One of Madeline’s favorite Mill Valley walks at any time of year is the Cascade Canyon Loop in Mill Valley, California. In the winter and early spring, extra treats are Cascade Falls and the rushing Old Mill and Cascade Creeks.
Here is the route:
- Start at Old Mill Park on Throckmorton Ave., a short walk from the town square. You can easily park along the street. You can explore the park with the remnants of the saw mill on Old Mill Creek. A few feet away is the start of the famous Dipsea Trail with its many steps.
- Turn left on Cascade drive and continue on the level road for about 1.5 miles (30 minute walk) to the Cascade Creek trailhead. You will be walking through a beautiful forested neighborhood close to and sometimes crossing Old Mill Creek.
- From the trailhead, take the easy half mile walk to the falls. Be careful on slippery sections, particularly when crossing the creek over the bridge.
- Returning to Cascade Drive, turn right and continue to the end, where you turn right on Lovell Ave. Lovel climbs gently along Cascade Creek and then down toward town.
- You can turn left on Elma Ave to return to the Mill Valley Library and Old Mill Park.
The loop walk is about 3 miles, plus a half mile detour to the falls.
Cascade Falls is seasonal, dropping gracefully about 15 feet into Old Mill Creek. Marin Mommies provides an excellent discussion and photos of the falls. We could not do better, so we defer to them. There is some parking at the trailhead if you want to visit the falls with minimal walking.
Cascade Loop Walk
The Cascade Loop walk is an ideal introduction to the exceptional charm and beauty of Mill Valley. The three mile walk along paved streets takes you past fragrant redwood groves and interesting homes, plus views across the valley and toward Mount Tamalpais. Here is a slideshow of Madeline’s walk from Old Mill Park and back.