Blithedale Summit Preserve

A major spur of Mount Tam, linking Corte Madera, Larkspur, and Mill Valley.

Rangers Recommend

  • This is the largest (639 acres) in a chain of preserves that follow Tam's north ridge, sweeping between residential communities.
  • Old Railroad Grade ascends at an easy slope up Mount Tam. It was part of the Mill Valley and Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway in the 1890s.
  • The roller coaster uphills and downhills of Blithedale Ridge Fire Road provide a good workout.
  • At the top of Corte Madera Ridge Fire Road, see the peaks of White Hill, Bald Hill, and Loma Alta.
  • Maytag Trail offers cool shade in summer.
  • Enjoy scenic views of the Marin Headlands and San Francisco Bay from higher elevations.
  • In rainy season, runoff creates mini-waterfalls.
  • Dogs are welcome. Dogs must be leashed on trail, and under voice command on fire roads, with leash readily available.

Naturalist Notes

  • Pass through a variety of habitats, from deep forests to dense chaparral.
  • Trees and shrubs include California bay, California coffeeberry, coast live oak, Douglas-fir, redwood, madrone, manzanita, and toyon.
  • Find huckleberries in season on redwood-lined Huckleberry Trail.
  • Pileated woodpeckers and the endangered northern spotted owl nest here. In spring, listen for melodic wrens singing in the canyons.
  • A variety of spring lilies, including fetid adder’s tongue and two species of trillium, bloom in the cool canyons.
  • Check out the iNaturalist field guide. Add your own observations.


dog on leash
Dogs On Leash
dog voice
Dogs Voice Control
Horseback Riding

Know Before You Go

  • Stay on roads and trails to preserve sensitive ecosystems and to avoid trespassing on private property.
  • Be courteous and safety conscious when sharing roads and trails. Go slow and say hello.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Trails can be muddy during the rainy season.
  • Bring water.
  • There are no restrooms at this location.
  • Steer clear of poison oak.
  • After an outing, check for ticks.