Your State Park
When you see our sign as you’re driving the scenic stretch of State Highway One between Tomales and Point Reyes, you might not realize Marconi is a State Park, a place for everyone to enjoy, every day of the year. We’re about an hour from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the East Bay and Napa Sonoma wine country — only six miles north of the historic village of Point Reyes Station and about 40 minutes south of Bodega Bay.
Marconi offers a variety of well maintained walking trails. The Lower Tower Hill Trail takes you into a California Bay Forest. The Meadow Trail, along our southern border, climbs through grasslands and coyote brush, with spectacular views across Tomales Bay to Inverness Ridge. Shorter trails loop through the stately forest in the central part of the property or follow the old highway grade that parallels the bayshore.
Shorebirds, songbirds, and birds of prey can be seen in all seasons. Guests spot waterfowl, herons, egrets, pelicans, gulls, and osprey from the trails above Tomales Bay — woodpeckers, owls, and songbirds in the forest — quails, swallows, hawks, and bluebirds on the grasslands — and always hummingbirds among the garden flowers.
Colorful wildflowers border our trails and blanket the springtime hillsides. We regularly see several beautiful types of butterflies, including the spectacular Monarchs on their annual migration. You are also likely to encounter the Jack Rabbits, Western Gray Squirrels, Ravens, and Mule Deer that make their homes here.
Marconi State Historic Park lies on the north end of the Bolinas ridge along the Marin Peninsula, adjoining Tomales Bay. Some time after the Pleistocene glacial epoch, the bay was formed by rising sea waters along the active San Andreas fault line, which runs through Tomales Bay to Bolinas. The soils here are decomposed bedrock: serpentine, shale, chert and sandstone.
The area’s native coastal terrace prairies were grazed grassland when the Marconi Company purchased the land — ideal for erecting towers to receive long radio waves.
Today’s vegetation communities are closed-cone pine forest, eucalyptus, coastal scrub and annual grassland. The older Monterey pine trees were most likely planted after Marconi Company construction; the eucalyptus and younger pines were planted in the Synanon era.
Native plants include stands of California Bay and northern coyote brush scrub with California sagebrush, bush monkeyflower, coffeeberry and toyon.
Birders may see house finches, mourning doves, wrentits, ravens, California quail, Brewer’s blackbirds and western bluebirds. Red-tailed hawks circle above the ridge; nocturnal strollers may spot a great horned owl out hunting.
Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds include great blue herons and great egrets along Tomales Bay. The California clapper rail, a federally endangered species, has been seen along the bay’s eastern shore.
Common animals include the black-tailed jackrabbit, brush rabbit, mule deer, California vole, pocket gopher, gray fox and western fence lizard.
Keep in mind…
Marconi is a State Park and you are welcome to enjoy the grounds every day of the year.
All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed.
All animals must be leashed. Except for service animals, no pets are allowed inside buildings or on grounds overnight.
Dogs on leash are allowed on trails during the daytime. Please pick up after your dog.
Open fires, barbecues and group picnics are not allowed on park grounds.
Because Marconi hosts conferences, events and overnight guests, we ask you to be respectful of meetings and not enter any buildings other than our lobby. Buildings are reserved for conference and overnight guests.
Marconi State Historic Park has a rich and diverse history — from the Coastal Miwok tribes that lived here in the late 18th century to being the site of Guglielmo Marconi’s famous wireless telegraph operations. You can learn more about the history of Marconi State Historic Park here.