Blithedale Summit Open Space Preserve
Take the Tiburon Blvd/E Blithedale Ave exit west on E Blithedale Ave, turn right at Carmelita Ave,
turn right at Buena Vista Ave (becomes Glen Dr). MCOSD gate is at the end.
Mill Valley, California 94942
Local Phone: (415) 499-6387
This preserve is the largest link (899 acres) in a chain of preserves that follow the “Northridge” of Mount Tamalpais as it sweeps down between the communities of Mill Valley and Corte Madera. The trails and roads in this area pass through a variety of habitats, including deep forests and dense chaparral. The fire roads along the ridges are generally steep and rocky, but there are plenty of routes that take you through quiet redwood groves among huckleberries and sword ferns. Pileated woodpeckers and the endangered northern spotted owl nest here. The woodpeckers chip away at fallen trees looking for carpenter ants by day, while the owls swoop down on dusky-footed woodrats at night. In spring, listen for the endlessly melodic song of the winter wren in the deeper canyons. These cool canyons support a variety of different lilies in early spring, including fetid adder’s tongue and two species of trillium. In the chaparral, look for the uncommon tree poppy among the manzanita and ceanothus.
Dogs under voice control are welcome to roam off leash.
Parking: Roadside parking near the open space gate on the right.
Water: Bring your own.
Best time of year for this hike: Beautiful year round.
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.6 miles