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California Cheese Trail

 

Cow Track Ranch

468 Acres MALT-protected Since 1987

Save More Farms - donate nowThe Daniels family - Liz, Bruce, and their daughter Melissa - are eager to share the bounty and beauty of Marin's agricultural landscape with visitors. From their 468-acre Cow Track Ranch in Nicasio Valley, the Daniels welcome guests from all across the country to enjoy the sights, tastes and sounds of this diversified, family-owned farm and ranch. 

diverse land, diversified agriculture

Cow Track Ranch sweeps from the floor of Nicasio Valley up through shady side-canyons to steep slopes overlooking West Marin’s rolling hills. Lush grasslands in the valley give way to a mix of bay and live oak forests and coastal scrub on the slopes. Native bunch grasses persist in hard-to-reach hillside pockets, and redwoods tower in deep tributaries of Halleck Creek. This diverse landscape is a fitting place for the Daniels’ diversified agricultural operation: Black Angus and Texas Longhorn cattle graze the hillsides, well-tended by Bruce, a retired livestock veterinarian. Liz runs a five-acre farm, selling certified organic produce to local restaurants, markets, and schools. She also produces a line of home-grown products like flowers, soap, and infused oils.  

Welcoming Guests

The Daniels bought this former dairy in 1987 from landowners who were selling off their herd. The MALT easement at the time of sale - funded by grants from the Coastal Conservancy and the San Francisco Foundation, as well as private donations - helped Liz and Bruce cover the costs of the land. Cow Track Ranch adjoins MALT-protected Ielmorini Dairy and Lafranchi Ranch, and together these properties make up a 1,200-acre swath of protected farmland in the heart of Nicasio. MALT's mission, and its role in the ranch's acquisition and protection, are an integral part of the story that Liz shares with visitors.

In 2011, Liz and Bruce converted a cabin on the property into a bed-and-breakfast called The Bunk House. Guests from all over the world stay at Cow Track Ranch while exploring West Marin. Whether roaming the grounds among Bruce’s friendly cattle, pulling fresh greens from Liz’s farm, or enjoying locally-made cheeses and pastries on the Bunk House’s front porch, Bunk House visitors revel in the peaceful productivity of this working landscape. The Daniels and their daughter, Melissa, also host and plan a full calendar of weddings and special events each year. Couples can tie the knot atop a scenic rise, then stroll down to the restored 1870’s-era barn for the reception.   

Under the Daniels' thoughtful stewardship, Cow Track Ranch has become a resilient, multi-faceted presence in Nicasio Valley. The area's natural beauty attracts many visitors, and over the years, Liz, Bruce, and Melissa have leveraged that attraction to share and teach about the benefits of Marin's agricultural lifestyle. By welcoming guests to this MALT-protected landscape, the Daniels are ambassadors for sustainable agriculture in West Marin and beyond. 

Connect with Cow Track Ranch

View photos of the Bunk House, the ranch, and the wedding barn, and peruse a selection of homegrown products: www.CowTrackRanch.com

Reserve the Bunk House on Airbnb.com

Photos and More

MALT members gathered in the Daniels' beautiful barn for our annual Directors' BBQ in 2014. View a slideshow »

Every year, MALT members are welcomed to protected ranches for hikes, dinners and other events. Discounted event pricing is just one benefit of MALT membership. Become a member today »