Bahia Ridge Fire Road and Trail Improvements

A proposal to improve roads and trails in Rush Creek Preserve.

UPDATED: March 21, 2022

Work Completed

Work has been completed. Spurs Trail, Lucky Aces Trail, and Blue Oak Trail are scheduled to open to the public on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. The Parks naturalist notes that visiting the newly improved trails will offer visitors a chance to see a variety of wildflowers and butterflies, a unique oak woodland with hybrids of valley, Oregon, and blue oaks, raucous acorn woodpeckers, and fabulous views of the Petaluma River wetlands. In spring, you’ll likely be serenaded by a chorus of songbirds. View the Rush Creek map to see location of the these improved trails.

UPDATED: August 9, 2021

Work Underway

The Open Space Trail Crew is currently working on the project. For your safety, please pay attention to signs and closures.

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.

Project Description Summary

The proposed project on the east side of Rush Creek Preserve would upgrade a hiking trail, realign a trail for multiuse, convert a trail segment from road to trail, improve equestrian trail access, and decommission a steep segment of trail to restore habitat. This proposed project was identified in 2017 during the collaborative Region 4 designation process. Features would include:

  • Upgrade an existing social trail to sustainable standards and designate it as hiking only;
  • Realign Blue Oak Trail for multiuse;
  • Decommission the steep road segment of Iron Gate Fire Road and restore habitat;
  • Convert the sustainable segment of Iron Gate Fire Road from road to trail;
  • Designate new trail for equestrians and hikers.

Project Objectives

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

  • Provide safe and sustainable year-round trail access to the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve;
  • Eliminate unsustainable social trails and road segments;
  • Enhance habitat quality;
  • Improve visitor access;
  • Reduce road and trail-related erosion;
  • Reduce trail density and habitat fragmentation.

Partners and Collaborators 

  • Novato Fire Department
  • Novato Horsemen, Inc.
  • Marin County Flood Control District
  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
  • Marin County Bicycle Coalition
  • Open Space District Environmental Roundtable


  • 2017: Identified during Region 4 Designation
  • 2017–20: Stakeholder engagement 
  • 2017–20: Project planning, including vegetation and wildlife assessments 
  • 2020–21: Prepare draft CEQA document for public review
  • July 2021: Board of Supervisors approves IS/MND so work can move forward
  • August–September 2021: Road and trail construction
  • Fall–Winter 2021: Trails allowed to naturally settle and cure
  • Spring 2022: New roads and trails opened to public