The Ridgewood Trail has many names and is a popular hike in Central Marin County. Also known as the Sleepy Hollow Trail, the Terra Linda / Sleepy Hollow Divide and the Ridgewood Fire Trail, this trail is an easy hike that is popular with joggers, dog owners and bicyclists. Because it runs east / west, it is a wonderful hike for mornings and afternoons especially, though it really is a great hike anytime of the day. It is seldom crowded – the below photo was taken at 10 am on a weekend morning:
Parking for the Ridgewood Trail hike is street parking along Ridgewood Drive (map below), a street of beautiful, well-maintained homes in San Rafael. To lessen impact on neighbors, I would suggest you drive very slowly along Ridgewood Drive as it is a family neighborhood and there are often many children playing in front yards and in the street. Also, consider parking a block or two away from the trail entrance to reduce impact to the neighbors and houses right by the entrance — they have to put up with many cars turning around and sometimes even blocking their driveways. Keeping your dogs on leash if they leave the fire road, picking up their waste, and keeping voices low show the neighbors that you care about the area and appreciate the ability to walk on the trail.
Entering The Ridgewood Trail
Once parked, enter the trail through the gate pictured at the top of this article. The trail is wide — it is also maintained as a a fire road — and starts in the shade of a large eucalyptus grove. The Ridgewood Trail goes west about 10 minutes or so, then ends at the Tomahawk Fire Road. You can take the fire road to the right and intersect with San Anselmo’s Fawn Drive (site of one of the homes I have sold) or take it left and walk down into the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood of San Anselmo. To the south of the Ridgewood Trail is Sorich Park, a 60 acre preserve maintained as open space by the town of San Anselmo. If you are looking for a longer, more rigorous hike, you can hike down through the Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery trail and end up down in San Anselmo at the end of San Francisco Blvd. (There is parking there, and you can hike from that location up to this trail as well.) For information on all of San Anselmo’s parks, please consult this website.
I suggest you (and your pets) stay on trail — there is a lot of poison oak lurking nearby. After passing through the Eucalyptus grove a number of smaller paths break off — most have no name and lead you to various plateaus with gorgeous vistas of Mount Tamalpais, San Anselmo and, if you hike far enough, the town of Fairfax. To the north you can see Terra Linda, Northgate Mall, the Marin County Civic Center and the bay in the distance. On a clear day, you can even see the skyscrapers of San Francisco to the southeast far in the distance poking above the hills.
The Ridgewood Trail is one of my favorite spots to hike when I don’t have much time and want to take in some gorgeous only-in-Marin views. I hope you have found this article helpful in planning your own Marin hike. As always, I am happy to help with any real estate questions you might have — please feel free to use the contact form below or call / text me at 415.847.5584. Happy trails!