Faudé Park in San Anselmo
PART OF MY HIKING MARIN SERIES
FAUDÉ PARK — GETTING THERE
Access to Faudé Park is fairly easy, and possible from three different locations. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the access located at the intersections of Oakland Avenue and Alderney Road in San Anselmo. If you are on a mobile device, you may click the blue navigation button below to launch Google Maps navigation to this location.
There is also access from the north side of the park at the intersection of Tomahawk and Elkhorn Way. From the west side of the park there is reportedly a stairway up from Stone Court. I have not tried either of these methods of access.
As you approach the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Alderney Road, you will see a “pull over” spot on the right with room for 1-2 small cars. Some articles suggest driving up Oakland Avenue and parking up there, but I would not suggest that. It is a narrow road and parking is at a premium up there. Alderney is wide and has several spaces across from the park, so that may be your best bet. Everyone I saw as I was trying to figure out the parking gave me a friendly smile.
Once you park, the trailhead is very obvious, marked by a large sign. You may scroll down to the trail walkthrough below to see photos of the hike.
FAUDÉ PARK QUICK FACTS
- Gorgeous views: Mt. Tamalpais, San Anselmo, even a peek of the San Francisco skyline on clear days
- About 15 minutes up and 15 minutes down, total 30 minute hike
- Fairly strenuous with stairs and steep path along with a few plateaus
- No wheelchair access
- No drinking fountains, restrooms or garbage facilities
- Dogs off leash OK but make sure they do not disturb the local wildlife – click here for a list of dog-friendly hiking locations
- Watch dogs especially during coyote mating season
- Excellent cell service
- No observed poison oak near path. Brush is cleared from the path so less worry about ticks.
- Quiet neighborhood – please be respectful of neighbors when parking. Keep noise to a minimum.
FAUDÉ PARK HISTORY
Faudé Park is named after C. Frederick Faudé who donated it to the town of San Anselmo on December 11, 1973, with the stipulation that it be preserved for public use and bear his name in perpetuity. Faudé lived On Waverly Place in the Seminary neighborhood of San Anselmo with his partner, restaurateur Louis Foerster and operated a successful antiques an fine art dealer, with showrooms in San Francisco and Sausalito. According to an obituary at the time of his death at age 96, “Faude was a benefactor to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, which has a room in his name, and he donated the country’s largest collection of painter Grace Hudson’s works of Native Americans to the Palm Springs Museum, according to his attorney. Praetzel estimated that Mr. Faude left an estate in excess of $3 million, most of which is going to charities he supported during his lifetime, including Hospice of Marin, which named its new building after him as well as Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Trust for Public Land. At the time it was bequeathed to the town, Faude Park was considered the town’s premiere piece of open space…valued at $42,000.”
Originally slated for housing development, the 14-acre parcel has been a favorite spot for Marinites for almost a half-century now. In the 1970s San Anselmo’s mayor proposed that the park be designated “clothing optional” however that was protested by residents and shouted down at a town council meeting.
For many years, it was a tradition that the incoming senior class at Sir Francis Drake High School would chalk an enormous “D” and their graduation year on what is now known as “D Hill,” the grassy hillside on the west side of the park.
Today the park is enjoyed by all who visit, thanks to the generous donation of Mr. Faude as well as the continued maintenance and upkeep by a neighborhood volunteer group, the Friends of Faude Park. They have cleared Scotch Broom, built the steps that lead up from Oakland Avenue, and installed the sign that marks the park. If you would like to help, please contact René Voss at 415-446-9027 or Brian Crawford at 415-454-3439.
There are a variety of hikes one can take from the Crown Road trailhead depending on amount of time and other factors. This hike takes about 1.5 hours and provides a good workout and scenic views. Highlighted above in yellow is the first half of the loop, the Hoo Koo E. Koo Trail, which then joins the Blithedale Ridge Fire Road and then loops back (highlighted in red) to the Crown Road trailhead on the Southern Marin Line Fire Road.
FAUDÉ PARK HIKE OVERVIEW
After parking, begin the ascent on the path using the stairs. Stay on the trail at all times. The trail will lead up and though it is not marked, it is fairly obvious where it leads. About half way up you will see a split in the trail – keep left to go to the view bench and to continue on the trail. Return the way you came.
Please scroll down to see the visual walkthrough below.
FAUDÉ PARK HIKE PHOTO WALKTHROUGH
View of the Entrance to the Park at the Intersection of Oakland Avenue and Alderney Road
A Set of Well-Maintained Stairs Leads Up to the Right
Looking Back Down the Stairs – The View Begins to Emerge
This Tire Swing Made Me Smile – It Harkens Back to a Simpler Time and Reminded Me of How Family-Friendly This Neighborhood Is
You Will Come to a Clearing With a Beautiful View West Towards Sir Francis Drake High School
Next is the Steepest Part of the Trail – Almost Straight Up. I Regretted I Hadn’t Worn Better Shoes for This Part
At the Top of the Big Hill, You’re Rewarded With This View of Mt. Tam!
The Trail Flattens Out – This Shaded Meadow is a Pleasant Respite on a Warm Day
We Begin Our Gentle Climb Again Towards the Next Plateau
Here is the Reward – A Wonderful Spot to Contemplate the Beauty of Marin County!
You Can Continue Hiking to One of the Other Park Exits If You Wish – Otherwise Head Back the Way You Came
We Are Fortunate to Live in Marin County!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my article about Faudé Park. If this is your first visit to my Marin Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog, please take a moment to look at my other articles. They all feature original essays about the things that make Marin County such a great place to live — restaurants, hikes, and even profiles of those who live here. Also in my blog is my monthly Marin real estate market update.
Should you have any real estate questions or needs, please call or text me at 415.847.5584 and I’ll be in touch right away. Otherwise, I will see you on the trails!