July 2, 2011

Cross Marin Trail

We have camped at Samuel Taylor State Park before and enjoyed it so we decided to stay there again with plans to do some nearby hikes. Samuel Taylor is almost 3000 acres in Marin County. It is located on Sir Francis Drake Blvd between San Rafael and Olema.  On this trip we had a chance to do a couple of nice morning runs on the Cross Marin Trail that runs through the park. The Cross Marin Trail was once a railroad used by the Northwestern Pacific up until 1935.  Today it is a path that runs parallel to Lagunitas Creek for 4.5 miles, three of which are paved. The other 1.5 miles is dirt and gravel. It's a multi-use trail used by walkers, bikers, runners and equestrians. The trail crosses through Samuel Taylor State Park so we were able to walk to it from our campsite. On our first run we ran northwest on the trail, all of which was paved. It was mostly shaded by trees and passed into the Golden Gate Recreation Area. We came across a few cyclists on the trail but the trail was not crowded by any means. We turned back before the end of the trail and headed back. Our second run took place in the morning as well but we headed east on the trail this time. It was paved at first and then dirt and gravel for the rest of our run. We crossed a few bridges and a couple of trail heads before heading back. Again the trail was not crowded, although with it being such a great trail we bet it can get crowded later in the day. The fairly flat trail is great for walkers, runners, bikers. It's great for hikers too with several trails leading off from it, like the Pioneer Tree Trail and Devils Gulch Trail. Its easy access from Samuel Taylor Park is great also, especially if you are camping there.