Our potable water in Marin comes mainly from the seven reservoirs we have up in the hills, and they are all off-limits for water sports, in order to keep the water uncontaminated. That does not mean, however, that they are not very accessible for hiking and biking around, picnicing near, or fishing in. Lake Lagunitas is the smallest reservoir, accounting for a mere 0.4% of total water storage capacity, but it’s still a lovely little lake and is very accessible from two large parking lots.
There is a big picnic area by the parking lot, and it’s a favorite birthday party spot for kids. There are also restrooms and placards explaining the food chain of the area, and a chart documenting wildlife sightings. Fishing is allowed here, with a limit of two trout per day.
The hiking/biking trail runs across the top of Lagunitas Dam and all the way around the lake. It gets a ton of foot and bike traffic on the weekends in good weather. It’s about a 1.5 mile loop.
Where: Take Bolinas Road west from Fairfax, turn left (south) on Sky Oaks Road and follow the signs (map)
Note that Sky Oaks Road will be fully closed weekdays for about two weeks between mid-October and late November for slide repair work. Expect delays during the entire construction period.
Fee: $7 per car (whether you park or not)