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Big Rock rolls: feel as if you're on top of the world on Marin's new multiuse trail.

A new trail in Marin--and a new link in the Bay Area Ridge Trail--offers top-of-the-world views without the heavy breathing. Big Rock Trail, Marin County Open Space District's first multiuse, single-track trail (open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horses), wiggles about 3 miles up the north end of Lucas Valley. Incredibly, the out-and-back trail gets you to the 1,825-foot Big Rock Ridge summit without many steep trudges or grueling grades--just a couple of switchbacks and gently climbing stretches through tunnels of bay laurel and meadows dotted with curious cows. Peek west for views of George Lucas's private property (Lucas and an adjoining rancher allowed the trail to cross portions of their lands). Up top, you get 360[degrees] views; this month, catch the fog tumbling over Mt. Tamalpais and Bolinas Ridge to the west. From the summit, fire roads lead southeast toward Marinwood and Novato (though no routes loop back to the Big Rock trailhead).

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INFO: Big Rock trailhead (415/499-6387; visit www.marinopenspace.org/os_park_19.asp for a trail description and map) is in Lucas Valley, about 25 miles north of San Francisco. From U.S. 101, take Lucas Valley Rd. roughly 5 1/2 miles west; limited parking is on the left (south) side of the road, and the trailhead is across the street.

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN ARBABI
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Title Annotation:THINGS TO DO IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Author:Manley, Harriot
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:225
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