Boots on the Ground

jack wolford

Wheels, Strollers and Wheelchairs

VERNA DUNSHEE LOOP TRAIL Slightly less than a mile, this paved flat loop starts at the visitor center at East Peak at the top of Mount Tamalpais and provides some of the best views from any trail in the Bay Area. The drive up to East Peak is an adventure in itself. (Mill Valley)

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PERIMETER ROAD AT ANGEL ISLAND The views are spectacular on the 5.5-mile loop around Angel Island. Start your hike at the visitor center and head up a short hill; the rest of the loop is fairly flat and delivers 360-degree views of the bay, San Francisco and the East Bay. (Tiburon)

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LAS GALLINAS WILDLIFE PONDS Just behind the McInnis Park Golf Course, a 3-mile loop starts at the canoe launch and includes lots of birding opportunities on a mostly flat trail. The path can get a bit bumpy but provides a scenic trip on the levees that weave along Las Gallinas Creek. (San Rafael)

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GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE Start on the Marin side at the Conzelman Road lot (this lot can fill up quickly) and walk the eastern (city-facing) span across to the San Francisco side to grab a snack. It’s loud and no dogs are permitted, but everyone should make the stunning 3-mile round-trip. (Sausalito)

Easy Stroll

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PHOENIX LAKE LOOP A kid-friendly 2.5-mile mostly rolling fire road/trail meanders along the perimeter of the lake, with a couple of sets of stairs. Get there early, as the very limited parking lot fills quickly; from the trailhead on, expect great views after you get through the trees, with miles of trails to enjoy. (Ross)

RODEO LAGOON TRAIL LOOP A perfect complement to a day at Rodeo Beach: slap on your shoes for an easy 2-mile stroll around the Rodeo Lagoon. Begin from the beach parking lot, cross the beach to the south and look for the small trail to the left that follows the lagoon shore. (Sausalito)

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BALTIMORE CANYON Start your 2-mile round-trip hike at the end of Madrone Avenue in Larkspur. Enjoy the shaded and peaceful Dawn Falls Trail, which winds along Larkspur Creek. Explore the many trail options to reach Crown Road and Mount Tamalpais. (Larkspur)

TERWILLIGER NATURE TRAIL AT STAFFORD LAKE The 2-mile round-trip starts with a short ascent section, wending through grassland. Pass through redwoods and finish with a few short switchbacks that lead to a shaded bench looking down on Stafford Lake. (Novato)

The Grind

STEEP RAVINE TO MATT DAVIS, MOUNT TAMALPAIS This hike starts with a relatively strenuous 6.5-mile stretch just south of the firehouse in Stinson Beach. Follow signs to the Dipsea Trail and continue to the Steep Ravine Trail. It’s all uphill to the Pantoll ranger station through the dense redwoods; then cross Highway 1 to a nice downhill trek back down on the Matt Davis Trail. (Stinson Beach)

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PALOMARIN TO ALAMERE FALLS The 7.5-mile round-trip begins at the Palomarin trailhead parking lot. Head up the stairs and take a left. The mostly rolling, smooth trail goes in and out of the shade; the payoff is Alamere Falls at the beach. (Bolinas)

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THE DIPSEA TRAIL A one-way 7-mile hike from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Start at Old Mill Park in Mill Valley, and head across the Old Mill Bridge up the Dipsea stairs; end with a descent to the beach. (Mill Valley)

COASTAL TRAIL AND HILL 88 LOOP Start by hiking up the Coastal Trail from Fort Cronkhite/Rodeo Beach to the top of Hill 88. The 5.5-mile loop features views of Mount Diablo and of S.F. clear down to Ocean Beach. Start your return downhill via the Wolf Ridge Trail and Miwok Trail, finishing up along Rodeo Lagoon. (Sausalito)