Corte Madera and the surrounding Marin County allow residents and visitors unique opportunities to explore and exercise in nature. With several parks and open space preserves in the area, you can get to know the stunning scenery for yourself. While visiting downtown Corte Madera and other attractions is a vital part of the town experience, hiking will grant you an entirely new perspective. Whether you want to hike for the fresh air, your love of exercise or to connect with nature, the following trails are sure to please you.
Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve
5300 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94976
A two-mile-long loop through the rocky grasslands near the San Pablo Bay, this Corte Madera trail is an easy hike with only a few short, steep sections. A nice place to hike throughout the year with both children and leashed dogs, the loop only takes about 1½ hours to complete and leads you through the land nestled between Corte Madera and Tiburon. With views of the bay, San Francisco and Mt. Tamalpais, the preserve winds through various rock formations, across creeks and through wildflowers and old live oaks until you reach the highest spot of the preserve and see Petroglyph Rock, which has Native American carvings in it. The preserve also boasts unique geology that supports rare plants that do not exist anywhere else, including the Tiburon mariposa lily.
Mt. Tamalpais East Peak- Southeast Trail
Trail from Summit Ave to East Peak.
Mill Valley, CA 94942
This moderate trail is 5.1 miles long and takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete. Located in Mill Valley, the top of the mountain allows hikers a stunning view of the landscape and bay. The climb isn’t too long, but it’s steep, so to get to the top, you will have to work for it. Make sure to bring plenty of water for the hike and wear good hiking shoes because the path is poorly made. To climb, follow the fire road from the trailhead and turn up a small path near the waterfalls until you reach the fire road again. After 0.2-0.3 miles, you will see a trail to your left, which you call follow to reach the mountain peak.
Blithedale Summit Open Space Preserve
W Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94942
In the chain of preserves along the Northridge of Mt. Tamalpais near Mill Valley and Corte Madera, the Blithedale Summit Open Space Preserve is the largest. Consisting of a multitude of habitats, from dense chaparral to deep forests, its trails will lead you through quiet redwoods with sword ferns and huckleberries. On your hike you can study the pileated woodpeckers and northern spotted owl, which nests in the area. In the spring, you will even be able to hear the winter wren singing in the deeper canyons, which are cool enough to support the life of a variety of wildlife and plant life. Also make sure to keep your eye out for the uncommon tree poppy.