the beach itself, the sand dollars and limpet shells wash
in for the taking. Surfers and boogie boarders often rule
the surfline (despite the occasional white shark encounter).
would end up owning some 1,700 acres, including what's
become the town center. More than century later, perhaps
Easkoot would be satisfied that at least the town's creek
carries his name.
the parking is near the southern end of the strand, which
is owned by the federal government. North of that, the
County of Marin owns a stretch of it (technically called
Upton's Beach) and dogs are allowed there. Beyond that,
to the mouth of Bolinas Lagoon, the beach is owned by
the residents of the Seadrift subdivision.
no direct public access to Seadrift Beach, and years of
legal battles between various entities and Seadrift homeowners
has yielded a compromise only a committee could love.
Essentially, the public may use the beach, or at least
the part below the mean hightide line (unmarked), and
as long as they sort of keep moving. In practice, the
arrangement works with few problems, which is surprising
since on a clear on day, some 15,000 beachgoers might
descend on the 1,000-person town.
magnificent ridge that rises above Stinson is, like the
beach below, federally owned as part of the Golden Gate
National Recreation Area. A trail upward - the Matt Davis
Trail - can be picked up near the community center. South
of town along Highway 1 lies the bottom end of the two-plus-mile-long
Steep Ravine Trail, which as the name implies, offers
a easier hike downhill than up. Those wanting to tackle
the trail from the other direction can start the descent
from the Pantoll Ranger Station (altitude around 1,500
feet) on Panoramic Highway, which leaves Highway 1 in
Stinson and scales the shoulder of Mount Tamalpais.
town itself benefits from the healthy boosterism of its
residents. A town park - the Village Green - is largely
a product of volunteerism. So too is the new library in
the unmistakable shell of an old convenience store. And
where else could you find a place with no gas station
and one ATM machine but several dynamite restaurants?