Lace up those hiking boots and get your gear together... it's time to hit the trail! Marin County is a paradise for families who love the outdoors, with over 50% of the county's land dedicated as protected open space. The Point Reyes National Seashore, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and the Golden Gate National Recreation area are only a few of the outstanding natural resources that we have right in out own backyard. It's a great way to both educate children about nature and the environment and to get some exercise.

On this page, we've collected all our posts on family-friendly hikes, walks, beaches, and other outdoor activities and resources. If you have a favorite hike or place you'd like to share, or if you'd like to submit an outdoors-related post as a guest contributor, please contact us.

Six Spectacular Spring Hikes for Families in Marin

March 17, 2015

Ring Mountain Wildflowers

Spring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, seasonal waterfalls (if it rains, of course), and wildlife. Before the summer heat bakes the new green hillside grass brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but are especially nice during the spring. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too.

Spectacular Views and Spring Wildflowers Await at Ring Mountain

March 8, 2015

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve

Early spring is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area. It's one of our all-time favorite family hikes.

We took a hike there this weekend, and spotted California poppies, yellow bush lupines, buttercups, Douglas iris, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.

10 Cool Camps for Spring Break in Marin

March 7, 2015

Spring Break Camp in MarinLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming spring break in April? Check out our list of 10 great spring break day camps here in Marin County. Unless otherwise noted, camps take place between April 13 and 17, 2015.

  • Studio 4 Art
    1133 Grant Avenue, Novato

    (415) 596-5546
    Studio 4 Art specializes in true traditional art techniques with a modern and contemporary twist. Campers at Studio 4 Art can choose from drawing, illustration, painting (acrylic, oil, and water), cartooning, clay, ceramics, wheel-throwing, sculpture, sewing, mosaics, screen-printing, t-shirt design, mono printing, relief printing, photography, and mixed media. Each camp highlights as many of these topics as time permits. Camps take place April 13–17 from 9:30 am-–1:30 pm. Cost: $315 for the week, $68 daily drop-in (must reserve 24 hours ahead). 10% sibling discount. For more info, visit www.studio4art.net.
  • Rolling Hills Club Spring Break Camp
    351 San Andreas Drive, Novato
    (415) 897-2185

    Come explore spring with insects, flowers, eggs, fun April Fools crafts, and more. Each day has a different theme! Play games, laugh, create crafts, have lots of fun and, of course, we will sports and splash the day away! April 13–17, 9 am–4 pm. Extended care available. Cost: $60 members, $70 guests, daily; $270 members, $315 guests per week. For more info, visit their website.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve

February 23, 2015

Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve Novato

While not as iconic, renowned, or tall as southern Marin's Mount Tamalpais, Novato's Mount Burdell offers its own kind of charm and appeal for families looking for an easy outdoor outing. Mount Burdell Open Space preserve boasts plenty of wide fire roads and trails that are perfect for a hike with small children. Those after more challenging treks can head uphill and look for the seasonal Hidden Lake, hike to the top of the 1,558-foot peak for amazing views of the San Francisco Bay Area, and even drop down into neighboring Olompali State Historic Park.

Get Back to Nature at Summer Camp 2015

February 19, 2015

NatureBridge Coastal Camp Marin HeadlandsLiving in Marin, you don't have to look far for a summer camp that takes advantage of some of the amazing natural resources we have right in our own backyard. Parents have several outstanding nature and outdoors oriented summer camps to choose from. Here is a selection of some of our favorite day camps in Marin that have an emphasis on the outdoors and the natural world around us for ages 4 to 18. To find more fantastic summer camps, visit our 2015 Marin Summer Camp Guide.

  • Audubon Summer Adventures Camp is located at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Tiburon. Camp sessions start June 8 and run through August 14. Week-long sessions for kids 4–9 take place from 9 am–2 pm, include themes like Amazing Predators, The Mighty Bay, Survivor, Shark Week, and Mud Warriors. Fees for these sessions are $340 per week. They also offer Expedition Camp ($385 per week) and On the Fly Camp ($340 per week) for children in grades 4–6, where campers deliver a little deeper into the varied habitats of Marin County and visit environments like the bay, ocean, redwood forest, and more. Extended hours untiil 5 pm are available for an additional cost. Visit their website for more information and to register.

Shhh… Don't Tell Anyone About Chicken Ranch Beach

February 1, 2015

Chicken Ranch Beach in Inverness

When the weather warms up (even if it's in the middle of winter!), it's time to take advantage of it and head to the beach. Good, safe swimming beaches with warm weather can be hard to come by in Marin County and the Bay Area, but they're there if you know where to look. Some of them are hidden gems known only to locals and other insiders. Chicken Ranch Beach, located on Tomales Bay just outside the West Marin town of Inverness, is one of those well kept secrets. (So do us a favor and don't tell anyone about it, OK?)

Javascript is required to view this map.