Marin Coast Walkabout - A Trail Change

The Marin Coast Walkabout is a 4-day hike from Marin Headlands to Point Reyes National Seashore.  There has been a major trail change on Day Three – from Stinson Beach to Bolinas.  The route starts out unchanged, leaving Stinson, climbing to Bolinas Ridge and hiking the Coastal Trail to Bolinas-Fairfax Road.  Bourne Trail is now neglected and overgrown.  Here are two alternative routes.


First Alternative:  Cross Bolinas-Fairfax Road and hike Bolinas Ridge Trail.  It starts in serene redwoods, emerges into an open manzanita and oak forest, then back to redwoods.  Continuing along the rolling ridgeline, the forests alternate for 3.5 miles until McCurdy Trail.  Descend McCurdy for 1.7 miles to Highway 1.  This is not a well maintained trail, but it is popular with mountain bikers who keep it from becoming overgrown.  Initially it is steep, but it soon enters the forest and becomes more gradual.  Leaving the forest, hike the final mile through beautiful, rolling grasslands, descending into the wooded Olema Valley.  You are walking down to the San Andreas Fault.

Turn left on Highway 1 for a brief walk on the shoulder.  Turn right on Horseshoe Hill Road, a quiet forested country lane passing by small homesteads.  Turn right on Olema Bolinas Road, and hike the walking path along the road into Bolinas.


Second Alternative:  Descend from the ridge on Bolinas-Fairfax Road.  We try to avoid walking on roads, but this one is very pretty with little traffic.  It winds through the forest with periodic windows that open to Bolinas Lagoon and the Pacific.  Hike the road for 4.3 miles to Highway 1.  Cross the highway and walk the path along Olema Bolinas Road into Bolinas.

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  • Dee Dee,

    The Marin Coast Walkabout is moderately challenging.  It hikes the coastal hills and valleys from Marin Headlands to Point Reyes National Seashore. The first two days are fairly short - 7 and 6.8 miles. Some folks choose to do a shorter, 2-day adventure. Days 3 and 4 are 13.5 and 14 miles.  We have over 13 hours of daylight now, so even the longer days can be hiked at a leisurely pace with plenty of rest stops. The inns are open and they are taking covid safety precautions.  You can also check out short-term rentals on Airbnb or VRBO. The book and guides have a sketch map, detailed descriptions of the trails,  and recommendations for good topo maps. You'll also find transportation information for getting to the trailhead to start the hike and for returning when you are finished.

    This is a beautiful inn-to-inn hike.

    Happy Hiking,

    Tom Courtney

  • Can anyone give me more details on how to plan this trip and the level of difficulty?  Is there a map available that provides directions and details?

    Thank you!

    Dee Dee :)

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