Five Sensational Summer Hikes for Families in Marin
July 6, 2012Posted by pamela |
It's summer, school's out, and there's no better time to experience the outdoors in Marin County. Gather up the kids, lace up those hiking boots, fill your water bottles (very important in the summer heat!), and hit the trail.
All of these hikes are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, and many (especially Muir Woods and Turtle Back Nature Trail) can be tackled with an sturdy jogging-style stroller. We've included some of our favorite summer hikes from all parts of Marin. Follow the links in the titles to read more about each hike, and visit our Outdoors page for more ideas for family hikes and outdoor adventures this summer.
- Point Bonita Lighthouse: The newly reopened Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Marin Headlands is a fantastic place for a family hike. Walk through a tunnel carved from solid rock and over a swaying suspension bridge to visit this 1850s lighthouse that warned mariners of the dangers of the Golden Gate. Take in spectacular views of the Pacific, the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco while you're there.
- Turtle Back Nature Trail: Designed with accessibility in mind, this easy-to-hike trail in San Rafael's China Camp State Park (yes, China Camp is not closing!) is a perfect outing for the family. Follow this 3/4-mile trail through oak forest, wetland, and meadow, and watch for wildlife along the way. Educational panels along the trail describe the ecosystem of the area.
- Muir Woods National Monument: The breathtaking redwoods of Muir Woods, at the foot of Mt. Tam outside Mill Valley, shouldn't just be left to the tourists! Take a family trip to this cool and quiet refuge on a weekday and experience the serenity this special place. The cool shade of the redwood forest is great place to be on a hot summer day. The main trail is flat and gentle and suitable for strollers. Plus, there's a gift shop and on-site restaurant that serves food made from locally-sourced and organically grown ingredients.
- Los Gallinas Valley Sanitary District: Don't let the location fool you—this is a great place for a family hike or bike ride. Flat gravel trails wind atop levees through wetlands along San Pablo Bay. A wide variety of birds make their home here, so make sure you bring your binoculars.
- Deer Island Open Space Preserve: Novato's Deer Island is a short and easy loop hike that's ideal for families. This peaceful hiking spot easy to get to, but feels a world away from and downtown Novato and nearby Highway 37. It's no longer an island, but it's easy to picture it as one encircled by surrounding wetlands. Look for birds, butterflies, and wildflowers along the way.