DEBUT kid-friendly Tennessee Valley Trail

This is our DEBUT kid-friendly hike geared toward introducing our kids/grandkids to hiking in a way that will be easy for them to enjoy: with other kids on an 'easy' trail with a memorable 'beach cove' where we will enjoy lunch and toss a frisbee and kick around a soccer ball. This is open to all ages but geared toward the more 'vocally-opposed' 8-15 YO group. The trail is forgiving so the decision on hiking vs. tennis shoes for your child is up to you.

Tennessee Valley is an amazing offshoot of the Marin Headlands, with hiking trails that suit the whole family. The Tennessee Valley Trail is mostly level; it begins at the parking area and travels 1.7 miles to Tennessee Beach.

Getting there:
From US 101 in Marin County, take the CA 1/Shoreline Highway exit. After about 0.5 mile, turn left onto Tennessee Valley Road. Go about 1.5 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. Ignore the parking areas on the side of the road as you proceed along Tennessee Valley Rd. because you are headed to the end of the road.

Below is a link to the brochure and trail map:
Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below. It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree and are prepared with the following.

As always:

We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group and at waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace with the kids will be about 2mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within a reasonable distance from the group. If this doesn’t work for you, we can provide you with a map so you can take pleasure in the trail at your own pace. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy. Feel free to print out the map for your own use.

Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.

Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.

Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.

Duration: 3 hours

Facilities: at trail head

Dogs?: none allowed

Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.

Dress in layers. The hike starts off cool but rapidly warms up.

Bring a snack. We always have a break on the beach and let the kids play.

Bring your smile and great attitude! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!

See you on the trail!
Car pool etiquette- First and foremost....come prepared to drive. Yes.....I know.....a lot of you are trying to car pool because you don't want to or can't drive for whatever reason. I don't want you to be disappointed, so if you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. There is always that risk if you are counting on others to be your transportation. There may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. You might arrive late, be in the wrong spot or get stopped by a swarm of your paparazzi...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! If we have a gang wanting to ride we determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work! General rule of thumb for riders...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers! Then PLEASE if possible try to use the two locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.

Car pool locations:

SANTA ROSA:Coddingtown Library parking lot suggested leave at 8:15

PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:30

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  • Christy Vandever S.

    I "hiked" the trail this morning and it was beautiful. We will have a great time tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting you! I'll be with my 11 YO son and I wear a pink/grey pack. See you on the trail!

    June 21, 2013

  • Steven A.

    I am sorry we are not going to be able to join all of you. I have sprained my foot. Hope to be able to resume hikes in a few weeks.

    June 21, 2013

  • Karin G.

    So sorry to have to cancel. My daughter and granddaughter will be in San Diego.

    June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Total people will be me, my boyfriend and his 10 yr old daughter.

    1 · June 11, 2013

  • Karin G.

    I would have loved to do this and am so sorry to have to cancel.

    June 6, 2013

  • Don

    I like the idea Christy. Good luck and hopefully many sign up with their kids. Nice of you to organize.

    1 · May 22, 2013

  • Martha G

    Great idea. Sorry we will miss this hike since we will be on vacation. I have a 7 yr old but she can handle such a hike. I will be on the look-out for more kid-friendly hikes in the future.

    1 · May 21, 2013

  • Steven A.

    Robin, Gianluca and I are looking forward to this. Thanks for organizing this Christy!

    1 · May 22, 2013

    • Christy Vandever S.

      So glad your family will be able to make it! See you on the trail.

      May 22, 2013

  • Karin G.

    This is a great idea. So much easier to get kids involved when there are other kids around, not just adults. Thanks for starting this!

    1 · May 22, 2013

    • Christy Vandever S.

      Yes, I'm hoping it will make the time pass a little faster with less complaining. :)

      May 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Christy, what a bummer, not my weekend with my son..and it's in my backyard, so to speak.. Hope there will be more of these kid-friendly events so we can finally get the boys together! Have fun!

    1 · May 22, 2013

    • Christy Vandever S.

      Look for another in August. I'll try to get them on the calendar every other month as much as possible.

      May 22, 2013

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