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Bayfront Park and Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve

 Life on the Multi-Use Path

A paved path open to the public runs from the corner of East Blithedale Avenue and Roque Moraes Drive through Bayfront Park and Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve, then on to Marin City and Sausalito. The Multi-Use Path is aptly named, allowing walkers, joggers, skaters, bikers and, in some stretches, horseback riders access to a few miles of paved paths barred to motorized vehicles other than service vehicles.

Map of Bayfront and Bothin
     Map © Marin County Open Space District.

Tracks for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad used to line this route, and the train stopped near what is now the Golden Gate Transit bus stop at Almonte Boulevard and Miller Avenue. At this point travelers could stay on the train to continue towards northern Marin, or change for a different train that headed to downtown Mill Valley's train depot, near the site of the Depot Bookstore and Cafe today.

Passenger trains through Mill Valley ended their run in 1940, though the tracks remained until they were paved over in the 1970s to create the multi-use path.

Historic Train Tracks
The path as it enters Bayfront Park, looking southbound. Multi Use Path w/Pedestrians
The multi-used path is used by bicyclists, walkers and babies in carriages. This shot is looking north at Mt Tamalpais at the point where the path leaves Bayfront Park and enters Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve.
Multi Use Path with Tam
The area around the path is a year-round home to many species of wildlife, and becomes a birdwatcher's paradise from October through February as shore birds stop here to winter in our mild climate.

Horseback riding is permitted through Bayfront Park and Bothin Marsh.
Multi Use Path with Horses & Bikes
Clam shells ring the shore, the remains of meals for many of the bird species.   The long-billed curlew, with its distinctive down-curved bill, is one of the temporary residents often visible in the marsh.
Long Billed Curlew
Sometimes birdwatchers don't even need their binoculars.  Graceful great egrets sometimes rest on the rocks near the path. Looking down over one of the pedestrian bridges on the path, we found an inquisitive-looking barn swallow looking back at us. The keen-eyed can sometimes view purple shore crabs as they leave their rocky homes along the shore.

Visible from most of the path are the geometric shapes that make up the Richardson Bay Bridge. Since marshes are generally in low-lying areas, the combination of heavy rains and high tide can cause flooding, as happened on December 24 of last year. Just before the path winds into Marin City, a brief detour can afford you an unusual view under the Richardson Bay Bridge.
Richardson Bay Bridge












































 Written by Alan Nayer. Text and Photos (except where noted) are © Alan Nayer.

Last updated: 12/2/2007 10:26:10 AM