Tennessee Valley is an offshoot of the Marin Headlands that offers hiking opportunities where you might see a variety of wildlife from mighty raptors to common swallows, deer and coyote. One trail, the Tennessee Valley Trail meanders for approximately two miles through serene, rolling hills down to the Pacific Ocean.
In the spring, the vegetation of the valley is lush and green and you might see lupine, checker-bloom, blue-eyed grass, California buttercup, and California poppy. In summer, the grasses turn golden, and by late summer you can find fennel, lizardtail, sagebrush, sticky monkey flower, and blackberry bushes.
Trails and Pathways
- Tennessee Valley Trail
- Time to Complete:
- 1 hour
- Trailhead Location:
- At the parking lot
- Trail Length:
- 2-4 total miles
- Typical Width:
- 4 ft. & above
- Typical Grade:
- Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: The well-groomed 1.8 mile (one-way) Tennessee Valley Trail, also known as the Valley Trail, curves along the valley floor out to the ocean at Tennessee Beach--you can see the ocean from the bluffs but can’t get to the beach in a wheelchair. The first quarter-mile is asphalt then becomes packed dirt. Shortly after the pavement ends the trail splits into the upper and lower Tennessee Valley Trails; the lower trail is the easier, more accessible route; the upper trail has some very long steep hills. There is a bench less than a quarter-mile from the parking lot and another near the lagoon but it is up many steps. The trail becomes impassable to wheelchairs after the lagoon due to rough terrain and deep sand. Except for a small eucalyptus stand this trail has no shade. It’s a popular trail especially on weekends.
More Info: There’s a few short rocky hills where assistance might be needed Some stretches may be impassable in wet weather. In a few places there are wooden strips 1-3 inches high that if not maintained may impeed some wheelchairs especially motorized wheelchairs with low-clearance.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria
unless otherwise noted.
- Accessible Parking:
- Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%
- Accessible Restroom:
- Yes – One is at the parking lot and one near the lagoon has a high threshold from the trail to the concrete pad and made require assistance
- Accessible Picnic Table:
- Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; Located next to the parking lot and one near the bathroom just before the lagoon has a firm but bumpy path to it and not very scenic