Riding the North-South Greenway
Following are directions for biking the North-South Greenway from the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma. It's recommended you use MCBC's Marin Bicycle Map to follow along. To find where to buy a map, or to order one online, please visit our Map page. These directions were recently updated to take you through the newly opened Cal Park Tunnel.
If you'd like to suggest changes to our directions, due to facilities upgrades or due to our mistakes or misstatements, please let us know. The directions below are recommendations only, and are subject to change.
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the west side (outside). At the end of the bridge, you'll be able to get off to the west. Use the open gate into the parking lot, or the bike path down to the access road. You want to position yourself so you end up going to the top of the access road, where it meets Conzelman Road (the access road ends there). Take Conzelman right for a short downhill and turn left on Alexander Ave (a blue route on the map). Follow Alexander under the freeway and downhill into Sausalito. Take a right on Second, then another right on Richardson. Richardson becomes Bridgeway and runs through Sausalito. There's a bike path parallel part of the way, but we don't recommend it, unless you're familiar with its route.
When Bridgeway reaches the freeway entrance (near Mike's Bikes, and the end of the blue route), turn onto the bike path (the red line). Follow the bike path past the estuary and under the freeway; when you come to a traffic light (at Blithedale), cross over and get onto Lomita Drive. Lomita curls past Edna McGuire school, and eventually ends at the Horse Hill bike path. Take the path over the hill, then continue on Casa Buena Drive. When Casa Buena crosses Tamalpais Drive (a busy route, with a large mall on the corner), continue straight on what will then be Tamal Vista Blvd. Just past the DMV, turn right on Wornum and take it under the freeway to its end at Redwood. Turn left on Redwood. Once you pass the freeway entrance (at which there is a ped overpass), continue straight. Redwood ends at a bike path, which takes you over the creek along the freeway exit. (This is another short non-road area which you may have to "read" on the fly). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right on Sir Francis Drake.
You will need to cross Drake at the traffic light at Larkspur Landing Circle (also the entrance to the Larkspur Ferry terminal). We recommend taking the bike path along Drake to the light, then crossing with the light. Once you're across Drake, take the second left off Larkspur Landing Circle, into the Century Theater parking lot. Go to the southwest corner of the lot (away from the road on the theater side), and find the bike path to the Cal Park Tunnel. Take the path to and through the Cal Park Tunnel, and continue on the path until it ends at Anderson Drive in San Rafael.
Cross Andersen, and follow it a few miles to Irwin; go right on Irwin. Make a quick left on Lincoln. Follow Lincoln through downtown, then make a right on Mission Avenue to Hetherton Avenue. Cross Mission at Hetherton using the Crosswalk. On the north side of Mission is the start of the Lincoln Hill Pathway. Take the pathway up over the hill until you reach the access point to Los Ranchitos Road. Continue north on Los Ranchitos. We recommend turning left on Golden Hinde, then a left on Nova Albion, (the dotted green route on the map) to avoid big mall traffic. Nova Albion takes you right back to Los Ranchitos, which quickly crosses Freitas Parkway and becomes Las Gallinas.
Take Las Gallinas over the hill, across Lucas Valley Road, and turn right on Miller Creek Road. Just before the freeway, at the corner of Marinwood Drive, there's an entrance to a bike path on the left side of the road. Take the bike path to its end, and turn right on Alameda del Prado.
We now turn the map over to follow on the Novato inset. Follow Alameda del Prado to Ignacio Blvd. Turn left on Ignacio. In less than a half mile, turn right on Entrada Drive. Follow Entrada until it parallels Highway 101 and eventually ends at the Inn Marin parking lot. Continue north through the Inn Marin lot (at a safe and courteous speed please) to the start of the Enfrente Pathway. Stay on the pathway until it terminates at South Novato Boulevard. Make a left on South Novato Blvd. Cross over to Redwood Blvd at either Rowland or Diablo/DeLong. Ride on Redwood to Atherton Ave. At Atherton, take a right, go under the freeway, and get on the freeway going north. You can ride the shoulder all the way from there to Petaluma.
You can avoid the freeway north of Novato only by going considerably out of the way, and every other route in Petaluma is brutally hilly. There are other alternative routes, but you can't really get far away from the route above without really getting out of your way. You could consider getting more rural as well, or even going along the ocean. But that's also a considerable mileage expense. The route above is mostly fairly safe traffic-wise; some of the roads are well-traveled by cars, but few are high speed.