Winding Woods

Winding Woods

Leo Crane

In Marin County, there is no shortage of winding wooded trails and breathtaking views. While most of us at TL live in the greater San Rafael area, you can typically find a trailhead at the end of most neighborhoods. I am lucky enough to live next to a smaller off-shoot trail that connects to the Terra Linda Ridge Fire Road. Having explored the area extensively, it never seems to disappoint.  

On your way up the steep grade behind my house, you can stop at almost any time and discover breathtaking views. Around a third of the way up, you behold a great view of our school and the community that surrounds it. Halfway up, you can see the Civic Center building, along with Santa Venetia Valley. Once you reach the top of the trail, you can see all of San Rafael and possibly even Richmond on a clear day. If your goal is to see a stellar sunset then I recommend you go to the end of Del Granado Road and walk up the Del Granado Fire Road until it meets with the Terra Linda Ridge Fire Road. This offers an amazing view of Sleepy Hollow and the hills that stretch onto the horizon. 


However, if you’re the type who enjoys long walks into the woods where you can escape the light, then the Lucas Valley area is for you. Commonly believed to be named after George Lucas, The Creator of Star Wars, it is actually named after John Lucas (no relation) who was a local rancher who settled in the area in the 19th century. Each street you go down has a different surprise waiting for you. It could be sheer cliffs, waterfalls, or even fern groves. My most frequented hike is Goat Trail, it has all that and more. If you take a right into the fallen woods you’ll find the perfect habitat for mushrooms of all shapes and sizes. Finding and identifying mushrooms is one of my favorite pastimes while hiking because you learn something new every time and that makes it more exciting. 


Issalina Sowry, a junior at Terra Linda elaborated on how living near a trail has also had a positive impact on her life.  She talked about how more importantly, living near nature has helped her in her life. She went on to say that she had many fond memories of being out in nature with her friends and thought that she would have turned out differently if she didn’t have that resource. The outdoors are a great way to relieve stress and release endorphins. So I implore you to get off of your phone once a week and go on a hike. Even if it’s two o’clock and there is no view, look at the trees and feel the breeze.