Today (Sunday, August 18, 2013) is the 117th Anniversary of the founding of the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, which wound its way up the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California. The Mt. Tam railroad, often referred to as “The Crookedest Railroad in the World”, had 266 curves over its 8.19 mile distance! The railroad operated until the summer of 1930, then shut down and the tracks were torn up.
Parts of the old route in downtown Mill Valley, and the nearby residential neighborhoods, were built over and partially paved to create Fern Canyon Road and upper Summit Avenue. What is left of the railroad grade is now a fire road and was one of my favorite places to run in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I ran part or all of it with most of my running partners in those days, including sons Doug & Matt, Eric Nygren, Tom Hurst and Toby George. On one occasion, my friend and running partner from the Orange County DA’s office, Doug Woodsmall, visited Mill Valley and we ran the full length of the railroad grade from bottom to top and back.
For more information on the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, see this Wikipedia article:
And for an interesting short documentary about the railroad produced in 1976 for the Marin County American Bicentennial Commission, see this YouTube video:
And here for additional video footage of the railroad from the Marin County Free Library: