Tennessee Valley Trail

Marin Headlands (GGNRA), California

Distance1.8mi
Elevation Gain377ft
Trailhead Elevation197ft
Top197ft
Elevation Min/Max14/197ft
Elevation Start/End197/197ft

Tennessee Valley Trail

Tennessee Valley Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Marin County, California. It is within Marin Headlands (GGNRA). It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 197 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 377 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms, parkings, an information map, and a waste basket. Along the trail there is a wetland. The trail ends near the Tennessee Beach. There is also a bench near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: Coastal Trail, Haypress Camp Trail, Lower Tennessee Valley Trail, Coastal Trail Tennessee Cove Shortcut and Fox Trail.

Tennessee Valley Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County (Marin Press LLC)
Don & Kay Martin
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"This is one of the most popular hikes in Marin as it offers easy, level access to the beach and ocean. Good flowers on cliffs by the beach. Crowded on weekends and bicycles likely." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: San Francisco's North Bay (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
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"Follow an easy route through onetime ranchland and a brushy headlands valley to little Tennessee Cove. Bordered by a steep cliff on the south and imposing hillsides on the north, the small beach opens onto the turbulent Pacific." Read more
Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County (Marin Press LLC)
Don & Kay Martin
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"This hike travels over rolling hills to the most remote area of the Marin Headlands offering great views of the coast and ocean. Bicycles likely." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Northern California (The Mountaineers Books)
John R. Soares & Marc J. Soares
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"The Tennessee Valley gradually unfolds into the Pacific Ocean on this family journey as you trek past wildflowers and grasslands to a lagoon and scenic Tennessee Valley Beach. A freshwater lagoon, popular with birds, is encircled by bush lupine and cow parsnip." Read more
Bay Area Mountain Bike Trails (Penngrove Publications)
Conrad Boisvert
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"Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco lies the Marin Headlands, a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The many trails and fire roads in the headlands have long been popular with cyclists, hikers and equestrians. Staring at the main staging area in Tennessee Valley, this route loops around the northern part of the Marin Headlands. Weekends often find the Tennessee Valley parking lot full, so it may be necessary to park nearby and ride in. While there are some steep climbs along the route, they are not extremely long ones. The highest point in the ride is only about 900 feet above sea level. The most difficult riding is along some of the downhill sections, which can be steep and bumpy." Read more
Mountain Biking the San Francisco Bay Area (Falcon Guides)
Lorene Jackson
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"Skip the parking lot overlooks; see the Golden Gate Bridge and feel the Pacific Coast from this vantage. Just north of San Francisco, this ride takes you on fire roads through the open grassland and chaparral-covered hills of the Marin Headlands. Savor the spectacular views. Bird-watchers will want to linger near Hawk Hill, Bird Island, and Rodeo Lagoon. History buffs will want to explore historical sights in Forts Baker, Barry, and Cronkhite. However, true mountain bikers will reride the sweet singletrack at the end of this ride a couple of times. Trail surface: 60 percent dirt fire road, 30 percent paved road, and 10 percent singletrack." Read more
Mountain Biking the San Francisco Bay Area (Falcon Guides)
Lorene Jackson
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"On a clear day this is a spectacularly scenic ride through the Marin Headlands. At the peak there is a 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Tamalpais, and San Francisco Bay that is hard to beat. At times the ride through the grass- and chaparral-covered hill is challenging. The climbs, rapid descents, hairpin turns, water bars, and steps break up the cadence of the fire road. Obstacles are relatively short and can always be walked. Trail surface: 80 percent dirt fire road and 20 percent wide singletrack." Read more

Tennessee Valley Trail Reviews

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10/25/2010
This is a very easy walk. I think classifying it a hike is a bit much. It is basically completely flat (if you go the seasonal trail to the left on the way out to the beach). We took the upper trail back which at least has a couple of small inclines. We looked silly with our hydro packs as everyone else out on the trail (LOTS of people) seemed to not even carry a water bottle. Don't get me wrong, the trail is an awesome nature walk that did not disappoint. We saw a bobcat, lizzards, field mice, jack rabbits, this little newt thing, quail, ducks, sea gulls, a doe, an owl flying over and heard coyotes in the distance. It was wild! Timing was dumb luck, and we ended up at the beach right at sunset. Because it was a weekday evening, it was pretty secluded. We scrambled up on some rocks and watched the sun set and the waves crash. It was spectacular. Only thing we were missing was a picnic.
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7/27/2009
It was a cute little trail, took only 30 min to walk in to the beach. Extremely easy for those looking for a light trail.
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Tennessee Valley Trail Photos

Trail Information

Marin Headlands (GGNRA)
Nearby City
Marin Headlands (GGNRA)
Parks
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123-1307; (415) 561-4700; www.nps .gov/goga. Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy; (415) 561-3000; www.parksconservancy .org.
Local Contacts
USGS Point Bonita; map posted at the trailhead; online at www nps/gov/goga
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018