Found on the western slope of Mount Tamalpais, the Matt Davis Trail takes you from the Pantoll Ranger Station in Mt. Tam State Park to the Pacific Ocean at Stinson Beach. From the trailhead at Pantoll, the route is just under four miles to the beach. With varied and hilly terrain, it's not the fastest hike or run around, but it's definitely worth your time. (If you want to put your feet in the sand, you'll also have to walk through the town to the beach once leaving the trail.)
As you travel along the trail, you'll pass through grasslands, wildflower meadows, a tall redwood forest, and along the coast. Well before you reach Stinson Beach, you should have sweeping views of the water. Experienced hikers can make a loop by combining the Matt Davis Trail with the Steep Ravine Trail and Dipsea Trail to create a truly memorable wilderness adventure. Or, simply do an out-and-back on Matt Davis for simplicity's sake. Regardless of what you choose, the variety of this area will keep you moving to see what’s around the next bend.
In the winter, the waters of Webb Creek run high and you can hear waterfalls thunder before you arrive at the cascades. In the summer, the Pantoll trailhead is popular and often crowded, so you may want to head out early or late to miss the crowds. Don't forget to bring water and food, though, or it could be a long day.