Start the New Year on the Right Foot With These Local Hikes

Whether a 12-mile trek or a 3-mile scenic loop, Novato and the surrounding area has plenty of trails to choose from. What's your favorite?

Photo: Eric Hongisto
Photo: Eric Hongisto

—By Patch Staff

Lucas Valley Loop


The steady climb in the beginning will warm you up, but don’t give up because 360-degree views of Marin await you at the top. The first 3/4 miles is well- shaded, so bring layers. Allow 3 hours for hike.

Cataract Creek

Cataract Creek Trail offers a 7-mile loop through the scenic lands of the Mount Tamalpais watershed and culminates with Cataract Falls. The loop includes scenic vistas of the Pacific,, narrow single-track into the wooded hillsides into forests of young redwood and Douglas fir.

Steep Ravine
Stinson Beach

A 6.5 mile hike offers sweeping views of the ocean and dense woodland switchbacks next through a steep sided and lush canyon shaded by towering redwood trees. This is a popular trail, so get there early if you can. 1,900 elevation gain.

Palomarin to Alamere Falls
West Marin

Eight-mile hike along cliffs that drop down to the ocean. After about a mile, the trail cuts inland and passes two small lakes (Bass Lake and Pelican Lake). After some time, walkers reach a series of small waterfalls. You can also climb down the rocks to the beach.

Terra Linda and Sleepy Hollow Ridge
Sleepy Hollow

Two mile hike offering good view of parts of Marin. Keep straight on the trail and continue up the hill for the best views or stick to the lower trail if you’re taking it easy or are running. Bring a picnic too.

Want to see more? Check out EveryTrail, with reviews and detailed descriptions of local hikes.
Gary Hinze January 05, 2014 at 06:23 PM
Novato? Bolinas? Stinson Beach? West Marin? Sleepy Hollow? There are plenty of walks and hikes much closer to Los Gatos. Starting with Lake Vasona and Los Gatos Creek Trail. Pick up maps at the County Parks office right there on Garden Drive. Los Gatos Town parks are listed here: http://www.town.los-gatos.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=170 Santa Clara County Parks are listed here, each with a link to a map: http://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/parkfinder.aspx
Sheila Sanchez January 05, 2014 at 08:41 PM
@Gary ... that's right. That's why the post has a tagline that reads: Want to see more? Check out EveryTrail, with reviews and detailed descriptions of local hikes.
Gary Hinze January 06, 2014 at 02:16 PM
The link shows trails in Novato, but there is a search window that gives a list of trails near Los Gatos: http://www.everytrail.com/search.php?q=Los+Gatos%2C+CA There is also a way readers may contribute trail descriptions.


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