Tennessee Valley Trailhead, Mill Valley

4.8
#2 of 7 in Trails in Marin County
Tennessee Valley Trailhead is located in Mill Valley. Make Tennessee Valley Trailhead part of your personalized Mill Valley itinerary using our Mill Valley trip itinerary planning site .
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Tennessee Valley Trailhead Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
106 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Great easy walk to the beach of Tenessee valley. Can be done with strollers and bicycles. The beach is lovely and there is a little lake with ducks on the way. The walk from the parking lot to the bea...  more »
  • This is a great trailhead and place to start your bike or walk to the beach ... Tennessee Valley Beach is a great place to get your toes sandy!  more »
  • Parking & restrooms at the trail head. Flat wide walking, biking path about 2 miles to the Pacific Ocean. Can get windy and a bit chilly, and busy on weekends. Some camp sites off the trail (backpacki...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful view. It worth the hike from Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach. A 6.4 miles back and forth. I recommended. I definitely will hike there again.
  • This is one of the most popular places for people to start their Marin headlands activities. My favorite is to go up Miwok trail from the parking lot, the down Coyote Ridge trail to a great lookout overlooking Muir Beach, and then return to Tennessee Valley via Pirates Cove Trail. It’s about 6 miles roundtrip, and all trails are perfectly maintained and well marked.
  • This is a beautiful 5.5 mi hike/bike loop out of Tennessee Valley with additional 2.0 and 3.5 mi options. This description is for mountain bikes as most of it is on dirt fire roads, however the vast majority of the users are hikers. The trailhead is the very popular parking lot at the end of Tennessee Valley Rd, always crowded on summer weekends. The first mile is car-free asphalt road that families with infants and senior citizens, some with walkers, share on their way to the beach. Follow "Coastal Trail" signs and at approximately 1.2 mi take a right onto the Coastal Trail, whose sign proclaims "Muir Beach 3.1 mi, Oregon Border 462 mi". (Oops--10/2017 signage change--now says "Pirates Cove"). Note that continuing straight at this point would lead you to Tennessee Beach, a 2 mi optional add-on--see below*. As the Coastal Trail climbs, the views over the ocean get better and better, pausing at a beautiful lookout at 2 mi with views of SF and Ocean Beach to the south, and Muir Beach and the Pt. Reyes cliffs to the north. Hikers can follow the Coastal Trail along the coast to Muir Beach, with a short fun detour to Pirates Cove. Bikers at this point must turn north and head for Coyote Ridge, riding .8 mile to the junction just past the Fox Trail. Taking a right turn onto Coyote Ridge (continuing straight would lead you to Muir Beach, a 3.5 mi optional add-on--see below **), you continue to the trail's high point from which you see to the east Tiburon, Belvedere, Strawberry, San Quentin, Angel Island and across the bay Mt. Diablo. To the south is the SF skyline and the south tower of the GGB. The view to the north is great, with Muir Beach (the entire tiny community and the beach itself), Stinson Beach and in the distance the Pt. Reyes peninsula. The view of Mt. Tam is spectacular, the best vantage point of all, extending from the East Peak summit and capturing the entire ridgeline. And on non-foggy days the Farallones, large and small, pop out of the ocean. Now the trail turns downward joining the Miwok trail--keep right at the intersections. You will proceed through a small eucalyptus canyon (hikers can take a more direct route to skirt the canyon) keeping right at the next fork, and crest the ridge with a view down to the trailhead, with a steep descent on single track. This is a classic route with many variations, for hikers and bikers, and highly recommended. The above description is for the clockwise direction--going counterclockwise is a bit more challenging for bikes due to the steeps on the Miwok trail. Also keep in mind that the coast can be very foggy particularly in summer, even when inland locations are scalding. *2 mi optional add-on--Tennessee Valley Beach is a beautiful small beach well out of the sight of any cars. This short trail section passes the diminutive lagoon, where you may spot the resident great blue heron dining on minnows and gophers. **3.5 mi optional add-on--If you continue straight on the trail just past the Fox intersection it plunges steeply to Muir Beach, with beautiful views along the way. After having a look at Muir Beach, follow signs to Green Gulch, the Zen center, and find the Middle Green Gulch trail (you may need to ask a gardener), which will take you up an impressive canyon with views of the Zen Center's farms, eventually re-intersecting the Coyote Ridge trail. This add-on doubles the trip's total elevation gain but is worth it.
  • Wow! So many trails start from the SME parking lot, along with their various offshoots. If you visit a couple of trails a week, you can probably spend a year here without repeating the same trail twice. The nature is unbelievable.
  • Good birds, nice walk. I heard owls today.
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