On February 8, 2023, the Marin Open Space Trust (MOST) purchased and then conveyed the 60-acre Bald Hill property to the Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD). The land, which includes Bald Hill’s iconic, scenic summit and the hill’s eastern face, will be permanently protected and accessible to the public for recreational use.
The land will become an addition to the existing 46-acre Bald Hill Open Space Preserve, and MOST is now working with the county to assess trail conditions and make improvements for public access.
For decades, Bald Hill had been a top acquisition priority for local towns, the MCOSD, and land conservation organizations. The land was zoned for estate lots and its development had always been a possibility.
Last fall, MOST began its campaign to raise funds for purchasing the property. On October 11, 2022, the MCOSD voted to purchase the Bald Hill property from MOST for $850,000. MOST then worked to raise the $1.25 million balance. The campaign was led by MOST, Ross Town Council Member Elizabeth Robbins, and Ross resident Dan Kalafatas.
Jonathan Braun, MOST’s board member who led the Bald Hill project, commented: “MOST is so grateful to the project’s generous individual donors, the Towns of Ross and San Anselmo, the Tamalpais Conservation Club, and the MCOSD for our successful fundraising campaign. This beloved place will now be preserved in perpetuity.”
Highly visible, 1,132-foot Bald Hill is a spectacular backdrop to the Ross Valley. The 360-degree view from Bald Hill’s summit is phenomenal—to Mt Tamalpais and all of Marin, to San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, and to the prominent peaks in the East and North Bay.
The property borders Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) lands to the west and south, and is a gateway to more than 100,000 acres of protected land. Worn Springs Road, a MMWD fire road, traverses the western section of the land, making the summit accessible from trails originating in many of Marin’s communities. The property is also home to native plants and animals: the land’s slopes contain forests of redwood, oak, bay, buckeye, and madrone.
MOST Chair Bill Long said, “Preserving Bald Hill has always been a priority for our land trust, and we are thrilled to have helped make this happen with our project partners and donors.” MOST has completed eight land protection projects in Marin County, including three conservation easement acquisitions, and five land purchases, which are now public parks.