Sometimes easy is best. And in this case, the most beautiful! Tennessee Valley trailhead in the Marin Headlands is rightly popular for its classic coastal scenery and variety of trail options. For a 5.5-mile loop with a mile of hardy climbing, link together the Tennessee Valley, Fox, and Coastal Trails.
Time your excursion for early morning or late in the day for a quieter hiking experience. It’s a gentle start, heading toward the ocean on a wide trail. But within half a mile, the Fox Trail heads north and ascends steadily to unobstructed rolling views of the headlands and Pacific.
When you reach the top, be sure to turn around for a look at San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid.
Next up is a panorama bonanza as you hike down the Coastal Trail back to Tennessee Valley—with the ocean always in view. Detour to Tennessee Beach and hang out for a while, relaxing. Well deserved.
Direction to Tennessee Valley and Cove: From San Francisco, go north on Hwy. 101 and take the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach exit. Follow Shoreline Hwy. until Tennessee Valley Rd.; make a left, and go 1.5 miles to the parking lot. No dogs.