Passion for our agriculture industry and a life long commitment to land stewardship carry on through legacy on this very special West Marin canvas which sweeps from the floor of Nicasio Valley up through shady side-canyons to steep slopes overlooking 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. Black Angus & Texas Longhorn cattle graze the land where they raise their calves each year. We believe in sustainability and promoting agriculture for the generations to come. Offering farm stays, events hosting, artisanal homegrown goods and the welcoming experience for guests from near and far to enjoy the beautiful landscape and agricultural experience.
Weddings + Events
The original Bay Area ranch wedding venue
We offer events with an authentic rural setting and a casual reception atmosphere. The ranch offers a truly unique and relaxed experience for events of all cultures, styles and sizes. The rolling hills are the backdrop for an exquisite reception setting, indoor or out, and the property accommodates celebrations of all types, sizes and styles. We offer lodging, portable restrooms, day-of coordination, décor, parking guide and vendor resources. A weekend wedding with the many food and sight seeing luxuries of West Marin for a truly unique guest experience.
Property tours by appointment only.
We believe in sharing our love for agriculture to those near and far and allowing families to stay while teaching visitors about our ranching culture. Just a forty-five minute drive North-West of the Golden Gate. Take a farm tour, hike the dozens of incredible trails of West Marin and visit the beach all in one weekend! Whether you are seeking an overnight escape or a full weekend getaway, we welcome you to come stay & enjoy a gourmet meal with our homegrown beef and pasture raised eggs. We believe in providing a full circle experience - from lodging to cuisine. Our simple wish is to have the next generation get involved, learn the many wonderful things of farming/ranching and leave with a full heart - with memories to share.
Enjoy a relaxing stay in our rustic and cozy Bunk House nestled beneath the rolling hills of the Nicasio Valley. The Bunk House comfortably accommodates up to five guests and makes for the perfect group getaway with a full kitchen - prepare gourmet meals with the collection of cast iron + pasture raised eggs and homegrown beef available!
The Guest House is a cozy farmhouse for two with an open floor plan, spacious master bedroom and wrap around porch with views of the front pasture and weeping Willow. A bright interior with hardwood floors and the best views of the ranch. Hike up the hill to catch a sunset and enjoy your morning beverage sitting in the rocking chairs as the birds sing.
Guest Appearance Podcast Episodes
The reception barn - an original 1970's hay barn displays a collection of antique gold mirrors, dimming chandeliers, bistro lighting and a built-in stage for entertainment. A large prep space with tables, refrigeration/freezer and wash area is available for catering along with a serving window for plated or family style service. Two oversized wood doors welcome guests into the tin barn which has one open side providing views of the rolling hills. With a tall roof and a sawdust floor, the barn is authentic and cozy. From the stage, there are views of the ceremony site and the valley through glass windows. Ceremonies take place atop the knoll behind the reception barn by a large rock or in front of the historic wood barn, built in 1871. Enjoy cocktail hour in the barnyard with wine barrels add umbrellas and the corral is a great space for guests to dance the night away under the stars. For photos, the barns, out buildings and natural landscape is endless. A drive up the back side of the ranch offers views of the Nicasio Valley scattered with oak trees, rocks and an array of wildflowers and greenery. Our event packages include a cozy stay at the Bunk House and exclusive use of the property which makes your special weekend relaxing and enjoyable. Guests have many options for lodging locally, including farm stays, inns, B&Bs and more. West Marin offers an array of restaurants, wonderful cheese shops, kayaking, horseback riding, beach access, hiking and shopping where guests can fully enjoy a destination wedding with everything located within 10 miles. We have been hosting weddings for 15 years and welcome you to make this your special destination.
Pasture Raised-Grain Finished Beef
Available for Purchase Exclusively at the Ranch
Our Angus cattle graze the rolling hills, rotationally, year round and are fed high quality hay between seasons, based on live forage availability. Cattle enjoy year-round access to liquid protein supplements and minerals - keeping their health at peak performance. Feeding our cattle also provides a better bond with our mother cows and contributes to tame cattle that make it easy to gather when it comes time for sorting and round ups for vaccinations and general health checks. When you can pet your mother cows at feeding time, you can't ask for a more gentle herd. Our steers enjoy the best life possible with the great weather California has to offer, healthy forage + added nutrition with natural supplements along with clean water from our natural spring and stock ponds. Our calves are raised along their mother's side until weaning time. We check our cattle daily by horseback or ATV and believe that caring for our livestock ourselves makes for better quality of life and in turn, higher quality beef. Genetics are a large factor for beef quality, marbling and flavor and we carefully hand select beautiful Registered Angus bulls which have proven genetics for our breeding stock. Our cattle eat less and gain more, therefore being the most sustainable grazing animals which contribute to a healthy ecosystem. The land speaks for itself with the healthy soil and nutritious forage.
Our steers are raised with love and humanely processed with USDA certified mobile processing services by our good friend, JMF.
Melissa proudly serves on the Cattlemens Beef Board and maintains Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification.
She is also a Certified Master of Beef Advocacy.
When supporting small businesses, you'll be rewarded with consuming the highest quality product - guaranteed.
From our ranch to your table, quality beef - raised with love.
Homegrown Artisan Goods
All Natural Honey
"Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is new life and hope.” - Anonymous
Bees are an essential part of our agriculture system, pollinating fruits and vegetables. The hives are located by our ponds where the honey bees have easy access to water. Bees pollinate one-third of the food that we eat and we support a healthy environment for them to do their busy work. Our honey makes the perfect addition to a charcuterie board paired with soft cheeses, assorted jams, nuts and fruit.
Our excess produce is made into artisan bar soap which is made by cold-process method. Our soaps are hand cut and carefully packaged with locally sourced paper and is offered at local farm stands, markets, garden centers and boutique retail locations. Seasonal scents include lemon, carrot, pear-mint, carrot, rosemary, lavender and honey-almond. The ingredients are 100% natural and each bar is made with moisturizing essential oils. With natural ingredients, our soaps are better for the environment.
Gourmet Garden Soap
Rosemary Cooking Salts
Hand picked sun dried rosemary and sea salt is a delicious gourmet addition to any meal. A few dashes of this for the main course or add after a marinade to bring out the richest flavor. Potatoes roast to perfection when lightly coated with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rosemary salt pairs perfectly with beef, poultry, pork, fish, wild game and vegetables. We also offer a seasonal lavender sea salt - a dash on vanilla bean ice cream is a little secret worth sharing. In addition to the kitchen, the salt can be used for a relaxing and soothing soak to ease daily stress or use as a body scrub, just add a few drops of essential oils to turn it into a bath luxury.
Ranch History & Heritage
Michael McNamara and Cornelius Murray arrived in Nicasio in 1859 and bought the land. The two had a falling out and divided the land into two parts with this piece being the McNamara Ranch. Having built a fine two-story farmhouse, they chose to saw it in half. Using oxen and work horses, they moved one half on log rollers for about a mile to Murray's portion of the ranch where it was re-build into a whole new house. The ranch was leased out from the 1920's as a dairy farm and then sold in 1971 where it continued to be a dairy and eventually became a part of our family in 1987 when my father Dr. Bruce Daniels, a veterinarian, was treating a sick cow for Walt Tamagno in the milking barn where Walt offered the ranch for sale. Bruce and Walt made a handshake deal and Walt retired from the dairy business and remained a good friend where he and his family visited often. Liz and Bruce worked together, along with their daughter Melissa, to partner with the land. Together, they raised beef cattle and Liz grew Certified Organic produce on 5 acres. Produce was sold to local markets, farmers markets, farm stands, restaurants, catering companies, school lunch programs and food banks. Liz partnered with many non-profit organizations and hosted many different groups to learn about farming at the ranch. Her knack for having hands in the dirt was shared with hundreds of individuals where she took pride in making a positive impact in the lives of those needing it most, to teach people of all walks of life that anyone can become a farmer with a little patience and time.
Today, Melissa is continuing the legacy running the ranch and making homegrown products and has expanded the beef operation.
Black Angus Beef Cattle
The smallest things in life are what make our hearts beat as livestock producers. The love and care which we carry through our daily activities, the implementation of improved genetics to contribute to our lifelong commitment to sustainability as ranchers - the work which we do to ensure animal health and well being is the highest level of quality. The partnership with our land and our business practices go hand in hand. As ranchers, conservation is our top priority so that we may give back to the land which provides the canvas for this western way of life. Our cow-calf operation dates back to the 1970's when our cattle brand was first registered. Our cows are on a Fall calving program and raise strong and healthy calves which are born between August-November. Our greatest accomplishment with our livestock is the achievement of our sustainability vision, proving that genetics play a key role in land conservation. Our cattle eat less and gain more, leaving forage available for the following year while new growth takes place. Our cattle ensure healthy soils and every Spring, we are blessed with luscious new grass and the presence of many organisms which play a key role in our healthy ecosystem. We are committed to a healthy and sustainable partnership with our land and these practices will continue for the generations to come, so that our children and grandchildren may continue the legacy, and succeed at doing so. Melissa's pride and joy has been with livestock since she was young. With Melissa's father Bruce being a large animal veterinarian, she was exposed to learning all aspects of animal husbandry and health. We welcome you to visit the National Cattlemens Association (NCBA), California Cattlemens Association (CCA) and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) to see the great things that these organizations do for the cattle industry and see what livestock producers are doing to care for our environment as stewards to the land so that we may continue providing great food to our town, our county, our state, our country and the world for generations to come.
We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within us this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.
- Edward Sellner
Support Your Local Ranchers & Farmers
Beef cattle are raised in all 50 states and equal 882,692 total cattle & calf operations. Of these:
802,317 are cow/calf and stocker/backgrounder cattle farms and ranches
96% are family owned and operated
9% are operated by women
Cow Track Ranch is 100% woman owned and operated
Melissa serves as a member of the Cattlemens Beef Board, appointed by the USDA and maintains active membership with county, state and national cattle associations and agricultural committees. She serves as a Master of Beef Advocacy certified by the National Cattlemens Beef Association and is an activist of regenerative agriculture.