August 2021: Due to the public health risks of Covid-19, the preserves are closed until further notice.
The Martin Griffin Preserve is open seasonally for visitors and schoolchildren to explore. In the fall and spring, the Preserve hosts its well-regarded nature education programs for elementary schools, which serve thousands of schoolchilden every year. During select Saturdays in spring, summer and fall, the Preserve is open to visitors.
We look forward to announcing preserve events in the near future, see our calendar. Unscheduled hiking is not allowed on the preserve.
Look here for information on our heronry.
Suggested donation of $20 per person supports our programs and management of the 5,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries owned by ACR. All donations are greatly appreciated! Some programming is fee-based.
Martin Griffin Preserve:
4900 Shoreline Highway 1
Stinson Beach, CA 94970
415-868-9244 ext. 110
P.O. Box 577
Stinson Beach, CA 94970
The Martin Griffin Preserve is located between the towns of Stinson Beach and Bolinas in west Marin County, California. Two canyons within the preserve offer public access at various times throughout the year. The Martin Griffin Preserve also houses ACR's headquarters.
Directions to Picher Canyon (ACR Headquarters) of Martin Griffin Preserve
The entrance to Picher Canyon is at 4900 Highway 1, Stinson Beach. To get there:
Option One: Take Highway 101 north from San Francisco or south from San Rafael to the Highway One/Stinson Beach exit. Follow Highway 1 approximately 12 miles to Stinson Beach. Continue 3 1/2 miles north of Stinson Beach to the preserve entrance on the right. Look for the sign: “Audubon Canyon Ranch, Martin Griffin Preserve.”
Option Two: Take Highway 101 north from San Francisco or south from San Rafael to the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Exit. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. northwest for about 21 miles to Olema. Turn south (left) on Highway 1 and follow it for about 10 miles to Bolinas Lagoon. Once Bolinas Lagoon is within view, continue approximately another mile. The preserve entrance will be on the left. Look for the sign: “Audubon Canyon Ranch, Martin Griffin Preserve.”
Directions to Volunteer Canyon of Martin Griffin Preserve
The entrance to Volunteer Canyon is at 4800 Highway 1, Stinson Beach. To get there:
From the SOUTH: Drive almost 3 miles north of Stinson Beach. 100 yards beyond highway marker 15.42, make a right turn into the side road with the wooden “Volunteer Canyon” sign. Parking is adjacent to Highway 1 just before the entrance.
From the NORTH: Drive south from the town of Olema for 12 miles. (Olema is at the junction of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and Highway 1.) You will pass a sign that says “Audubon Canyon Ranch Martin Griffin Preserve” in front of the yellow ranch house at Picher Canyon. Continue for ½ mile and turn left at the 15.45 marker onto the side road with the wooden “Volunteer Canyon” sign. Parking is adjacent to Highway 1 just past the entrance.
The Martin Griffin Preserve is accessible by public transportation via the West Marin Stagecoach, though on a limited basis. Please check their website before embarking on your trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Martin Griffin Preserve open this year (2021)?
No. Due to the public health risks of Covid-19, the preserve is closed until further notice.
What's going on with the heronry?
Since 2013 the Preserve nesting sites were abandoned in favor of others on the western shore of Bolinas Lagoon and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Although no one knows why the birds left, we suspect avian predators (Bald Eagles) as the likely cause. Click here for the history of the heronry and updated information on nesting activities.
What else is there to do at the Martin Griffin Preserve besides observe the heronry?
Lots! Visitors are encouraged to hike over eight miles of fern-lined trails, discover ponds with newts and other aquatic life, enjoy a picnic under the redwoods and take in views of the birds on Bolinas Lagoon. On weekends, ACR Nature Guides are on hand to lead hikes and answer questions about the history, stewardship and preservation of the Preserve. See the calendar for visiting opportunities.
How much do you charge?
Suggested donation $20/person. Contributions support ACR's preservation, education and conservation science programs. ACR also offers a membership program. All donations are greatly appreciated!
Is food available at the Preserve?
No. People often bring their lunch, and you are welcome to picnic at the tables in the ranch yard but there is no food available for purchase.
Do you have overnight accommodations for the visiting public?
No. Accommodations can be found in the neighboring town of Stinson Beach.
Can the facilities be rented for weddings and events?
ACR considers renting its facilities for corporate, business and non-profit retreats. Please contact the ACR Development Team for details. ACR no longer rents its facilities for weddings and private parties.
Are you still open if it rains?
Are dogs allowed on the Preserve?
Sorry, no pets are allowed on the Preserve except for service animals, i.e., any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability.