Blithedale Summit Preserve

A major spur of Mount Tam, linking Corte Madera, Larkspur, and Mill Valley.

Rangers Recommend

  • This is the largest (639 acres) in a chain of preserves that follow Tam's north ridge, sweeping between residential communities.
  • Old Railroad Grade ascends at an easy slope up Mount Tam. It was part of the Mill Valley and Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway in the 1890s.
  • The roller coaster uphills and downhills of Blithedale Ridge Fire Road provide a good workout.
  • At the top of Corte Madera Ridge Fire Road, see the peaks of White Hill, Bald Hill, and Loma Alta.
  • Maytag Trail offers cool shade in summer.
  • Enjoy scenic views of the Marin Headlands and San Francisco Bay from higher elevations.
  • In rainy season, runoff creates mini-waterfalls.
  • Dogs are welcome. Dogs must be leashed on trail, and under voice command on fire roads, with leash readily available.

Naturalist Notes

  • Pass through a variety of habitats, from deep forests to dense chaparral.
  • Trees and shrubs include California bay, California coffeeberry, coast live oak, Douglas-fir, redwood, madrone, manzanita, and toyon.
  • Find huckleberries in season on redwood-lined Huckleberry Trail.
  • Pileated woodpeckers and the endangered northern spotted owl nest here. In spring, listen for melodic wrens singing in the canyons.
  • A variety of spring lilies, including fetid adder’s tongue and two species of trillium, bloom in the cool canyons.
  • Check out the iNaturalist field guide. Add your own observations.

Activities

biking
Bike
dog on leash
Dogs On Leash
dog voice
Dogs Voice Control
hiking
Hike
horse
Horseback Riding

Know Before You Go

  • Stay on roads and trails to preserve sensitive ecosystems and to avoid trespassing on private property.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Trails can be muddy during the rainy season.
  • Bring water.
  • There are no restrooms at this location.
  • Steer clear of poison oak.
  • After an outing, check for ticks.