UPDATE: Marin Board of Supervisors Approved Cascade Bridges on Nov. 28th! Cascade Canyon Bridges Project Approved

The long-awaited plan to place bridges over the San Anselmo Creek in Fairfax’s Cascade Canyon moved one step closer to reality this week! On November 28th the Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Cascade Canyon Bridges project. The bridges could be constructed next summer.

In the meantime, we remind all visitors to Cascade Canyon and Elliot Nature Preserve to be respectful, slow down and announce your presence when passing other users, and ride on open trails only.

The benefits of the project are many. The Cascade Canyon bridges will:

  • Provide safe and sustainable year-round access to the Canyon Fire Road and the interior of Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve

  • Eliminate the need to cross San Anselmo Creek at four intersections using the rock fords located within the creek

  • Enhance habitat protection for listed species, including steelhead trout and foothill yellow-legged frog

  • Reduce trail erosion and sedimentation to the Corte Madera Creek Watershed

  • Reduce the number of redundant trails and habitat fragmentation in an area rich in sensitive species

In 2021, Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) released a Draft Initial Study and A Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project to move visitors out of the creek by building two bicycle/pedestrian bridges and a change-in-use of a short segment of trail. They received comments from 190 individuals, with 137 commenters supporting the proposed project.

Project Background

Cascade Canyon Bridges Rendering

The proposed project was originally received as a public proposal from the Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition in the spring of 2016. The improvements would remove recreation from the San Anselmo Creek channel. It would also improve the visitor experience. It would add accessibility for all trail users, and enhance the sustainability of the trail consistent with the MCOSD’s Road and Trail Management Plan.

The proposed project would:

  • Install two recreational bridges over San Anselmo Creek

  • Change use on the segment of the Canyon Trail between Cascade Canyon Fire Road and the south end of Bridge 1 from hiker/equestrian-only to multi-use to also allow cyclists and install bicycle speed control features

  • Decommission the Canyon Trail spur segment connecting to the Cascade Canyon Fire Road

  • Decommission the High Water Trail

Installation of the recreational bridges would allow trail users to safely use the trail during wet weather without crossing through San Anselmo Creek and provide for decommissioning of the High Water Trail, which is erosive. These improvements would improve water quality and habitat in San Anselmo Creek by reducing the deposition of fine sediments into San Anselmo Creek, which can impede the spawning success of rainbow and steelhead trout, and would improve visitor safety. More recently, state-listed Foothill yellow-legged frogs were discovered in the creek. Land managers, scientists, and volunteers are working together to protect the frog populations that are struggling to survive in Marin.

How To Get Involved

Add your name to the Cascade Bridges Project list to receive project updates.


We’re working to make Marin more bike-friendly for people of all ages and abilities. Are you with us?

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