Cross Marin Trail


6 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Cross Marin Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Marin
Length: 5.3 miles
Trail end points: Shafter's Bridge, Park Rd (Forest Knolls) and Platform Bridge Rd (Tocaloma)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015313

Cross Marin Trail Description

The spectacular the Cross Marin Trail (previously known as the Sir Francis Drake Bikeway) sits on the recycled roadbed of the former North Pacific Coast Railroad, which used to run from Larkspur to Cazadero. This family-friendly rail-trail provides a safe and enjoyable way for visitors to access the swimming holes in Lagunitas Creek and the redwood groves that have made the park so popular.

At the southern trailhead, the path begins in dense woods. On your left are thick redwood stands cushioned by undergrowth of sorrel and an abundance of ferns. On your right is the lovely Lagunitas Creek. At mile 1.5, you arrive at a wooden bridge with a red SALMON CROSSING sign. Silver salmon and steelhead trout migrate up Lagunitas Creek to spawn during the winter, and this is the first of several spots along the trail where you can view them. If you are lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of the beavers that sometimes work in the area.

At about mile 2 the road becomes paved and you reach Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Samuel Taylor, an entrepreneur from Boston, struck it rich during the California gold rush. He used a portion of his wealth to create a resort and recreational campground called Camp Taylor, which was one of the first sites in the country to offer camping as a recreational activity. In the 1870s and 1880s, it was quite popular for families to take the railroad out to Camp Taylor for the weekend.

Continuing on, you pass the Redwood Grove Group Picnic area on the right and another campsite 0.25 mile farther. When the weather is nice, the campgrounds are usually full, though the campers and facilities do not detract from the natural beauty of this wooded area. Oak, tanoak, madrone, live oak, laurel and Douglas-fir are all visible along the path. The path is also lined with California native buttercups, Indian paintbrush and milkmaids. Black-tailed deer is the most common animal in the park and often can be spotted from the trail.

You pass another restroom at mile 3. The last 2.3 miles of the trail are paved and shaded by the cool redwood groves it parallels. If you aren't ready to turn around at the endpoint, you can extend your trail day exploring the numerous trail networks in the vicinity.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

The southern trailhead is at the end of the short metal bridge on your right. On the left is a small parking lot with a one-hour limit. There are various places to pull off and park along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard without time limits.

To reach the northern trailhead, drive past the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Platform Bridge Road, crossing over a concrete bridge. Shortly after crossing the bridge you see an unmarked road on your right. Turn right on this road then turn left and park on an abandoned concrete street. Walk toward an old bridge. The trail entrance is marked with a large sign that says CROSS MARIN TRAIL.

Cross Marin Trail Reviews



Nice walking trail

We walked the section between shafter bridge and Samuel P Tayler campground. There was plenty of parking when we pulled in around 10am but there were several cars waiting when we got back around noon. The trail to the campground is gravel and flat. Nice simple path for easy biking. I wouldn’t do it with a road bike but a city bike or something with larger tires would be fine. Walking was also nice. The other nice feature are the restrooms near the campground.

Half Fire Trail / Half Paved Trail

The start of the trail by the fish viewing area is a FIRE TRAIL. The second half, after crossing the road, is paved asphalt. Unfortunately I showed up with my road bike and not my mountain bike, so my ride was a short one.

Cross Marin Trail--Samuel P. Taylor State Park

The trail has beginnings at Shafter Bridge, just West of Lagunitas on Sir Francis Drake Blvd . A salmon viewing spot at the bridge has limited 2 hour parking. If parking here, you must cross Sir Francis Drake to the foot, bicycle bridge over the creek. Riding west for about 2 miles on well maintained dirt path, you reach Samuel P. Taylor State Park--no fee to ride through the park, where the path becomes paved. The paved section is about 3 miles long running from the park to Platform Bridge Road, where there is also parking.
Beautiful trail--Redwoods, grasslands, oaks and the entire trail runs beside Lagunitas Creek.
There is no longer a "dead end" as a bridge has been built across the creek near Shafter Bridge. Enjoy--easy flat ride for all levels.


Great trail for families

This trail is paved and virtually flat going through Golden Gate Recreation Area and Samuel P. Park. From Platform Bridge at intersection of Platform Bridge Road and Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to campground and park headquarters is paved--very scenic, following Lagunitas Creek through Redwoods. Beyond the Samuel P. Park Group Picnic area the trail is packed gravel. It will have some puddles after rain. The path ends at a new bicycle, pedestrian bridge crossing Lagunitas Creek at Sir Francis Drake Blvd. near the town of Lagunitas. By entering at Platform Bridge, there is no fee to go through the park. You can access the path by entering Samuel P. Park at main entrance off of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. There is a day use fee required to enter at this point.
There are mountain bike options leading off of this trail in to Golden Gate Recreation Area, for experienced riders--uphill!!

"Nice Trail, but very unfinished!"

"Can't wait for this one to be completed. If you try to bike here from SF, be advised you have to travel many miles on the shoulder of a rather busy road before you get here. Also, be advised that travelling east on the trail, you must exit at the group picnic area, if you try and go further you wind up at a dead end and must backtrack for over a mile to get back to the road!"

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.