County of Marin logoVisiting a Marin County Parks facility is even better when it’s free. The Marin County Board of Supervisors recently approved the elimination of entry fees for Parks locations, which is perfect timing for families with kids on summer break. Starting July 1, enjoying the parks and boat launches will cost nothing at all.

The fees, which had been $5.00 per passenger vehicle, were eliminated to encourage visits by individuals and families who may not normally visit county parks because fees that were seen as determining factors. The move had been recommended by the County’s Parks and Open Space Commission and Parks’ Equity Roundtable participants.

These spots are now free to visit as of July 1:

  • McNears Beach in eastern San Rafael
  • Paradise Beach near Tiburon
  • Stafford Lake near Novato
  • Black Point Boat Launch near Novato
  • Miller Boat Launch on Tomales Bay

The three parks offer great spots for picnicking, large gatherings, fishing, kite flying, or just lounging around and soaking in some great weather. At McNears and Paradise, visitors can kayak, paddleboard or canoe on San Francisco Bay. Stafford Lake features a disc golf course, an off-road bike park and hiking trails.

Parks told the Board that the fee elimination will result in an estimated $397,855 loss in annual income. Some of that balance will be recovered by revenue from reservable group sites and the elimination of other expenses. Any loss in review will be covered by Measure A, a countywide quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters, to the extent laws allow.

“Thanks to the Marin community for its continued support of Parks Measure A, which makes it possible for the Board to remove this longstanding obstacle,” said Parks Director Max Korten. “It’s about fairness, and now individuals from lower-income backgrounds have the same access to parks as visitors who have enjoyed open space preserves for free for decades. This aligns with other Measure A programs dedicated to getting people in our parks who are otherwise not able, including the Breathe/Respira community grant program and free reservable sites for eligible organizations.”