One of my favorite things about living in the Bay Area is that there seems to be an ever expanding selection of Open Spaces, Preserves, Parks, and Land Trusts that continually pop up on our radar. Our latest discovery was San Geronimo Valley’s Roy’s Redwoods, which is one of the Marin County Park’s Open Space Preserves. Here is the website for directions and more info. This preserve hosts some of the largest Redwoods in Marin and is a fantastic place to go for a short hike with little ones, or just go frolic amongst the giant trees and take in the majesty. While summer months apparently see quite the crowd of equestrians, the winter is off limits for horses and thus the trail will mainly consist of two legged creatures along with the occasional leashed four legged friend. Be forewarned that even our noon hike into the meadow saw lots of frost and little sunshine.
We recommend taking the Dickson Ridge Fire Road for a good heart pumping start to your journey, which additionally adds a full sun exposure component to ensure all your digits are thoroughly thawed. Being the family that never shies from a good picnic spot, we found the perfect locale to lay out a spread of food with plenty of rocks for all behinds to rest upon. The views are truly spectacular and lend themselves to a leisurely lunch before heading on. The Fire Road dead ends up above so what goes up must go down, but it’s a recommended trip at least to the picnic spot if not all the way up.
Once you descend you can take the Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail for a complete loop of approximately 3 miles, or take the short cut Meadow trail off the Roy’s Redwood loop to drop into the Big Grove of Redwoods. If you are just out for a gander at the Big Trees you can take the Meadow trail from the trailhead straight into the grove and play around in the hollowed out giants.
In short, a great place to go for those less physically inclined to hike far, with less crowds than the traditional places like Muir Woods, but also a nice place for a moderate hike of a few miles should you desire. The added benefit is that it is right down the road from the Inkwells at Lagunitas Creek in Samuel P Taylor State Park, (home to the largest remaining run of Central California Coho Salmon). Therefore, it’s easy to make a day out of seeing the Salmon spawn and topping it off with a stroll through the Ancient Redwoods, but more on that in another post.
No parking fee, on-leash dogs permitted.
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