Explore the most popular forest trails near Fairfax with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

nice but steep at the front

on White Hill Loop Trail

hiking
21 days ago

Gets hairy after Cascade Falls, overgrown, poison oak, trail not well defined. If hiking clockwise, I recommend Blue Ridge Fire Road to Middle Fire Road to Cascade Fire Road or Split Rock (as opposed to Cascade Falls Trail). This adds some distance to the hike, but will save the scrambling through poison oak and losing the trail past the Falls. Enjoy!

hiking
22 days ago

Nice 8.2 mile hike. Some parts are steep, but nothing over the top

hiking
23 days ago

Mostly open fire road trail. We went left (counter clockwise) to take the mountain. Clear day. Nice view of the end of Tomales Bay.

Rated as moderate but it’s actually a pretty good challenge

We decided to continue hiking on the first trail to the left, about half way on this trail and hiked all the way out to where it comes back out on the lake. It’s only a few miles but the various switchbacks are pretty killer if you go that way and it is not a loop trail. This was a little while before I got the app so I was not ready for it. Very pretty though!

They are not kidding about this being a hard trail. I measured almost 9.5 miles. It took me a solid 3.5 hours with no breaks. I ran about a mile of it. Lots of steep stairs and inclines. Helen Markt Trail was a killer. I felt like it wasn’t going to end. This is definitely a tough one even for the seasoned hiker! Lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife: Bring lots of water and snacks.

Beautiful trail (would be amazing in winter and spring when water was running in the creek), but hikers need to be prepared for the amount of climbing or descending (depending on which way you travel). The 1000 feet of elevation change is accomplished over MANY stairs created with wood, dirt, and rock. While I was able to handle the descent, the uneven wood and boulders were tough on the knees and ankles.

Beautiful trail with lots of different kinds of terrain. Pretty lake area and views of mt tam. Didn’t see any other people on the trail.

Nice shaded paths, pretty much dry this time of year.

Nice shaded paths, pretty much dry this time of year.

beautiful trail!! not difficult at all, ended up being a little over 6 miles around both lakes. bon Tempe is definitely the more beautiful lake. would highly recommend for a leisurely hike. took about 2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice walk with our dog and two kids, age 14 and 10. Not strenuous. Signage is a little unclear in spots but it isn't hard to follow the All Trails map and stay on course.

great hike with lots of different types of terrain

Falls were a great finish. Parking was ok...waited ~10 for one to open up but was expected. First/last 1.5 mile of the hike (fireroad) was our least favorite but overall a good Sunday outing.

Tough. But fun.

beautiful hike

hiking
2 months ago

As an amateur hiker, I found this moderately challenging but satisfying. Lots of incline but with a wonderful view. It was a beautiful scenic route and heavily shaded. Terrain was a bit loose in some areas so the correct shoes for this hike is essential. Parking was a bit confusing and I think we began at the wrong end as we started decline end first. I would not bring my children here however there was a family with small children. Overall, one of my favorites so far, definitely one to do again (in the the spring, when there’s more water)

hiking
2 months ago

This is classified as a moderate hike but for the first time hiker it may be a challenge. There are many sets of steep wooden stairs. Also rock “stairs” to navigate. Dogs on leash are allowed to hike here. I would not recommend taking a dog that is not used to steep rocky hikes. My girl is a good hiker and can handle inclines but this was too difficult for her. We had to take several breaks and she only made it about halfway. Be careful going down as some of the places have gravel that can cause you to slip. Finally I would suggest going in the winter or spring. I went in the summer and though the lake was pretty the waterfalls were almost non existent.

Great hike mostly an incline up stairs and rocks. Great picnic area about 1.4 miles up. Lovely mystic look with a forest feel.

Hiked the loop today (7/29/18). Parking across the dam at the trailhead was limited. Started at 10:30 am. Went counter clockwise. Very steep up the creek to the falls. Eventually it leveled out to picnic area about 1.5 miles in. The trail around to the east was very nice and well maintained. Not a lot of views and the trail was in shade most of the way. From the where the trail went back down to the lake, the trail back to the original trail at the falls was long. Probably because it was hot and it seemed to keep going and going and going. Once at the turn off at the falls and back to parking, the rest of the hike was all down hill. The guide says it is 7+ miles but my iPhone activity said I went 9.3 miles. I do a lot of hiking and this distance seemed more accurate.

Cataract falls is an amazing trail. Lots of sights to see and the creek runs along the trail. There are signs all along the way with steps and rails to
Keep you sure footed. Be sure to arrive early because it will definitely get crowded after noon. Parking can be limited as well if you arrive late. All in all great trail and I definitely recommend it for the family hikers with kids. Enjoy!

Great hike! Beautiful views and quiet.

I loved this hike!!! Definitely going to do this again but earlier in the morning (i would suggest to start at 9:00am). My boyfriend and I started at 12:00pm and ended around 3:00pm. Bring snacks to eat and lots of water. Hardest part was driving there and parking, but thats why i would suggest to get their early.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail and it is amazing. Definitely not 8.5 miles. I clocked 10.7 miles, so be prepared. Lots of it is shaded. You will see frequent changes in the ecosystem. This is a mountain biking trail and I was the only hikers I came across.

Lots of climbing but pretty scenery throughout! I didn’t feel there was a big ‘pay-off’ moment at the top with a nice view so that’s why I’d rate this one a 4!

Great hike with my 4 year old!

Definitely one of the most beautiful trails I’ve been to. Will come back for sure!

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