Some closed for Winter seasoning New Trails: The Good, The Bad and the Closures

Marin County Parks and Open Space recently finished work on five new trail projects announced this past June.  These trail efforts tiered off the newly adopted Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) – the series of public workshops and presentations in which Open Space proposed to adopt and designate a number of old logging roads and informal trails that would provide new opportunities for use including mountain biking, while avoiding new trail construction and displacement of other users. These trails would become open in phases, after minor enhancements to reduce impacts on the environment and to reduce maintenance costs associated with new use.

The Good News

Open Space trail crews completed all five projects and they are looking great.

Four of the five are or will be open to bikes!

Volunteers at work on Octopus Trail

The Five Trail Projects Announced This Year:


  • Adoption of Candelero Canyon Trail, Contour Trail and Boulder Springs Trail in Giacomini Open Space Preserve
  • Re-alignment of Old Railroad Grade Trail (the Plunge) near Fairfax in the Loma Alta Open Space Preserve
  • Adoption of the Octopus Trail, a multi-use connector between Mill Valley and Corte Madera, in Camino Alto Open Space Preserve
  • Adoption of the Fairway Trail (aka Val Vista) in Camino Alto Preserve
  • Improvements to Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail in Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve (CLOSED TO BIKES)

All of this work is funded with Measure A, a ¼ cent sales tax that MCBC endorsed, Additionally, MCBC advocated for all of these enhancements and Open Space listened. Together these projects will increase bicycle trail access by 3 miles in one season!

The Bad News

The significant early winter weather resulted in a decision to keep these newly constructed trails closed through the rainy season. While Open Space had hoped to forgo their traditional winter seasoning of new trails so that we could start enjoying them immediately, it was clear this must be done to preserve the efforts of County and MCBC Volunteers. Open Space land managers did not take this decision lightly and called for this seasonal closure only after careful review of the trail tread following the 10 inches of rain in October.

We ask everyone to please respect the seasonal trail closures – allow these newly constructed trails to make it through the winter without any excessive wear. Trails are their most vulnerable when the tread is saturated. Please spread the word!

Please see below for a complete list of seasonal trail closures.

Val Vista Trail in Camino Alto Preserve

A Disappointing Development – Legal Challenge to the RTMP Process
Recently, Marin Audubon Society decided to move forward with a legal challenge to the RTMP process.

This is not related to the seasonal closure – Marin Audubon announced their challenge AFTER Marin County Open Space decided to close the trails for the winter.

MCBC is grateful for the Marin Audubon Society’s tremendous contributions to conserving the Marin landscapes we all love. We believe that it is equally important to recognize that hikers, cyclists, dog walkers, and equestrians are also critical partners in conservation.

The Road and Trail Management Plan has been an inclusive, ongoing and iterative process with multiple public input steps and reviews. We were disappointed to learn of Marin Audubon Society’s challenge. As a founding member of Trail Partners, MCBC remains committed to educating trail users about safe, sustainable trail sharing, so all may appreciate and protect our county’s vast natural treasures.

In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught. – Baba Dioum

Boulder Springs Trail


NEW TRAILS-(first time closure due to new work, closed to horses and bikes)

Loma Alta :
New trail segment on Old Railroad Grade Trail in Fairfax (not to be confused with Old Railroad Grade on Mt. Tam)

Camino Alto:  
Val Vista Trail
Octopus Trail

Gary Giacomini:
Boulder Springs Trail

Also in the Gary Giacomini Preserve, Willis Evans Trail is closed to horses and bicycles


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