Kid-Friendly Hikes


The Bay Trail Hamilton, Novato: The Hamilton section of the Bay Trail skirts the old runway of this former air force base, which has been returned to its original wetland state. The trail is flat and accessible, and welcomes walkers and cyclists to travel along the wetlands that border San Pablo Bay. Easy for families to walk, bike and stroller along. 

Cascade Falls, Mill Valley:  Cascade Falls' short trail and mild elevation changes mean that this is a perfect waterfall hike for all ages. It's not suitable for an off-road stroller, though. If you're up for a longer hike, try taking the trail all the way to Cascade Falls from downtown Mill Valley or Old Mill Park. Not to be confused with Cascade Falls in Fairfax

Chimney Rock, Point Reyes: This spot near the lighthouse in Point Reyes National Seashore boasts a dazzling array of wildflowers, amazing views of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean, an overlook that gives visitors a look at a beach full of Northern Elephant Seals in the winter and spring, and even an historic Coast Guard lifeboat station down by the water. 

Fairway Waterfall, Novato: This hike is a popular one for Marin families, it is a short easy hike with a wide path, known as the Fairway Waterfall or Buck Gulch Falls, It can be really amazing, especially when it's been raining heavily. The hike there is along the stream with lots of trees and cover. The 30-foot waterfall cascades over a cliff into a rocky pool below. It's a peaceful spot to take a break to prepare for the return hike and listen to the soothing sounds of splashing water.

Muir Woods, Mill Valley: Walk among old-growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape.

Ring Mountain, Tiburon: The grassy slopes afford fantastic views of Mount Tamalpais, the bay, and San Francisco. Trails wind through rock formations, across tiny creeks, through wildflower-dotted hillsides, and under old coast live oaks and California bays. This small preserve gets a lot of use from neighborhood residents and dogwalkers, and has a ton of unofficial paths and shortcuts. The fire roads on the south slope of Ring Mountain can be accessed by a few small streets off of Tiburon Boulevard.

Tennessee Valley Trail, Mill Valley: Tennessee Valley is an amazing offshoot of the Marin Headlands, with hiking trails that suit the whole family. The Tennessee Valley Trail is mostly level; it begins at the parking area and travels 1.7 miles to Tennessee Beach. 

Waterfall Trail, Indian Valley, Novato: The Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato offers a short and easy waterfall hike that almost anyone can manage. Sturdy offroad strollers on the trail would be fine. Take the Indian Valley Fire Road from either the Indian Valley Road trailhead or from the back of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus to where it meets the aptly named Waterfall Trail, where you'll cross over a little wooden bridge into the woods, with a stream burbling trailside.