experience. Don't forget to bring the binoculars to observe birds and other wildlife.
- The wildlife ponds on the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District grounds in San Rafael are worth visiting at any time of year, but are especially scenic during the winter. A wide variety of birds flock to this bayside sanctuary, so bring your binoculars. Flat gravel trails are perfect for either a walk or a bike ride.
- The Point Reyes National Seashore visitor center at Bear Valley is home to a number of fantastic family friendly hikes. The short paved Earthquake Trail is an ideal introduction to the outdoors for little ones, and the Bear Valley Trail is a good choice when you're up for more of a challenge. There's also the visitor center itself with its natural history exhibits, the Morgan Horse Ranch, and the reconstructed Coast Miwok village Kule Loklo.
- Just outside the town of Ross you'll find Phoenix Lake, one of Marin's most popular spots for outdoor recreation. Located on Marin Municipal Water District lands, Phoenix Lake has trails easily managed by families, as well as excellent opportunities for wildlife watching.