Folks come from all over the world to hike the trails that thread through the Marin Headlands . The landscape is some of the most beautiful in the state. One of the most popular (and crowded, especially on summer weekends) places to start is the Tennessee Valley Trailhead (end of Tennessee Valley Rd., portable toilets, no water). A wealth of trails spring from this major trailhead. A quicker hike from the trailhead can take you out to the Haypress Campground (about 1.5 mi, moderate), which has picnic tables and pretty views.
For a nice long hike, take the Old Springs Trail (2 mi) down to the Wolf Ridge Trail (0.7 mi) heading west, then across to the Valley Trail (2 mi) back north to the trailhead.
The Rodeo Beach Trailhead (end of Bunker Rd., running water, flush toilets, paved parking lot) offers access to Point Bonita , loop and one-way trails, and of course Rodeo Beach. An easy spot to get to, Rodeo Beach draws many tourists on summer weekends—expect not to be alone on the beach or the trails, or even in the water. Locals come out to surf at Rodeo when the break is going, while beachcombers watch from the shore.
An easy walk from this trailhead is the Lagoon Trail (0.5 mi, easy), which gives bird-watchers an eagle’s-eye view of the egrets, pelicans, and other seabirds that call the shelter of the Rodeo lagoon home. For a longer hike, you can take the Miwok Trail (1.8 mi) north, catch the Wolf Ridge Trail (2.3 mi) heading west, then pick up the California Coastal Trail (approx. 2 mi) heading back south past the Marine Mammal Center toward the road and the parking lots.
Naturally, hardcore hikers doing a serious survey of the California Coastal Trail can get in a good chunk of it here at the Headlands. Head north from Rodeo Beach and meander through the hills, then down closer to the beach past Tennessee Valley at Pirate’s Cove. This chunk of the trail terminates at Muir Beach .
For more information about hiking and biking trails, visit the Golden Gate National Recreation Area online at www.nps.gov/goga .