What’s Best: A scenic shoreline path for all muscle-powered modes, with many benches along the way to take it easy in front of inspiring city views. Warning: Blackies makes excercise habit forming.
Parking: From Hwy. 101 take Tiburon Blvd. Go east on Tiburon Blvd. for about 1.5 ml. and turn right into Blackies Pasture parking lot, across from Trestle Glen Blvd. Agency: Town of Tiburon
Hike: Richardson Bay Park loop (1.25 ml.); Tiburon (5 ml.)
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Blackie was a swaybacked horse who for 25 years, until his last days in 1966, stood guard in the pasture where his statue stands today. God bless him. For the Richardson Bay Park loop which is the official name for the park that includes several smaller ones start down the paved multi-use path. Bear right at the big grass field, McKegney Green. You’ll skirt the shore, passing Little Lady Lorie Gazebo at water’s edge. Continue to the point that has several benches to enjoy a view of the San Francisco skyline and the sailboats frolicking in the bay waters. From the point this is the South-of-the-Knoll Park follow the path up to the multi-use path and turn left to the parking area.
To walk to Tiburon, you can begin on the shore route described above; or, just keep left on the multi-use path leading from Blackies Pasture. Beyond South-of-the-Knoll Park, the path runs along the bay shore for about .75-mile, but it’s also right next to busy Tiburon Boulevard. If the tide is out, you can avoid traffic noise and drop down and walk a rocky beach. Then, after crossing San Rafael Avenue, the path continues away from the boulevard, for a tree-shaded .75-mile until you merge with Tiburon Boulevard. Duck in along shops during the last .5-mile to the center of town, where you enjoy the view of Angel Island and San Francisco. More Stuff: To make a semi-loop, walk to your right when the multi-use path reaches San Rafael Avenue; a pleasant path follows Public Shore. San Rafael Avenue curves left and reaches Beach Boulevard, where you go left by yacht harbors to the center of town.
The ornate Victorian Lyford House, subject of more than one movie set, is the jewel in the setting of the striking Audubon Bay Center & Sanctuary. You can walk there, about .5-mile away, by taking Greenwood Beach Road, the road that is blocked to cars from the west end of the Blackies Pasture lot. Or, to drive, go west on Tiburon Boulevard from Blackies about 1.5 miles and turn left on Greenwood. On the grounds of the center, a National Audubon Society education and conservation facility, is a .5-mile nature loop that takes in the knoll and shoreline. The Lyford House, which features artwork by John James Audubon, is usually open Sundays for tours. Note: An admission is charged to tour the grounds.
Bike: For a Tiburon Town loop, a flat ride of about 6 miles, pedal down the multi-use path, as described above, only turn right on San Rafael Avenue. Continue to Beach Street and then left to Tiburon. For a recommended variation, to take a look at the posh Belvedere Island, veer right along the water line on West Shore Road, where San Rafael Avenue hooks left. West Shore comes to an end after about a mile, where you ride a steep, short switchback to your left. You’ll reach the top at Belvedere Avenue. Go right, passing large, stately homes with bridge and city views. Continue around the south tip of the island, to Beach Road. Follow Beach around and down to Tiburon. To return, ride west along Tiburon Boulevard until you pick up the bike path, on your left across from Mar West Street.
For a Tiburon Peninsula loop, a popular 8-mile run for ten-speeders, head down the multi-use path all the way, dovetailing finally with Tiburon Boulevard. When you reach the water in the center of town, hang a left on Paradise Drive. For the first .5-mile, the road is flat along the shore. Then you climb and curve, losing and gaining minor elevation, for the next 2 or 3 miles, with views down through conifer and laurel forests toward Paradise Cove. At the only stop sign on this route, 3 miles from Tiburon, go left on Trestle Glenn Boulevard. This takes you to Blackies Pasture. Be Aware: Watch for traffic on Paradise Drive; portions are without shoulder.