Marin County Parks and Open Space Department

2018–2019 Road and Trail Projects

The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) road and trail projects are part of the science-based, public inclusive, comprehensive Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP), which addresses the complex challenges of MCOSD roads and trails. The plan was developed over the course of four years on the basis of extensive outreach and public input. The MCOSD road and trail projects are designed and implemented to reduce the erosion from the road and trail network and to enhance visitor experience and safety. For information about 2016 and 2017 projects, visit the Road & Trail Projects Archive.

Ponti Ridge: Pacheco Valle


The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) has summarized the public comments received from November 7 to December 7, 2018, during the public comment period for the draft project description. The next step for this project will be to proceed with an Initial Study pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Contact Jon Campo at (415) 473-2868 if you have questions.

The Ponti Fire Road is a dilapidated and steep fire road that extends from the end of Heatherstone Drive up to the ridge between the Pacheco Valle Open Space Preserve and the Marinwood Community Services District Open Space. The road is used year-round for recreational trail use and the lower segment accessible by emergency vehicles. A large portion of the road is in disrepair and a section of the road experienced a major landslide in 2005. The fire road was identified as a road to multiuse trail conversion project (pending realignment) during the Region 3 designation process in August 2016. The primary purpose of the proposed project is to reduce the overall environmental impacts of roads and trails, address the slope drainage to reduce the risk of future landslides, and improve the visitor experience. The project is being developed in conjunction with the Marinwood Fire Department, Novato Fire Protection District, Marin County Fire Department, Marinwood Community Services District, open space neighbors, and the Marin County environmental community. Funding for this project will come from Measure A.

Project Objectives:

  • Reduce environmental impacts of roads and social trails;
  • Reduce risk of landslide potential;
  • Improve trail safety;
  • Reduce trail grade;
  • Improve trail sustainability; and
  • Improve the visitor experience.

Project Identified: 2016
Project Planning: 2016-2018
Project Description: Summer/Fall 2018
Stakeholder Review: Fall 2018
CEQA Review: Winter/Spring 2019

Region 5 Road and Trail Designation


Proposed conditional designation maps for Region 5 are now available. The region consists of five preserves totaling 1,602 acres, including Bald Hill, San Pedro Mountain, Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide, Santa Margarita Island, and Santa Venetia Marsh. The purpose of the Region 5 proposed conditional designation maps is to provide a planning document to guide MCOSD staff efforts to implement the Road and Trail Management Plan, guide future project development within Region 5, and thereby improve the road and trail network. The process involved extensive site visits and meetings with stakeholders and MCOSD staff, including a public meeting on August 25, 2018

Eagle Rim Trail: Mount Burdell


The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) has approved the Eagle Rim Trail project and will begin implementing improvements on Eagle Rim Trail in early 2019. The project will improve existing Eagle Rim Trail in Mount Burdell Preserve through proposed realignments, constructing a lower bowl reroute, installing drainage features, decommissioning specific trails, and installing fencing and signage as needed to support incorporation of the improved trail into the MCOSD trail system as a trail designated for use by hikers and cyclists. Improvements will ensure the trail is properly drained, minimize future maintenance, improve sustainability, and improve visitor safety. 

The improved Eagle Rim Trail will be a 4,815-foot long single-track trail, with an average grade of 9.34 percent, that predominately meanders along the northwestern corner of Mount Burdell Preserve.To meet the RTMP Policy SW.4: Overall Reduction of Road, Trail and Visitor Impacts, the proposed project includes the decommissioning of three unsanctioned trails: Trail 11251, 1116, and 11060. Trails 11251 and 1116 are two segments of the existing Eagle Rim Trail, totaling 1,401 linear feet. Trail 11060 is a 1,621-linear foot unnamed fall line social trail connecting Burdell Mountain Fire Road to Middle Fire Road. Decommissioning these unsanctioned trails will substantially reduce sedimentation into the Novato Creek Watershed and also reduce habitat fragmentation. The proposed realignments, drainage features, and other improvements will are consistent with RTMP policies, applicable BMPs, and trail design standards. Funding for this project will come from Measure A. Contact Jon Campo at (415) 473-2868 if you have questions about this project.

Project Objectives:

  • Improve existing Eagle Rim Trail to meet MCOSD trail standards;
  • Construct lower bowl reroute;
  • Install drainage improvements to produce a more sustainable and hydraulically stable trail;
  • Decommission trails 11251, 11116, and 11060, totaling 3,022 linear feet;
  • Install fencing and signage, as needed; and
  • Designate Eagle Rim Trail for hikers and cyclists.

Project Timeline:
Project Identified: 2017
Project Planning: 2017-2018
CEQA Review: 2018
Implementation: 2019

Environmental Review:
The 'Mitigated Negative Declaration' or 'MND' for this project described the project and its setting and evaluated it for potential impacts on environmental resources, including biology, air and water quality, cultural resources, and other resource areas. The report described potentially significant impacts to tribal cultural resources and to water quality and identifies mitigation measures to address the impacts. With these mitigation measures, it was determined that the project would not result in significant impacts on the environment. The public comment period for the Eagle Rim Trail project closed at 4:30 pm on September 14, 2018.

Community Workshop:
On May 13, 2017, the MCOSD hosted a community workshop in Novato to discuss the designation of system trails in Region 4, including provisional designation of Eagle Rim Trail. Staff presented a proposed formal road and trail designation for Region 4 open space preserves, solicited public input, and described the public process to suggest changes to the proposed designated trail system. The designation map identified the Eagle Rim Trail conditional designation as a system trail pending a project to improve the trail. Following the workshop, the public had an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed road and trail system for Region 4, including the provisionally designated Eagle Rim Trail.

Loma Alta Trail Improvements


Sections of Old Railroad Grade and Fox Hollow Trail in Loma Alta Preserve will be temporarily closed from mid-September to mid-October 2018 for trail improvement work. Funded by Measure A, the restoration and access improvements will reduce sediment from entering the watershed and help maintain safe and sustainable trails. Four small ephemeral stream crossings will be upgraded:

  • Remove excess crossing fill and install rock ford.
  • Install permanent 30”x20’ culvert at ephemeral stream crossing.
  • Rock armor head of small gully at outlet of drainage dip.
  • Augment rock at outlet of existing culvert.
  • Augment rock at outlet of existing rock ford.

For more information, contact Senior Natural Resources Planner Jon Campo at (415) 473-2686.

Region 5 Road and Trail System Designation


Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) hosted a community workshop to solicit public input on the formal road and trail designation of Region 5. This region includes five open space preserves: Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow, San Pedro Mountain, Santa Margarita Island, Santa Venetia Marsh, and Bald Hill. The workshop took place on Saturday, August 25, 2018, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, at Embassy Suites San Rafael, 101 McInnis Parkway, San Rafael. Read the workshop announcement flyer.

Hunt Camp Trail: Gary Giacomini

UPDATED ON: MAY 14, 2018

Hunt Camp Trail is now open. The trail had been closed to allow soil to settle naturally over the winter in an area where work had taken place.

Bob Middagh Trail: Alto Bowl


Consistent with a recent decision by the Marin County Superior Court, the Bob Middagh Trail is currently available for hiking and equestrian, but not bicycle, use. The MCOSD will keep the public updated.

Cascade Bridges: Cascade Canyon


Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) is continuing work on the Cascade Bridges Project, originally received as a public proposal from the Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition in Spring 2016. Public engagement on the project began with a community workshop in Fairfax on September 8, 2016. Following the meeting, the public was invited to submit comments on the project during a 30-day formal comment period that closed on October 8, 2016. Since that time, MCOSD staff has contracted a geotechnical investigation to inform the project design and is studying the cultural and biological resources of the preserve, in conjunction with environmental groups, open space neighbors and regulatory agencies.

The project would install two recreational bridges and implement improvements to the Cascade Fire Road to allow trail users to safely use the trail during wet weather without crossing through San Anselmo Creek. The project would also implement safety improvements and a change in use on a segment of the Canyon Trail from hiker/horse to multiuse. The project includes decommissioning the High Water Trail, which is dangerous and erosive, as well as a deposition source of fine sediments into San Anselmo Creek. These actions would remove recreation from the creek channel, improve the visitor experience and accessibility for all trail users, and improve the sustainability of the trail consistent with the RTMP policies, applicable BMPs, and trail design standards. The project would substantially reduce erosion and runoff into San Anselmo Creek and the Corte Madera Creek Watershed. The deposition of fine sediments into the creeks can impede the spawning success of rainbow trout and steelhead. Funding for this project will come from Measure A.

Project Objectives:

  • Provide safe year-round access to the interior of Cascade Canyon Preserve;
  • Remove recreation from the creek channel;
  • Improve trail safety;
  • Improve visitor experience;
  • Reduce trail erosion and fine sediment deposition to the Corte Madera Creek watershed; and
  • Reduce trail density and habitat fragmentation.

Project Identified: 2016
Project Planning: 2016-2018
Project Description: Summer/Fall 2018
CEQA Review: Fall/Winter 2018

Draft 2018–2019 Road and Trail Work Plan


The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) work plan, or project list, identifies the road and trail work proposed for implementation in the 2018–2019 fiscal year. All proposed projects support Road and Trail Management Plan goals-improving sustainability, reducing erosion, enhancing recreation, and improving safety. Proposed projects include:

  • Eagle Rim Trail
    Mount Burdell Preserve
    Adopt, realign, and improve almost 1 mile of trail accessible for hikers and cyclists. Also includes decommissioning of steep, erosive fall line trails.
  • Middle Fire Road
    Mount Burdell Preserve
    Improve visitor access, road sustainability, and reduce sediment discharge into the watershed.
  • Old White Hill Grade
    Loma Alta Preserve
    Improve the safety and sustainability of the multiuse trail as well as reduce sediment discharge into the watershed. Note, this trail has also been called Old Railroad Grade.
  • Alto Bowl Fire Road
    Alto Bowl Preserve
    Stabilize fire road, replace failed culvert, and reduce erosion.
  • Bob Middagh Trail
    Alto Bowl Preserve
    Replace 2 failed culverts on the Bob Middagh Trail and reduce sediment discharge into the watershed.
  • Conifer Fire Road
    Gary Giacomini Preserve
    Improve emergency vehicle access, visitor access and road sustainability.
  • Blue Oak Trail
    Rush Creek Preserve
    Community outreach and stakeholder engagement, with 2019 project implementation to improve sustainable access and reduce social trails.
  • Toyon Fire Road
    Cascade Canyon Creek Preserve
    Improve emergency vehicle access and sustainability, and reduce sediment discharge into the watershed.
  • Ponti Project Planning
    Pacheco Valle Preserve
    Community outreach and stakeholder engagement, with 2019 project implementation of road to trail conversion. Improve sustainable access and reduce social trails and risk of landslide failure.

The draft 2018–2019 Work Plan was presented at the Parks & Open Space Commission meeting on March 15, 2018. The Board of Supervisors will consider these projects during their June fiscal year budget hearings.

For more information contact Senior Natural Resources Planner Jon Campo at (415) 473-2686 and Chief of Planning and Acquisition Carl Somers at (415) 473-2820.