If you’ve got little hikers and a hankering for a picnic perch with great views and few crowds, visit the Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve in Corte Madera. This right-in-the-middle-of-Marin patch of land was slated for development, but (thankfully!) was spared from bulldozers-it offers breathtaking views of the East Bay, Marin, and, for those on legs sturdy enough to make it over the crest, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are some pretty crazy rock formations-Turtle Rock is our favorite-and plenty of wildflowers in the spring (milkmaids, buttercups, and shooting stars). You can even bring the dog–something that’s not always possible on some of Marin’s other kid-friendly trails. To get there, exit Lucky or Paradise Drive along Hwy 101 and take Paradise Drive east of Corte Madera. Follow Paradise Drive for another half mile and turn right on Taylor Road. There is limited parking at the end of Taylor Road.
To load up on fresh fruit, snacks and other hiking goodies, stop at Paradise Market (a foodie oasis). If you need a cool treat after a hot sunny hike, drop into the Corte Madera Town Centre for a scoop at Ciao Bella.