I have a wonderful home listed for sale right now at 26 Glen Drive, Fairfax. I mention it because that listing is the reason I discovered the Loma Alta Open Space Preserve, which is accessed at the end of Glen Drive, a bit past White Hill Middle School. This is another wonderful component of the Marin County Open Space District, Department of Parks and Open Space.
To hike or ride through this preserve, you can access it at several points. Here I’ll be talking about accessing it at the end of Glen Drive, on the Glen Fire Road. After just about a half mile, you can split left onto the old railroad grade and follow it for about 1-1/2 miles to Gunshot Fire Road, which is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. At this point, you can choose to go north or south (rough cardinal directions) along the Ridge Trail. If you go north, in about 3/4 mile or so you are presented with the choice of continuing further north or turning east onto the Smith Ridge Fire Road and looping about 1-1/2 miles back down to Glen Fire Road and then to Glen Drive.
This loop is about 4-1/2 miles total and it’s a spectacular walk, fabulous views at every step, great exercise, and a very good length for a couple hour’s walk. Horses, dogs are and bikes are all welcome on these trails, so it’s very accessible for just about everyone. Here are the rules:
The Loma Alta Open Space Preserve sections of the Ridge Trail were added in 1999 (southern section) and 2001 (northern section connecting to Lucas Valley Road). Read more here about the efforts to completely ring the Bay Area on hiking trails and do what you can to support the effort!
Where: End of Glen Drive, Fairfax (map)
Parking: Park along Glen Drive (no time limit)