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.

Holiday Hike for Families on the Earthquake Trail

December 16, 2008

Earthquake trail in Point ReyesWhen you're sick of shopping... When you can't stand another Christmas song piped in on the sound system... When you can't bear one more cheesy holiday special on ABC Family Channel's seemingly endless parade of TV movies... Maybe it's time to forget about the Christmas rush, bundle up, hit the trail, and take the family outdoors for a holiday hike.

Fortunately for us, we live in California, and winter is almost like our spring: no snow, no ice, and bright green grass springing up everywhere. It's really one of the most beautiful times to head outdoors and take a hike and be thankful that you didn't listen to your older brother and move out to Chicago, where as I write this it's a balmy 8ºF.

Nature Deficit Disorder? No Way!

October 24, 2008

"Nature deficit disorder" is a real thing, and families can prevent it by getting up and heading outdoors. Go on a hike, head to the beach, or even just visit the park. Whatever you do, it's important just to get outside and get active. The SF Chronicle's outdoors writer, Tom Stienstra, explores this problem and tell us what we can do about it.

Luckily, in the Bay Area and Marin in particular, there is no shortage of amazing state and national parks, open space areas, beaches, hiking trails, and nature preserves. It's all in our own backyard, so take advantage of it.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to This Year's Mountain Play

April 11, 2008

Dorothy and Toto from the 2008 Mountain Play, The Wizard of OzI’ve always wanted to experience one of the Mountain Plays up on beautiful Mount Tamalpais--with a picnic lunch, of course--but so far have just never made it. The 2008 production will be a family favorite, The Wizard of Oz. My son, who recently saw part of The Wizard of Oz on TV (we skipped the creepy flying monkeys and other scary stuff), noticed the Mountain Play flyer the other day, and decided that he wanted to go. Here is my chance to finally experience one of these unique productions!

West Marin Wildflowers at Abbott's Lagoon

March 28, 2008

Abbott's Lagoon trail in Point Reyes National SeashoreThe coming of spring ushers in California's all too brief wildflower season. One of the best places to see wildflowers in the Bay Area is the Point Reyes National Seashore in West Marin. Repeat visitors to this site know that Point Reyes is probably our favorite place for a family outdoor outing, and in March and April you can also see some pretty spectacular wildflower displays, especially since we've had a wet winter.

Save Our California State Parks!

January 19, 2008

As most everyone knows by now, the plan to alleviate California's current budget woes includes closing 48 of our state parks. In Marin and the North Bay, we stand to lose access to local parks like the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park and one of our favorite places, Tomales Bay State Park. (Here's a map showing all the proposed park closures in the state.) Tomales Bay State Park, located in West Marin just north of Inverness, is home to the popular Heart's Desire Beach, one of the few beaches in Marin—and the Bay Area for that matter—that's actually good for swimming.

Kid-friendly bike paths in Marin

August 8, 2007

There are countless spectacular views in Marin and many of those views can be enjoyed on the many bike paths that the county has to offer. Growing up in Marin gave me the chance to try a lot of the different bike paths, and of course now I take my children to them as well. Most of the paths are mixed-use, and are appropriate for bikes, walking, big wheels, tricycles, strollers, and other kid-friendly conveyances.

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