Location: Mill Valley, Marin County, CA
Source: Mill Valley Lanes walk, from the book, Hidden Walks in the East Bay & Marin by Stephen Altschuler.
Features: Roads and steps above and around the village of Mill Valley and along the Corte Madera Creek.
The village of Mill Valley is one of my favorite places to unwind and relax away from the urban scene of Oakland. Nestled in the coast redwoods below Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley has many nice shops, book stores and restaurants in it’s town center.
Before starting my hike, I like to get some lunch from the excellent Mill Valley Market. The deli department has a great selection at it’s hot table and salad bar. So many choices! Today I got curry vegetables, pork ribs and swedish meatballs. Next stop is to one of the best coffee shops in the entire Bay Area, Equator Coffee. From here, I can plot my course.
This hike starts just down the street from Equator on Miller Ave. behind the Mill Creek Plaza shops. In the back of the parking lot (if you look carefully) are some wooden stairs that take you up the steep hillside behind the village. From here you start to get a great view of Mt. Tam and the rest of the village. You proceed along a wooded lane where you’ll see nice, secluded houses until you get back down to town at Throckmorton Avenue. You then cross the street and head up the opposing hill through a network of small streets and stairways. Eventually you get to Corte Madera Creek which you follow up further into the woods.
Approaching a Japanese style gate I was approached by a friendly bulldog sentry. He kept me company for awhile as I continued to walk a bit further than map in the guide book directed (oops). Eventually I crossed the creek where Corte Madera meets W. Blithedale Ave., then continued down this road until I was back in the village by the Mill Valley Market.