Biking, Dog Walking, Hiking, Riding & Picnicking


Hikers may choose from 138 miles of trails and unpaved roads, many of which connect with adjacent national and state parks and county open space district lands. To minimize human disturbance to sensitive habitat and to protect listed and endangered species that inhabit district land please stay on authorized routes.

Dog Walking

To protect our natural resources and to ensure a pleasant watershed experience for our visitors we ask that for all canine companions, “love ‘em and leash ‘em.” Dogs are permitted on district lands only when restrained by a leash and under the control of the owner. Aggressive canines have been known to intimidate wildlife, endanger newborn deer, disturb aquatic habitat, and disrupt the tranquility of other watershed visitors. Most of the MMWD Mt. Tamalpais Watershed is within the boundary of the Mt. Tamalpais State Game Refuge and is governed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and MMWD rules and regulations. The main purpose of the refuge system is to ensure survival of wildlife by providing suitable cover, food, and protection for fish and wildlife from humans.


Bicyclists can travel some 80 miles of unpaved roads but are prohibited from riding or possessing a bike on single track hiking and equestrian trails. Because of the potential for visitor conflict and related safety concerns the district has established a maximum speed limit of 15 MPH for bicycles. In addition, district regulations stipulate that bicyclists are to slow to 5 MPH when passing others or when in blind turns.

According to MMWD's Land Use Regulations (9.04.01) motorized bicycles are prohibited.

Horseback Riding

Horses are allowed on unpaved roads and some designated trails. Horses may not enter streams and reservoirs, travel cross country, or graze on watershed lands.


MMWD's Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area is a lovely spot for a picnic, potluck, or cookout. You'll find picnic tables and barbecues in a grove of redwoods, skirted by a creek on one side and sandwiched between Lagunitas and Bon Tempe lakes.
The picnic area features a rustic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression era public work program, in 1936. Lagunitas' wooden spillway is nearby, along with the remnants of three fish rearing ponds used to raise Steelhead Trout up until World War II.

The picnic area is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Please note that open flames are restricted to facilities provided by the district. You can reserve the picnic shelter for $75 or the group picnic site for $125 by contacting Sky Oaks Headquarters at 415-945-1180. No reservations are necessary for individuals and families, although there is a watershed entry fee of $8 per vehicle. Annual vehicle passes are available; find more information on our Parking Passes page.

The district also has more remote, undeveloped picnic sites to enjoy.

Slow And Say Hello March, 2018 from Tom Boss on Vimeo.

Rattlesnakes on the Watershed

If you spend a lot of time hiking outdoors in the spring and summer months, chances are you have heard the hair-raising sound of a rattlesnake’s warning alarm.

rattlesnake While several different species of rattlesnake live in California, the variety we have here in the Bay Area is the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

During warmer months, MMWD Rangers respond regularly to rattlesnake calls. Snakes end up in picnic areas, trails, fire roads, pump houses, and other places where they can present a hazard. District Rangers are trained in removing these creatures when necessary and relocating them to a safer place for both the snake and humans. Despite the healthy population of rattlesnakes on the watershed, bites from these creatures are extremely rare. When bites do occur it’s usually from preventable causes.

Snakes are actually very beneficial to our ecosystem. In fact, the benefits of rattlesnakes far outweigh the threat they present to us. Rattlesnakes eat rodents, helping to eliminate rodent-borne diseases. They help moderate rodent populations, so critters don't run rampant and damage crops and other food supplies.

If you encounter a rattlesnake: freeze, listen, locate, and slowly retreat. If the snake is in area that could pose a threat to others, call MMWD at 415-945-1500 they can notify a ranger to relocate the snake, if necessary.