Gordon Mill Trail

A relatively easy-to-follow, wide-open dirt road diving deep into mountainside forests.

5.2 miles RT; 1000 ft climbing; moderate to strenuous

Amidst the swirling intersections on the southern end of El Corte Madera Open Space Preserve, Gordon Mill Trail cuts a distinct track. But, as always, bring a map anyhow.

Park in the park's main (southern) lot and set out on the main trail. Keep left at the intersection but stay on the road, following signs for Gordon Mill Trail. Let your focus drift away from your feet with the easy walking. Look for mushrooms, moss and swooping ravens.

The wide dirt road holds the forest back enough to get a good look at it and allows room for bikers and hikers to coexist.

About 1.1 miles into the meander, turn left to continue onto Gordon Mill. There are trail signs, lots of them, so read carefully! Continue along the trail as it begins to track the course of a tributary to El Corte de Madera Creek on its way downhill. Lengthen your stride and enjoy all that invigorating motion. You’ll need the memory of that joy in movement to help get you back up the hill.

At the bottom of the hill turn tail and retrace the trail or turn right onto Timberview Trail for another 1.1 miles to catch a glimpse at a tucked-away old redwood, survivor of axes, teller of another kind of time.

—L. Clark Tate

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