Ahead of our first honeymoon trip to Mill Valley, I researched trails to explore and found the Tennessee Valley Trailhead. Located off the Marin Headlands, a hilly peninsula just north of San Francisco, the Tennessee Valley trail is a leisurely 3.4 mile out-and-back trail featuring an abundance of hills, lush vegetation and a beautiful beach cove. Originally named Indian Cove for its indigenous inhabitants, the trailhead was later renamed in honor of the S.S. Tennessee shipwreck. Thwarting attempts to develop the Marin Headlands, the area remains undeveloped due to its incorporation into the Golden Gate Recreation Area in the early 1970’s.
Know Before You Go – Visiting the Tennessee Valley Trail
- The trail is close to Mill Valley, where we stayed on our trip.
- We found that our cellphone reception was spotty or non-existent upon arrival.
- Be sure to be well prepared with a park map (there is a large map located at the trail entrance), water and sunscreen.
- This is a very accessible trail. For example, there are a few alternate routes allowing visitors to avoid some of the hillier climbs.
- Be sure to look out for park notices regarding dangerous conditions or wildlife sightings. For example, we saw warnings for an aggressive coyote sighting.
- There is a beach at the trail midpoint. Visitors can tackle a steep vertical climb to the Tennessee Valley Beach Overlook to view the beach and distant cliffs of the Marin Headlands.
Features of the Trail
The Tennessee Valley Trail is abundant with lush vegetation, rolling hills and beautiful viewpoints. Halfway through the trail you will find yourself at Tennessee Beach, nestled in a cove among rocky cliff sides. There are restrooms at the trail entrance and near the beach at the midway point. Located throughout the trail are a few picnic areas and trash receptacles.
In conclusion, this is a beautiful trail with many incredible landscapes that will amaze visitors. I hope you will enjoy these photographs taken from our visit.
Finally, the ocean is in view.
The reward of our steep climb to the overlook. What a view!