Best Flat Hikes In Marin: A Stroll in Tennessee Valley
For the second in our series on flat hikes in Marin, we’re heading to Tennessee Valley in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This trail follows our “no elevation and no compromises” rule — on this flat hike you’ll immerse in the scene with the expansive sky, rolling hills, and a pocket beach on the Pacific. Bonus? This trailhead is only a 10 minute drive from Acqua Hotel, 15 minutes from Mill Valley Inn, and 20 minutes from Waters Edge Hotel.
The how-to on this is pretty easy. Set your GPS to Tennessee Valley Trailhead. You’ll drive down Tennessee Valley Road until you come to a parking lot (with restrooms). If there isn’t a spot right away circle the lot because there’s frequent turn-over. If you can’t find a spot in the lot, you can park roadside.
Now hit the trail! It’s a 3.5 mile out-and-back; plan on two hours round trip. The first portion of the trail is flat, wide, and paved. When you hit a fork in the trail you do have the option of taking the high-road. That’s the upper trail on the right. To keep it flat, take the lower trail on left. When you come to the end of the lower trail, you’ll take a left to head towards the beach. Just enjoy the view, the sound of the ocean waves crashing, the feeling of being surrounded by cliffs on a beautiful little beach.
Before you head back, we suggest going up to the Lookout Point. Yes, we said UP! It’s a well-marked trail with stairs, and even if you’re pokey, it’s only a 10 minute walk. The views are WORTH IT.
p.s. Please stay away from the cliff’s edge!
See you out there!