Mill Valley – Sausalito Path (The Multi-Use Path)
Many people don’t realize that there is a wide, paved Sausalito path that allows people to easily travel between the northern edge of Sausalito and Blithedale Ave. in Mill Valley (and beyond), a length of about 2.4 miles. It also extends northward from there for almost another full mile into the Scott Valley and Chapman area of Mill Valley, where it dead ends. The path’s website is here.
We focus on the Sausalito path to Blithedale leg on this page because it connects directly or indirectly to so many other streets, trails and sidewalks at Blithedale (including the routes to Tiburon and to Corte Madera), and this segment is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail. Over 3,000 people use the path on a typical day, and it’s a shorter route than either Highway 101 or Miller Ave. because it follows the route of an old rail line that was a key link to San Francisco via Sausalito a century ago.
The Mill Valley-Sausalito path also offers spectacular views, narrow wooden bridges and a sense that you’re out of the city and close to nature.
To reach the Sausalito path from the southern side, go to the corner of Gate 6 Road and Bridgeway, where Bridgeway meets Donahue and merges with Highway 101 (see map below). You’ll see the opening to the path between the small shopping center on the edge of the Bay and the 101 North Freeway on-ramp.
To reach the main section of the Sausalito path from the Mill Valley side, go to the corner of Blithedale Ave. and Lomita Drive, a short block from the intersection of Blithedale and Camino Alto (see map below). You’ll see the north end of the path directly opposite the entrance to Lomita and stretching southward from there..
One Word of Caution
By any standard The Mill Valley – Sausalito Path is a safe and beautiful way to travel. In that context, it has made occasional appearances in local headlines. Local governments and the Bicycle Coalition have worked as a team to address the rare but significant problems, and progress has been made.
This path is often referred to online as a bike path, but it’s designed for and used simultaneously by walkers, dogs, joggers, horses and riders, Segway riders, e-bike riders, wheelchair users, roller skaters and skateboarders (including powered skateboards) as well as some other folks I managed to leave out or whose devices of motion don’t have an obvious name.
Because it is wide and smoothly paved, for years it presented a tempting route for speeding bike commuters hurrying home and for serious cycling fans in training. Speed limits were lowered on the path in 2015 after collisions where a child was badly injured, and where an 80-year-old woman suffered a broken hip. Other problems have been off-leash dogs (it’s an on-leash path), 16-foot leashes that block the path, and people walking in groups blocking the whole path when the rules ask that pedestrians never walk more than two-abreast to leave room for others to pass. Please be considerate of everyone around you on the path.
Speed Limits on the Mill Valley – Sausalito Path are 15 mph (24 kph) in open areas and 10 mph (16 kph) in areas with pedestrian crossings. Mill Valley Police have issued speeding tickets for violations that endangered others.
* Although this pathway is usually called the Mill Valley – Sausalito Multi-Use Path, this is obviously an error, since we all can see that it should really be called the Sausalito – Mill Valley Multi-Use Path. Although I suppose it could be considered a compliment since it implies that everyone wants to come to Sausalito!