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Saturday, June 24 10 AM to 2 PM
Field Trip Leader – Linda Novy

This classic Marin County outing will start on the Cascade Fire Road, passing a stand of sergeant cypress (Hesperocyparis [formerly Cupressus] sargentii) and pipe vines, (Aristolochia
californica), continue through some undisturbed broadleaf
and coniferous forest and then enter into a section of chaparral and grasslands, featuring stands of Festuca californica. The route will then rejoin the Cascade Fire Road and hike up to Cascade Falls along a stretch of San Anselmo Creek (also called Cascade Creek within the Preserve). Along the way, we’ll see many creekside plants (Western Columbine, Aquilegia formosa, Hazelnut, Corylus cornuta var. californica, Gooseberry: Ribes menziesii, Seep Monkey Flower: Mimulus guttatus, Chain Ferns: Woodwardia imbricata and others.

From Cascade Falls we retrace our steps to the Cascade Fire Road. We may take a quick detour and ramble along the San Anselmo Creek Trail (a short stretch) for more of a riparian/forest ecotone and a creek crossing into a secluded bay forest area with a hillside of native fern species. Our return will be via the Cascade Fire Road, Middle Fire Road, and down a social trail back onto Cascade Drive. Along this upper fire road we’ll encounter chaparral and grasslands, as well as a section of French and some Scotch broom.

This field trip will cover 3.5 to 4.5 easy to moderately strenuous miles with an overall elevation gain of approximately 200 feet.

Meet the group at the trailhead or at a carpool gathering spot described below. Take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. west from Highway 101, continue 6 miles to the town of Fairfax.

Turn left by the Fairfax sign on Pacheco Avenue. Then turn right immediately on Broadway. In one block, turn left on Bolinas Road; continue for 0.3 mile to the three-road intersection. Bear right on Cascade Drive (the middle road) and continue for 1.5 miles. The road becomes very narrow and ends at the trailhead at the Elliot Nature Preserve.

You can take your chances of finding parking along the road, but be mindful of parking restrictions and neighbor’s property.

If you wish to carpool the last part of the route and park at Linda’s house, meet just inside the Cascade Canyon Gates, the large brick pillars at the 3-way fork in Bolinas Road.

Please sign up for this hike so we know how many cars to expect for the carpool.

Email or telephone Susan Schlosser:, 707-834-6525