Marin Blog · Marin County At Home

Visiting Marin Responsibly

Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, August 3, 2020 by MCVB Staff

Planning on visiting California and Marin County this Summer?
We are fortunate here in Marin that there are a number of outdoor spaces and state parks available with so many things to do, such as hiking, biking, camping, and water-related fun-in-the-sun activities. As a visitor your safety is our primary concern, so we urge you before visiting any area in California and Marin County to educate yourself on local conditions and regulations. Closures and openings of venues change quickly, and it is up to you to plan ahead and carry out activities in a responsible way to protect yourself and anyone you should contact. But more importantly, remember to always wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

We have outlined below some easy links to help you as a visitor in planning your visit.

Experince Marin Safely - What's Open in Marin, and travel updates

Marin Health and Human Services publishes updates Monday through Friday on Marin's status.

MarinRecovers is a phased and measured approach to help keep all Marin residents safe and healthy. Here, visitors will find a list of our phased reopening approach.
Visitors can also check our progress and get a daily overview of Marin's business reopenings

State Park Updates on travel tips, campgrounds, fees, and open dog parks

Golden Gate National Recreation Area for updates on the Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz Island, park beaches, and campgrounds in designated areas.

National Park Status for the visitor center and trail openings/closures in the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Point Reyes National Seashore map of a few road closures still in effect. 


When visiting, please follow these helpful tips to plan a fun and safe outdoor outing while exploring Marin's great outdoors:

Before Your Visit:

  1. Call ahead. Review the websites and social media that offer information on local conditions, but visitors are encouraged to reach out to local tourism contacts and land managers with any additional questions.
  2. Select an appropriate activity. Hiking, biking, stargazing, and dispersed camping are fantastic options. Avoid high-risk activities like rock climbing or backcountry activities, as law enforcement and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID 19 issues.
     
  3. Select low-traffic locations and times. Discover a new area. Visit less-traveled locations like state parks and national monuments during non-peak hours to avoid crowding. Check out the regions that surround and complement each national park.
     
  4. Stay home if you feel sick. Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit. Stay up-to-date on the latest instruction from the MarinRecovers.com website.
     
  5. Bring the necessary supplies. Services like trash pickup and restroom maintenance could be limited or not available at some locations. Bring the supplies you might need such as trash bags and hand sanitizer.

During Your Visit:

  1. Evaluate your surroundings. When you arrive at the recreation area, evaluate your surroundings. A full parking lot or crowded trailhead might indicate that there are too many people recreating. For your safety and the safety of other visitors, please consider changing locations or returning at a less active time. Always have a back-up plan at this time.
     
  2. Keep your distance from others. Everyone wants to safely enjoy public lands. Please make sure to stay at least six feet away from other visitors as recommend by the CDC. Wear face coverings in settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
     
  3. Support local. Find ways to support the local communities that surround these natural areas. Stock up with groceries locally, stop in an artisan shop, or eat at a restaurant in addition to campfire meals. Read tips for supporting local.

After Your Visit:

  1. Pack it in, pack it out. Take trash with you when you leave. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators.
     

    R E S P E C T

Feel free to traipse, travel and follow your joy in California and Marin, and please follow this California Responsible Travel Code while doing so.

Roam Responsibly. I will explore California thoughtfully and responsibly, maintaining the utmost respect for everyone and everything I encounter.

Educate Myself. I will do my research before traveling across the state, familiarizing myself with local regulations and community concerns, which may have changed over time. This is especially important in rural communities with limited healthcare resources.

Safety First. I will follow public health directives from government officials, including physical distancing measures. I will take all the necessary steps to minimize health risks to myself and others and stay home if I’m sick.

Preserve California. I will protect and nurture the Golden State’s pristine outdoor spaces and cultural icons, by maintaining a light footprint at every turn and paying special attention to delicate ecosystems.

Embrace Community. I will support local businesses and do my part to ensure the long-term prosperity of the places I visit.

Celebrate Culture. I will immerse myself in California’s diverse local cultures and embrace the traditions and practices I encounter.

Teach Others. I will lead by example and share these practices with fellow travelers, acknowledging that we all share the responsibility to protect California.

 



Take a Little Hike or Bike Away from Your Everyday!

Ready to explore Marin County’s open spaces? Be prepared with these travel tips for ways to visit safely and responsibly. Already, many of Marin County Park locations have reopened, and there will be more information coming in as to what other options will be available. In the meantime, if you are confused as to what is open, what is closed, and how to get there, we hope to make it a little easier to decide where to go and how to be in compliance.  Marin County Parks has made it pretty clear as to what areas are open now for visitation to make planning possible. Keep in mind that there will be limited parking at certain regional parks, and to carry a face covering to put on as needed.

Muir Woods is open now from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, with advanced reservations made through GoMuirWoods.com for parking.  Please note that there will be no Muir Woods Shuttle available this year, and parking reservations are being reduced by 50 percent to alleviate crowding. Park entrance fee collection, as well as limited food and gift services, will additionally be open.

 

Bicycling is allowed for “essential activities,” including exercise, as long as social distancing requirements are followed (maintain six feet distance from others, wash hands thoroughly and frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, ride/walk only with people you live with, etc.).
Essential activities include: 1) ensuring the health and safety of yourself and your family, 2) engaging in an outdoor activity that does not involve close contact with other people, 3) obtaining services and supplies for yourself and your family, and 4) performing employment functions that are permissible under the Order.
For more information on the most up to date Public Health Order, please refer to the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services’ website.
 


Soon to Return: The Magic of the Mill Valley Film Festival 

Under a new disguise, the 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival will be returning this year from October 8 to 18! 
The MVFF plans to be a hybrid of both an online and a new high-tech drive-in experience. Think Cinema-Quality outdoor film experience at the beautiful Lagoon Park at the Marin County Civic Center - a modern twist on a magical way to see movies. As always, this will be a robust online festival featuring U.S, independent and international films, Q&As, master classes, and panels with filmmakers from around the world. Look forward to a fantastic selection of curated films and conversations to enjoy in the comfort of your home, and outdoors at a studio-grade drive-in.

Marin Farmers Markets: Ongoing Outdoor Shopping

Don't forget that Marin has a number of farmers' markets - open, safe, and available to all!
The Sunday and Thursday Civic Center market features nearly 200 local farmers, specialty food purveyors, and artisans. In Corte Madera,  The Town Center marketplace is open every Wednesday where you'll find organic and specialty farmers, food purveyors, bakers and more showcasing their bounty in the courtyard. If three days of organic shopping isn't enough, enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, and yogurt and milk at the Marin County Mart farmers market on Saturdays. This is a year 'round rain-or-shine event so you will never be without! 

Plan a Round-Trip Get-Away to Angel Island 

Missing the fresh salty air, and sunshine? If so, jump aboard the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry for a safe open-air ride out on the bay to Angel Island. The schedule leaving Tiburon for the island in August and September will have varying hours of departure from Thursday through Sunday. All safety precautions have been taken - just enjoy an outing on the bay. 

For more details and reservations visit their website
There is no service from Monday to Wednesday.