Cascade Bridges

A proposal to improve visitor safety and preserve creeks in Cascade Canyon.


A Species of Special Concern

Foothill yellow-legged frogs were once widespread throughout California and Marin County. However, decades of land development, dam building, and harmful agricultural practices drastically decreased their numbers. In Marin County today, these frogs are only found in a few creeks in isolated, disconnected watersheds. Land managers, scientists, and volunteers are working together to protect the frog populations that are struggling to survive in Marin.  Learn more by viewing the One Tam interactive story map.

Project Purpose

The purpose of the proposed project is to implement the MCOSD’s Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) to provide the public with a safe multi-use trail system to enhance the visitor experience, reduce the environmental impacts on sensitive resources by reducing sedimentation and erosion, and establish a sustainable system of roads and trails that meet design and management standards and would provide safe year-round access along the trail alignment. Additionally, the proposed project would be fully compliant with the Marin County Parks Inclusive Access Plan (IAP).

Project Description Summary

The proposed project was originally received as a public proposal from the Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition in spring 2016. The proposed improvements would remove recreation from the San Anselmo creek channel, improve the visitor experience and accessibility for all trail users, and enhance the sustainability of the trail consistent with the MCOSD’s Road and Trail Management Plan.

The proposed project would install two recreational bridges over San Anselmo Creek, change use on the segment of the Canyon Trail between Cascade Canyon Fire Road and the south end of Bridge 1 from hiker/equestrian only to multi-use which would also allow cyclist use and install bicycle speed control features, decommission the Canyon Trail spur segment connecting to the Cascade Canyon Fire Road, and decommission the High Water Trail. Installation of the recreational bridges would allow trail users to safely use the trail during wet weather without crossing through San Anselmo Creek and provides for decommissioning of the High Water Trail, which is erosive. These improvements would improve water quality and habitat in San Anselmo Creek by reducing deposition of fine sediments into San Anselmo Creek, which can impede the spawning success of rainbow trout and steelhead and would improve visitor safety.

Project Objectives

Implementation of the proposed project would achieve the following project objectives:

  • Provide safe and sustainable year-round access to the Canyon Fire Road and the interior of the preserve;
  • Eliminate the need to cross San Anselmo Creek using the rock fords located within the creek;
  • Enhance habitat protection for listed species;
  • Improve trail safety;
  • Improve visitor access;
  • Reduce trail erosion and sedimentation to the Corte Madera Creek watershed; and
  • Reduce the number of redundant trails and habitat fragmentation.


  • 2016: Project Identified
  • 2016: Town of Fairfax Approves MOU with MCOSD
  • 2016–18: Project Planning
  • 2017: Community Meeting at Fairfax Women's Club
  • Summer–Fall 2018: Project Description and Resource Studies
  • 2019–20: Prepare Draft CEQA Document
  • February 16–March 19, 2021:Public Review and Comment Period on Draft CEQA Document
  • October 2023: Response to Public Comments on Draft CEQA Document