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Four of Marin County's Best Hikes

Formed in 1850 as one of the original 27 counties of California, Marin County is a wealth of protected areas, from the Point Reyes National Seashore to Samuel P. Taylor State Park. These areas include some of the finest shorelines and forests along the California coast. Find the right hike for you below, whether you're craving a beach-side waterfall or creek-side redwoods.

 

1) Palomarin Trailhead to Alamere Falls 

alamere falls
Alamere Falls | S Vivek/Flickr/Creative Commons

8 Miles, Moderate

There are many hikes that lead to waterfalls, but few that could match the rarity of Alamere Falls. Dropping 40 feet into the sea from the bluffs above the beach, these falls are one of nature's true show stoppers. And while the destination is well worth the trek, the journey is nothing to complain about, as hikers follow the Coastal Trail through waves of Douglas fir and coastal scrub from the initial start at Palomarin Trailhead. Visit here for more information.

 2) Muir Beach to Rodeo Beach

rodeo beach
Trail Along Rodeo Beach | Franco Folini/Flickr/Creative Commons

 

12 miles, Moderate to Strenuous

With unbeatable views of the Marin Headlands, hikers often comment on the solitude that can be embraced on this long hike -- thanks in part to the often fogged in sections of this undulating swath of the California Coastal Trail. Combine that with the opportunity to step into the sands of at least three different beaches (Rodeo, Muir, and Tennessee) along the way, and this jaunt among the bluffs of Marin is a top destination, no matter what time of year it is. Visit here for more information.

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3) Chimney Rock Trail

chimney rock
Chimney Rock | albedo20/Flickr/Creative Commons

2 miles, Easy

While perhaps not to best place to seek out a quiet refuge from the city, this trail offers remarkable features for all age-levels to enjoy. In spring, the Chimney Rock Trail is adorned with wildflowers that stretch across seaside bluffs that veer into the sea below. And in winter you may even catch a glimpse of a colony of elephant seals (as seen in the photo above) lounging in a cove just below the trail. Visit here for more information.

4) Steep Ravine Trail to Dipsea Trail Loop

 

steep ravine trail
Steep Ravine Trail | Mark Doliner/Flickr/Creative Commons

4.4 miles, Moderate

Multiple creek crossings under a welcome canopy of stately redwoods -- how much more refreshing can a hike get? Following along the rollicking Webb Creek among serene green foliage, this trail rewards around every bend of the creek. And keep your eyes peeled for the 14-rung wooded ladder near the campground! Visit here for more information.

 

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