Signature Trail Corridor

Cataract Trail Restoration

Cataract Falls is one of the premiere destinations for Bay Area hikers. Visitors reach the falls via the 1.6-mile Cataract Trail, which closely mirrors its namesake creek as it descends through forested and fern covered slopes, and past deep pools and cascading waterfalls.

The trail is incredibly popular during the wet season—seeing up to 400 visitors per hour when the falls are at their peak. Unfortunately, the wet season is when the muddy, steep trail is also the least safe and most prone to erosion. Over the years, the Marin Municipal Water District has worked to improve visitor safety and protect the stream from sedimentation, but additional improvements are still necessary to reduce the impacts of such heavy trail use.

Improving the Trail Corridor

This project will include enhancements throughout the trail corridor to help improve water quality, visitor experience, educational opportunities and wildlife habitats. These include improving the trailhead at Rock Springs, reintroducing foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii), protecting sensitive creek resources, restoring the historic log bridge, constructing natural stone treads and stairs at heavily used trail junctions, and installing new composting toilets, interpretive signage, and viewing areas.

Credit: Carl Sanders

Cataract Falls, beautiful and flush with winter rains, is a major destination for Bay Area hikers

Credit: Pierre Fidenci

Cataract Falls is a good potential site for foothill yellow-legged frog reintroduction

Historic stone stairs will be repaired and restored

The log bridge is in need of repair and upgrades

The Laurel Dell picnic area will see upgraded amenities and public education and interpretation opportunities