Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
Marin County touts hundreds of miles of criss-crossing bike trails, for both mountain bikers and leisure cyclists alike. This is especially true in eastern Marin, where most of the county’s population lives (and plays), and the infrastructure for tourism, including bike trails, has been built up over the years.
For your next trip to eastern Marin, we’ve rounded up five of the best trails to explore, depending on your skill set and interest.
For Iconic Views: The Golden Gateway From San Francisco to Marin
For those heading to Marin after a few days in San Francisco, the Golden Gateway bike trail (named after the Golden Gate Bridge) is the perfect way to witness the transition from city streets to country roads. Most bikers start their ride at the Ferry Building, and from there it’s a 10.67-mile outing. While this might sound like no easy feat, the ride is smooth and ideal for all levels, even beginners! It’s a pretty scenic route, so just be mindful of other bikers and pedestrians if you stop for a few photo ops.
For a Cold Brew: The San Anselmo to Marin Brewing Company at Larkspur Landing
While we definitely don’t condone drinking and biking, there’s nothing more refreshing than a chilled beer at the end of a ride on a warm Marin County day. Since San Rafael is the gateway to China Camp, many bikers return to the Larkspur Ferry from either Fairfax or San Anselmo, meaning there are a few variations to this route. Keep an eye out for cars when riding on the road and residential streets. The beer at Marin Brewing Company is some of the best, so reward yourself with a cold brew and maybe a bar snack or two.
For Summer Strawberries: The ‘Jaws of Life’
Don’t be intimidated by this bike route’s name; there’s nothing scary about it. There are two trails to choose from—the longer, more scenic one and a shorter option should you be short on time. With summer in full swing, we suggest you go for the scenic route so you can see strawberry fields in vibrant color. Starting from the Marin Crossroads near Mill Valley’s Hauke Park, it’s a 7.78-mile journey to Tiburon, and while there are semi-difficult areas, it’s nothing a fit tourist can’t handle. Take a break among the berries and smile for a selfie.
For Lush Landscapes: The Corte Madera Marshes
For many bikers in Marin County, there’s usually a bit of street traffic to deal with before reaching the Insta-worthy stopping points. However, if you’d like to avoid vehicular traffic altogether, opt for a bike ride through the Corte Madera Marshes. The main path starts right behind Redwood High School. Keep an eye out for birds too, especially egrets, herons, geese, hawks and sandpipers, among other species. This outing is popular among couples looking for a quiet retreat and for wildlife fans.
For Families of All Ages: The Indian Valley Open Space Preserve
Calling all beginner bikers! This Novato preserve is a safe spot to try cycling for the first time. There are a few access points to the trails, including Indian Valley Road or from Ignacio Boulevard near the College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus. On any given day, you’ll find hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians of all ages. In some cases, families can split up based on age, interest and skill level. So maybe mom and daughter go horseback riding while the boys hit the bike trails.