Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

Indian Valley Open Space Preserve is a modest slice of forested foothills on the north side of Big Rock Ridge. That significant barrier to the south comprises the main topographical influence here, casting its long shadow over Indian Valley’s web of trails and modest hills, which rarely reach much over 400 ft. or so within […]

Deer Island Open Space Preserve

Deer Island is not exactly an island, at least not anymore. These days it is a lightly-used open space preserve in eastern Novato, centered around a hill which rises from the surrounding flatlands which were once part of the Petaluma River delta. One nice thing about Deer Island is its convenient, digestible smallness: a short […]

Las Gallinas Ponds

Guest Site Profile by Susan Kelly The Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds is the birding community’s name for the complex of sewage treatment ponds, tidal mudflats, salt marsh, and agricultural fields around the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District plant in San Rafael. The wastewater facility includes four treatment ponds and two miles of flat levee trails […]

Hamilton Wetlands

Within these pages, we often praise Marin’s system of open space preserves. These areas are what we typically think of when we talk about bird habitat—natural plant and wildlife communities that have been preserved intact among the surrounding matrix of human development. The Hamilton Wetlands, in contrast, have not merely been preserved, but actually re-created. […]

Indian Tree Open Space Preserve

Novato is home to several preserves that seem to be well known among birders: Rush Creek, Mount Burdell, Stafford Lake, and the Hamilton Wetlands all pop up regularly in the lists of seasonal sightings, perhaps aided by their relatively prominent public access points and often quick and easy access to patches rich with easy sightings. […]

Rush Creek

Rush Creek Open Space Preserve on the northern border of Novato offers several hundred acres of public wetlands and woodlands, but is set alongside several thousand more acres of protected land together comprising the largest natural tidal brackish marsh in California, including the Petaluma River marshlands managed by California Fish and Wildlife and Marin Audubon’s […]

Bahia Lagoon

Above: Common Goldeneye by zenbikescience on Flickr Bordering the Bahia neighborhood in northern Novato, the main area of interest discussed here is the “East Lagoon” or “Horseshoe Pond” found on the right side of this map. Note that public access areas are marked in green; see below for specifics on location and access. Marin Audubon […]