Seven Spectacular Stroller Hikes in Marin

April 22, 2014

Stroller hike in MarinJust because your kids are too small to go on a hike doesn't mean you can't! Fortunately for outdoor-minded parents of babies and toddlers there are plenty of outdoor destinations in Marin County that are perfectly suitable for a hike with your stroller.

When my kids were little, my husband and I must have racked up thousands of miles on our Kelty jogging stroller, which we used on sidewalks, paths, and unpaved trails.

Many of these hikes are over paved trails, so they're suitable for just about any kind of stroller. Just because they are on more civilized paved surfaces doesn't mean they aren't in some of the most spectacular outdoors areas of Marin, so make sure you check them out.

  • Muir Woods National Monument near Mill Valley features majestic old-growth redwoods and has been one of Marin's top tourist attractions for over a century. Stop by during the week to avoid the crowds and take in the wonder of it all in relative peace and quiet. Take your stroller on the main trail loop through Cathedral Grove, it's paved or on a wooden boardwalk the entire way.
  • On the hills above Kentfield, you'll find Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve, a fantastic place for a hike at any time of year. The flat, wide Southern Marin Line Fire Road is popular with hikers, dog walkers, and mountain bikers, and is perfect for sturdy strollers, too.
  • At the Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor Center in Bear Valley near Olema you'll find the Earthquake Trail, where families can explore the San Andreas Fault and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. It's perfect for a hike with your stroller, and kids love to visit the Visitor Center with its stuffed animals (the taxidermy kind), natural history displays, and touching table.
  • Tennessee Valley near Mill Valley is one of Marin's favorite places for outdoor recreation. The wide Tennessee Valley Trail is paved for much of its distance and is manageable with a sturdy stroller. Your reward at the half-way point of this out-and-back hike is a beach and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean at Tennessee Cove. The entire trip is 3.4 miles.
  • Olompali State Historic Park, located just north of Novato, has been the site of a Native American village, a Mexican-era rancho, and even a hippie commune that was home to the Grateful Dead for a time. These days, this peaceful state park is home to historic buildings, wildlife, and miles of trails. Take your stroller on the wide gravel road to check out the 19th-century Burdell barn and farm buildings, and then follow it up to the reconstructed Miwok village and native plant garden.
  • Samuel P. Taylor State Park is home to the Cross Marin Trail, which parellels Lagunitas Creek and nearby Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. This former railroad bed is wide and paved and popular with cyclists and walkers of all ages. Look for trailside signs that explore the history of the area, which was home to Calfornia's first paper mill in the 1850s.
  • Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato is a favorite with hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. The best place for a stroller here is the Indian Valley Fire Road, which is wide and shady and relatively flat. Well behaved off-leash dogs are welcome on the fire roads here, too. Access the trails from either the trailhead off Indian Valley Road or from the College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus.

Happy hiking with the little ones!