Family Friendly Hiking In Marin County; Tennessee Valley Trail
Marin County is filled with nature and has many trails for biking and hiking. In fact 80% of Marin has been preserved for parks and recreation, agricultural use, and wildlife preservation. There are many things to do with kids in Marin and taking nature hikes is one of them.
Mill Valley's Tennessee Valley Trail
One of my favorite hikes is the one in Mill Valley along the Tennessee Valley Trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area or GGNRA. This hike begins at the end of Tennessee Valley Road and ends at Tennessee Beach and is a 3.1 mile loop. Park your car in the parking lot near the public Miwok Stables and Livery but get there early on the weekends or you may have a hard time finding parking.
If you are hiking with small children bring a stroller and do not bring the family dog since dogs are allowed on the trail. You will begin your hike on a paved road and splinter off to the right onto the dirt trail. There are many beautiful things to see along your journey including wildflowers, tall grasses, blackberry bushes, birds, jackrabbits, snakes, and many insects. You will hike for just over 1 1/2 miles before you get to the secluded beach surrounded by towering rock walls.
Many families do this hike with their young children so you will not be alone on the trails. The beach is a great place to hunt for beautiful rocks and have a picnic. My children's favorite picnic spot is in a rock alcove that feels like a cave but there are many areas to sit down, relax, and listen to the waves crash into the beach. Hikes like this one really can make you feel lucky to be alive and living in such a magnificently beautiful place.