Seven Sensational Summer Hikes for Families in Marin

June 4, 2017

Samuel P. Taylor

When it's summer and school's out, 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!), slather on the sunscreen, and hit the trail.

All of these hikes are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, and many are manageable with a sturdy jogging-style stroller. We've included our favorite summer hikes from all parts of Marin.

Follow the links in the titles to read more about each hike. You can also visit our Outdoors page for more ideas for family hikes and outdoor adventures this summer.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Shaded by redwoods and nestled alongside a peaceful creek, this state park in West Marin is an ideal place for a hike and picnic when the weather's hot. It's also one of Marin's premiere camping spots, and has something to offer for everyone.

Sky Oaks and Lake Lagunitas

Sky Oaks and Lake Lagunitas

Sky Oaks trailhead outside of Fairfax offers numerous opportunities for fantastic family hikes. Take a stroll around Lake Lagunitas or along the shores of Bon Tempe Lake. An abundance of flat, easy fire roads and trails and a shady picnic area make this a popular spot for family outdoor outings.

Point Bonita Lighthouse  

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Marin Headlands is a fantastic place for a summer 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. You might even see a humpback whale!

Turtle Back Nature Trail

Turtle Back Nature Trail

Designed with accessibility in mind, this easy-to-hike trail in San Rafael's China Camp State Park 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.

Terra Linda Sleepy Hollow

Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide

This 1,100-acre preserve encompasses the ridge that separates Terra Linda and San Anselmo. It's perfect for a family hike, and the views are spectacular. the Terra Linda Ridge Fire Road intersects with numerous other fire roads and trails, making for almost endless hike options.

Tomales Bay Trail

Tomales Bay Trailhead

When it's hot inland, head to Tomales Bay in West Marin for an easy scenic hike. This spot just off Highway 1 on the east side of Tomales Bay is just north of Point Reyes Station. it's a great place for family hikes, wildlife watching, and kite flying!

Indian Valley

Indian Valley

Novato's Indian Valley Open Space Preserve boasts plenty of wide fire roads and trails that are perfect for a hike or bike ride with kids. Kids love to explore Pacheco Pond and look for frogs, newts, and other aquatic critters, and there's even an organic farmstand at the end of the trail at College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus that's open on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, so you can take a hike and do some grocery shopping, too!