What’s Best: A multi-use path through the heart of Marin that makes a loop alongside both banks of wide canal, with a view of Mount Tamalpais.
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Parking: From Highway 101, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. west. Continue for about a mile and turn left, toward the hospital, on Bon Air Rd. Park parallel on road, beginning at Hal Brown (Creekside) Park, .25-
The Corte Madera Creek walk begins about 2 miles upstream from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal on the navigable creek, in Mount Tam’s rain shadow. After about .75-mile on the paved path, you’ll come to where the creek enters a concrete canal, and another creek forks in from the left. Select one of the view benches here, or one of the many that line the path on your return walk.
For the Creek loop, continue a short distance along the concrete canal. Cross over a footbridge and turn left. Note: The path to the right continues for .25-mile to College Avenue. Heading back down the creek, the unpaved loop path comes to the confluence of two creeks. Veer right on a trail that skirts fenced Peiper Field. You continue around to your right to a roughly paved parking area. Across this parking area, to your left, you’ll see a footbridge. Cross the parking lot and the footbridge. You’re now on the unpaved road that heads back on the opposite bank of Corte Madera Creek.
The path to 26-acre Hal BrownPark is at the north end of the parking for Corte Madera Creek. After a short walk, you come to the large lawn, picnic area, and tree-shaded playground that includes a tricycle track, huge climbing net, and wall. To the left, steps lead to a Coastal Conservancy interpretive kiosk and views of the creek and Mount Tam one of the better lowland looks at the noted peak. Kids go nuts here.
Bike: This trailhead lies midway along the Corte Madera Creek bike path that transects Marin from Larkspur Landing to Ross. It’s convenient to get from here to anywhere in central and southern Marin. To Larkspur Landing, TH29, cross Bon Air Avenue and pedal South Eliseo .75-mile over a rise. You drop down to the creek bike path that goes to the ferry terminal. From there you can take the bay route to San Rafael and China Camp; see TH29. To downtown San Rafael, TH31, take the bike path from Hal BrownPark, as per the hiking description above. At the end of the path, cross Sir Francis Drake and take Wolfe Grade, which goes over a hill toSan Rafael.
Hal Brown Park
To Ross and Phoenix Lake, TH47 where you can continue to Mt. Tam or Fairfax head north on the bike lane to Kentfield. Cross College Avenue, and pedal through College of Marin parking lots, keeping right, and follow a narrow bike lane along the creek that comes out behind the post office in Ross; see TH47. Be Aware: Watch for pedestrians on the creek route from the college. For a faster route to Ross from College of Marin, veer left out of the parking lot and turn right on Kent-Poplar Avenue.
To go south to Larkspur, TH50, from this trailhead, cross over the creek using the bike lane on the Bon Air bridge. When you get to Magnolia Avenue, take a bike lane that runs on the east side of Magnolia. This takes you to Larkspur and along the old railroad easement that runs behind town to Corte Madera. See TH50 for directions to connect with Mill Valley and Richardson Bayfront.