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.

Visit the Morgan Horses at Point Reyes

April 4, 2010

Morgan horseOne of our favorite places to go out in Point Reyes is the Bear Valley Visitor Center near Olema. It's a justifiably popular family destination for a number of reasons: the visitor center with its dioramas and nature exhibits, short trails perfect for a hike with small children, an expansive picnic area with tables and barbecue grills, and a working Morgan horse ranch.

We always make a point of visiting the Point Reyes Morgan Horse Ranch on our outings to the area. Combined with another short trail like the Earthquake Trail or the one to the Kule Loklo Miwok village, it makes for a managable hike with little kids. Of course there's something to do and see at the end of the trail, too, which is a plus.

The Morgan Horse Ranch is run by the National Park Service, and rangers use the horses at parks all of the country to patrol the back country and wilderness areas. Morgan horses are considered the first American breed of horse, and are prized for their sturdy nature and calm temperament. Famous Morgan horses in American history include Confederate general Stonewall Jackson's Little Sorrel, Union cavalry commander Philip Sheridan's Rienzi, and

5 Tips For Camping With A Toddler.

June 22, 2009

Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Bay Area mom blogger Naomi Tripi. You can read more of her tips for parents of babies and toddlers on her blog at www.tripibabytips.blogspot.com

Toddlers are wild and crazy, you might think that taking them out into the wild would be as natural as breathing, but it is really a lot of work. There are more ways for your snuggly little tsunami to hurt themselves out in the woods than there are in a public restroom! However, getting your favorite bunny-hopper out doors is good for them too. You might not be able to enjoy the peace and solace of nature like you used to, but with a few tips, navigating some of the common pitfalls will be much easier.

103 Things for Kids to do in San Francisco

April 28, 2009

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting activities to do with my children. Every now and then (when I get a chance) I like to take my kids into the city and try something new. I like to read The Mommy Files on SFGate and came across a great list of 103 things all S.F. kids should do in the city before they grow up. It’s an excellent list of fun and unique things to do with your children or with visiting families from out of town. Check out the list for yourself at The Mommy Files website on SFGate.

Wildflower Madness in West Marin

April 19, 2009

wildflowers at Point ReyesIt's mid-April and Northern Calfornia's wildflowers are pretty much at their peak. Spring is kind of an emphemeral time here in Marin, with the vibrant green grass quickly turning to brown by the end of May. For whatever reason we seem to have a bumper crop of magnificent wildflowers here in Marin this season. The wildflower show will be over before we know if, so make sure you get out and take a look before they're gone for another year.

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.

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