County of Marin - News Releases - Motorized Access

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2020

Parking Restrictions to Loosen at Some Rec Areas

Coastal parks and locations that encourage congregating still off limits to vehicles

San Rafael, CA – Starting May 18, those who have been sheltering in place will be allowed to drive a vehicle to many Marin County city, town and County-operated parks and trailheads, park nearby, and enjoy a hike, just like pre-pandemic times.

A Sheriff's Office Jeep is parked to block an unpaved trail with signage in front of the vehicle about maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.Although many trailheads in Marin will allow parking, coastal parks and locations that encourage congregating will remain off limits to parking.
Marin’s Public Health Officer has drafted a new Parks closure and parking restrictions order that supersedes the previous order issued April 29. The new order allows for the loosening of restrictions on motorized access to recreational areas in all local jurisdictions. Towns and cities will be permitted to allow, limit, or prohibit motorized access as they deem appropriate during the COVID-19 emergency. 

Residents are strongly encouraged to verify the status of local parks and any remaining restrictions with their local jurisdictions. While some parks may be open to motorized access, certain portions of park facilities with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering – including playgrounds, gym equipment, climbing walls, benches, picnic areas, dog parks, pools and barbeque areas – will remain closed.

There will be no loosening of access at some locations that tend to draw larger crowds from across the Bay Area, creating conditions where visitors cannot feasibly comply with social distancing requirements. Facilities that remain closed to motorized access, except for those with state-issued disabled vehicle placards on display, are:

  • Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area (including Muir Woods National Monument)
  • Mount Tamalpais State Park
  • Tomales Bay State Park
  • Samuel P Taylor State Park
  • Chicken Ranch Beach (along Tomales Bay)
  • Miller Park (along Tomales Bay)
  • White House Pool Park in Point Reyes Station
  • Bolinas Lagoon Open Space Preserve (including Bolinas County Park)
  • all Marin Municipal Water District lands
  • all beaches or inlets along the Pacific Ocean.

Residents who can access those locations by foot, on a bike, and without any sort of motorized assistance are welcome to responsibly visit them. Owners of vehicles parked near those facilities who do not have a disabled placard clearly displayed are considered in violation of sheltering orders and are susceptible to a parking fine.

While certain aspects of the Parks closure order have been loosened, Marin’s facial coverings order is still in effect, and residents should remain vigilant in limiting the spread of COVID-19 with the following practices:

  • frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • staying home when showing symptoms of illness
  • limiting unnecessary travel around the county and greater Bay Area
  • continuing to physically distance at least 6 feet from someone outside a person’s household.

Marin County Public Health issued its first park closure and parking restriction order March 22 to stem the tide of visitors during the pandemic. Marin’s coastal communities were inundated with visitors, and many of them were not adhering to social distancing guidelines, placing the local population and other visitors at risk of contracting the contagious virus. The initial closure affected more than 18,000 acres managed by Marin County Parks, including dozens of park facilities and open space preserves.

For more about the gradual reopening of Marin County during the pandemic, check


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website