Last updated: October 13, 2023
Distance: up to 10.6 miles (17 km) roundtrip
The Cross Marin Trail follows the historic North Pacific Coast Railroad right-of-way as it parallels Lagunitas Creek, resulting in a trail that has relatively little change in elevation. Pets are permitted on the Cross Marin Trail and must be on a six-foot or shorter leash at all times. Visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Pets page for additional regulations and safety tips. The Cross Marin Trail is shared with bike and horse riders.
This is an out-and-back trail (although connecting trails offer the opportunity of loop hikes), so it provides visitors with the flexibility to choose how long they want to make their adventure. The Cross Marin Trail spans 5.3 miles (17.6 km) from its northern trailhead along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to its southern terminus at the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area along the southeast border of Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Turn around and retrace your steps whenever you are ready. The trail description below proceeds from north to south.
The northernmost 1.5 mile (2.4 km) of the Cross Marin Trail passes through streamside woodlands, including a few small copses of redwoods, and meadows. After intersecting with the Jewell Trail (which heads steeply uphill to Bolinas Ridge Trail to the west), the Cross Marin Trail enters the redwood forest protected within Samuel P. Taylor State Park.
Another 0.8 miles (1.3 km) will bring the trail user to the site of Samuel P. Taylor's paper mill, where there are a few wayside exhibits. State park employee housing is located in this area. Please respect the residents' privacy by staying on official trails and away from the residences. Camp Taylor, the state park's campground, is located 0.8 miles (1.3 km) further along the Cross Marin Trail.
Continue another 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to reach the Redwood Grove group picnic area, which is located across the creek via an automobile bridge from the Azalea Day Use lot. The Azalea Day Use lot is located just inside the entrance from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to Camp Taylor and provides an additional location to start a hike on the Cross Marin Trail. (Samuel P. Taylor does have an entrance fee for parking at the Azalea Day Use lot.)
The Cross Marin Trail's surface changes from paved to gravel at the south end of the Redwood Grove group picnic area. The Cross Marin Trail crosses Lagunitas Creek and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard 0.6 miles (1 km) later, just before the Irving group picnic area. Follow the gravel trail for an additional 1.4 miles (2.2 km) to reach the Cross Marin Trail's southern terminus at the the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area. From here, one could head up the Shafter Grade to connect with the Bolinas Ridge Trail, providing options for loop hikes in excess of 10.3 miles (16.5 km).
The Ox Trail, the accessible South Creek Trail, the Pioneer Tree Trail, and the Barnabe Road/Trail also intersect at various locations along the Cross Marin Trail within the state park. Visit Samuel P. Taylor State Park's website for more information on these routes.
This route description alone is not a substitute for a trail map. Print out the park's South District trail map (3,422 KB PDF) and Samuel P. Taylor State Park's map (found under the "Brochures" tab on the state park's website) before your visit, or pick up the trail map at a visitor center on your way. (While designated as part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the northern 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of the Cross Marin Trail are managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.)
This route description alone is not a substitute for a trail map. Print out Point Reyes National Seashore's South District trail map (3,422 KB PDF) before your visit, or pick up the trail map at the Bear Valley Visitor Center on your way. (While designated as part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the northern 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of the Cross Marin Trail are managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.)
Visit the park's Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore page for hiking tips and information about trail etiquette and safety.
Visit the park's Trail Advisories and Closures page for current information about closed trails, trails blocked by trees, or other temporary hazards or advisories.
The Cross Marin Trail spans 5.3 miles (8.5 km) from its northern trailhead along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to its southern terminus at the Leo T Cronin Fish Viewing Area at the southeast border of Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Allow 2.5 hours for a one-way hike (if you have vehicles at both ends of the trail) or 5 hours to hike the entire 10.6 miles (17 km) roundtrip. However, it is an out-and-back trail, so it offers visitors the flexibility to choose how long they want to make their adventure. Connecting trails also offer the opportunity for loop hikes.
Pets are permitted on the Cross Marin Trail, as well as the Jewell Trail, which intersects with the Cross Marin Trail. Aside from at the parking areas, pets are not permitted beyond the Cross Marin Trail. Download the map showing the NPS-managed trails that are open for pets along Bolinas Ridge. (4,592 KB PDF)
Pets must be on a leash at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet (1.8 m).
Visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Pets page for more information.
The northern trailhead for the Cross Marin Trail is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Platform Bridge Road, 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of Olema.
There is limited parking along the old (now largely decommissioned) route of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard north of and parallel to the current highway west of the bridge that crosses Lagunitas Creek. From this parking area, walk a short distance east toward Lagunitas Creek and turn right on to the Cross Marin Trail (the paved path that parallels the creek on its west side as it passes under Sir Francis Drake Boulevard).
Additional roadside parking is available along the west side of Platform Bridge Road just north of its intersection with Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Walk across the Old Tocaloma/Platform Bridge (which is closed to automobile traffic) and turn left onto the Cross Marin Trail.
The Cross Marin Trail may also be reached from various locations within Samuel P. Taylor State Park.
The heaviest rainfall occurs in the winter months. Come prepared for rain and drizzle to possibly last for several days. In between winter rains, it is often sunny, calm, and cool.
Most spring days are windy. Expect cool temperatures in March. By late May and early June, temperatures can be quite pleasant.
Although there is very little rain during summer months, there is often dense fog, which tends to burn off by mid-day. Afternoons are often sunny and warm to hot with a light breeze.
Point Reyes experiences some of the clearest days in late September, October, and early November. The occasional storm will start rolling through in late October, bringing clouds, wind, and rain. The strongest winds occur in November and December during occasional southerly gales.
The Cross Marin Trail north of the Jewell Trail is open for day-hiking from 6 am to midnight. The Cross Marin Trail through Samuel P. Taylor State Park is open from 8 am until sunset.
The northern 3.2 miles (5.1 km) of the Cross Marin Trail is an eight-foot-wide (2.4-meter-wide) paved path along an old railroad grade, so there is very relatively little change in elevation. Unfortunately, over the years since it was last paved, the surface has degraded a bit and depressions have developed in a number of locations. The southern 2.1 miles (3.4 km) similarly follows the old railroad grade with relatively little change in elevation and is approximately eight feet wide (2.4 meters wide), but is a gravel path.
- golden gate national recreation area
- point reyes national seashore
- point reyes national seashore
- point reyes
- golden gate national recreation area
- samuel p. taylor state park
- cross marin trail
- cross marin
- dog friendly
- pet friendly
- horse riding
- mountain biking
- one hour hike
- one to three hour hike
- over three hour hike
- forested trail