Just 20 minutes outside of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is an easy hike filled with natural splendor. The Tennessee Valley Trailhead [591 Tennessee Valley Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941] is 1.7 miles out to the beach, relatively flat albeit a few gentle rolling hills.
The trail begins paved, but gives away to hard packed dirt. Along the way we spotted a covey of California quail
and a lone coyote slinking through the grass who was all but camouflaged, only given away by its movement.
The trail dead ends at a scenic valley beach, adorned with towering rock on either side.
A pair of American oystercatchers were our only company on a windy afternoon at shore,
but a group of cormorants sat a short way in the distance dotted on a boulder.
Notice a set of stairs on the side of the coast, be sure to climb on up for an outstanding view.
Pass the old bunker
and be sure to look back where you came from.
The road back home is just as lovely.
If you come at low tide in the right season, you can see the shipwrecked engine of the SS Tennessee, we missed it but that would have been an added bonus!