Marin County Hikes With Scenic Endings!
Summer might be coming to an end but for those of us lucky enough to live in Marin County, or visit, we still have months of beautiful weather ahead of us. What better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall than to get outside and take advantage of the incredibly beautiful, and varied, landscapes that Marin has to offer! Our favorite hikes are those with a special surprise at the end:
- Point Reyes Lighthouse: This is a great walk for all level of hikers, surrounded by redwoods and amazing greenery. The steps down to, and then up from, the 1870 lighthouse are challenging but the views over the Pacific are worth it! (Photo courtesy of Mygola)
- Nature Friends Tourist Club: Built as a private club on Mt. Tamalpais in 1914, the Tourist Club looks like it’s straight out of Austria. Though usually reserved for members only, three times a year the club hosts a festival open to the public, the next one being Kinderfest on September 17, 2017. If you can’t make the festival, you can still hike around this incredibly scenic area. (Photo courtesy of Roadtrippers)
- Point Bonita Lighthouse: Even though the hike to the still active Point Bonita lighthouse in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is only a half-mile, it requires passing through a tunnel carved by Chinese laborers in 1876 and crossing over the water on a suspension bridge. A free shuttle runs Saturdays and Sundays from a designated dropoff/pickup point inside the Marin Headlands, going directly to the lighthouse trail head. You’ll be rewarded with ruins of an historic Coast Guard rescue station, wildflowers and pillow basalt rock formations. (Photo Courtesy of Rashad Sisemore, San Francisco Chronicle)
- Cataract Falls: Especially beautiful after a heavy rain, the Cataract Falls on Mt. Tam are the area’s most popular for a reason. The Cataract Creek Trail is a perfect excuse to spend a day in the woods. The creek’s waterfalls provide a spectacular anchor for the 7-mile loop through the scenic lands that make up the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. The hike includes scenic vistas of the Pacific Ocean, forests of young redwoods and Douglas fir. Best part? You can bring your dog on leash! (Photo courtesy of Pat Ulrich Photography)