French Ranch Open Space

French Ranch Open Space

Marin County Parks Open Space Leash Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome to enjoy trails. Dogs are allowed off-leash under strict voice control on fire protection roads. Please follow posted rules.

Marin County Parks Open Space Preserve

This 403 acre preserve was added to the MCOSD system in 2000. It incorporates the south-facing slope above the western end of the San Geronimo Valley.

Together with the Gary Giacomini and Roy’s Redwoods Preserves, these lands constitute a major portion of the Lagunitas Creek watershed, so management practices in this area involve protecting and improving habitat for the endangered coho salmon.

At the western end of the preserve is a steep slope that includes significant areas of exposed serpentine. The unique soil derived from this mineral supports many rare plants, including serpentine reedgrass, Tiburon buckwheat, and Tamalpais lessingia.

The French Ranch Fire Road allows access to the ridge overlooking the valley; it runs alongside a deep, forested canyon that is a haven for wildlife among the plentiful Douglas fir, redwood, oak, and tanoak trees.

The fire road that runs along the ridge passes in and out of private property along the border of the preserve. Please be respectful of our neighbors if you use this road to access or exit this preserve.

Take the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit west past Fairfax and turn right at Nicasio Valley Road. MCOSD gate is on the left.

• Parking: Limited to the side of the road.
• Fee: None
• Water: Bring your own
• Best time of year for this hike: Nice year round but watch out for foxtails during the summer, shade is also limited.
• Degree of difficulty: Easy
• Distance: 3 miles
• Hours of operation: Sunrise to sunset

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