The Open Space Committee's first successful land purchase project occurred in 1982, soon after the Committee was formed in 1981. Now known as Kite Hill, this hilltop 1/4 acre lot, located at the highest elevation in San Anselmo (730’), was owned by the Marin Municipal Water District. The District had intended to build a domestic water tank at the crown of the hill, which has panoramic views of the Bay Area. When the tank was deemed unnecessary, the MMWD offered the property to the Town of San Anselmo for a price of $10,000.
The Open Space Committee swung into action and organized the fund-raising to acquire this small but stunning property. With financial support from the Town, the Sierra Club, the Sleepy Hollow Homeowners Association, the County of Marin, The Trust for Public Land and a number of citizens, the land is now public open space. Hal Brown, who at the time was a new member of the Board of Supervisors, was also a key supporter of the project.
A visit to the top of Kite Hill reveals the dramatic landscape of the Ross Valley and beyond, and why preserving land in its natural state is such an imperative.
Access & Trails:
Kite Hill is located off Oak Springs Drive at the border with Fairfax. From the Hub, proceed west on Sir Francis Drake. Turn right on Butterfield Road. Turn left on Woodside Drive and follow it to Oak Springs Drive. Turn left and park safely beyond #170. Walk up the driveway between #168 and 170 and follow the fire road to the summit of the hill. This access crosses a private drive, so please respect the residents’ property and privacy.
Distance: 1/2 mile each way
Dogs are permitted off-leash
Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or harass other park visitors. Please clean up after your dog. Poop bags and a trash can are at the entrance. No water is available.
Bikes are allowed (can be part of a loop from Sleepy Hollow)
It has great views, wildflowers in the spring, and is dog-friendly. It is an easy hilltop hike in which your car does all the hill-climbing, it’s a favorite sunset stroll or for walking off a meal.
From the entrance at #170 Oak Springs Road (650’ elevation), walk up the driveway (respect the owner’s privacy and property) and continue up the fire road. At .08 miles is a small junction. Turn right and walk a few feet to the summit of the small hilltop on your right (715’) for the views of Sleepy Hollow and much of central Marin. San Pablo Bay is visible, as are downtown San Rafael and the towers of San Francisco in the distance. Return to the fire road and turn right. From this point, you are on private land, but the owner has agreed to allow public access. Continue north on the fire road. At .21 miles is a shady grove of bay trees beside the road on your left. This is a great lunch spot on a hot day – but watch for poison oak. Continue north to the MMWD water tank at .38 miles. On the right is some nice rock art. Descend to a gate at .47 miles. The road continues straight ahead to connect with Stuyvesant Drive, which descends into Sleepy Hollow. Return the way you