Palo Alto Online Database last updated: Monday, May 6, 2013.|
Open Space Areas
A map of Palo Alto Parks
Baylands Nature Preserve
2775 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Trails link through a riparian environment along the San Francisco Bay, supporting aquatic and avian fauna. Considered one of the best bird-watching areas on the West Coast. Area includes Palo Alto airport, Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Center, Harriet Mundy Marsh, Baylands Athletic Center, duck pond and municipal golf course. size: 1,940 acres. Call 650-329-2506.
Coal Creek Open Space Preserve
Trails: 5.4 miles for hiking, bicycling, equestrian. Rolling meadows, oaks, grasslands, large madrone trees, forested headwaters of two creeks. Leashed dogs permitted, ideal for hiking with dogs. Caltrans vista point on Skyline Blvd. approximately 1.2 miles north of Page Mill Road. size: 507 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Deer Hollow Farm
Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, (park entrance at Cristo Ray Drive, off Foothill Blvd.), Cupertino. A working homestead and educational center situated in the 3,800-acre Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. The farm program is managed by the City of Mountain View Recreation Division. School classes, community groups and families can explore and participate in the farm. Programs are designed to help participants experience farm and wilderness life and Native American history. There is also a summer-camp program for kids to explore the preserve, farm, animals and garden. Great hiking trails in a wilderness environment for the adventurous. Farm hours: Tue-Sun 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Wed 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Animals visible 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 650-903-6430; 650-903-6331 for camp information.
El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve
Skyline Blvd., south of Kings Mountain Road, Trails: 36 miles for hiking, bicycling, equestrian. Parking: Limited spaces at Caltrans Skeggs Point vista parking area; limited roadside on Skyline Blvd. (Route 35). Steep, heavily forested terrain; rare and fragile sandstone formations; redwoods; creek headwaters. Popular with bicyclists. No dogs allowed. size: 2,817 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Esther Clark Nature Preserve
Old Trace Road off Arastradero, Palo Alto. Named for a founder of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, who sold the land to the city in 1965, Esther Clark Park is a small, undeveloped nature reserve of grassland and oaks. Open 8 a.m. to sunset. Pets are permitted on leash. It has no picnic tables, restrooms or other amenities. No hunting or camping. Fires, barbecues and smoking are prohibited. It is a good place for quiet meditation or watching the sunset. size: 21 acres. Call 650-329-2423.
Foothills Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road, 3.5 miles southwest of 1-280, Located in the Adobe Creek watershed above Hidden Villa Ranch and adjacent to Palo Alto's Foothills Park. Trails lead to a grassy ridgetop surrounded by steep chaparral-covered slopes, with oak-madrone woodland in the ravines and on the north-facing slopes. A half-mile trail leads from Page Mill Road to a grassy knoll with a view of the South Bay. size: 212 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
3300 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto. Nature preserve open only to Palo Alto residents and their accompanied guests. Includes Boronda Lake, where you can fish with a license. Open every day from 8 a.m.-sunset. Fifteen miles of hiking trails; seven picnic areas and eight campsites at Towle Camp. No dogs on weekends or holidays. size: 1,400 acres. Call 650-329-2423.
Hidden Villa Farm and Wilderness Preserve
26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Hidden Villa offers environmental education programs, summer camps, public programs, hiking, community-supported agriculture and volunteer opportunities. Open from 9 a.m. to dusk, Tuesday through Sunday from late August-early June. From mid-June through late August the farm is closed to the public for Summer Camp sessions. $5 parking fee. Call 650-949-8650; to volunteer 650-949-8652; for public programs 650-949-9704; for school group tours 650-949-8644.
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Long Ridge Open Space Preserve
Skyline Blvd., 3.6 miles north of Hwy 9, Trails: 13.2 miles. Hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails. Dogs on leash permitted in designated areas. Grasslands; oak, madrone, Douglas fir forests; views of Big Basin State Park, Butano Ridge, Monterey Peninsula; wildlife; Ridge Trail. Parking: at entrance, and from north of Skyline Blvd. a bit past Portola Heights, at Grizzly Flat near Palo Alto City Limit sign, and Caltrans parking area at intersection of Hwy 35 and 9. size: 2,035 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Los Trancos Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road, 1.5 miles east of Skyline Blvd., Trails: 5.2 miles. Hiking and horseback riding allowed. Bicycles and dogs are not allowed. Views of San Francisco and Mt. Diablo; 1.5 mile self-guided San Andreas Fault trail with brochure on earthquake features. Entrance on Page Mill Road, 7 miles west of Highway 280. size: 274 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
330 Distel Circle, Los Altos. Founded by Santa Clara County voters in 1972, the Open Space District offers more than 60,000 acres of undeveloped public lands. Most areas are open for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Free docent-led activities. Steep trails, redwood canyons, madrone and pine forests mark the 26 preserves, which are open year-round from sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. Helmets are required for bicyclists at all times. Fires and smoking are prohibited at the preserves. Dogs permitted in some preserves. David Daniels Nature Center at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve. Call 650-691-1200.
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road 1.5 mile east of Skyline Blvd., 15.5 miles of trails. The Black Mountain backpack camp, the only campsite in the district. The camp is located 7 miles west of I-280 on Page Mill Road, and a 1.5 mile hike from the Page Mill Road gate and parking lot. A permit is required and the fee is $2 per night per camper. No dogs allowed. size: 3,277 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
1530 Arastradero Road and Page Mill Road, in the foothills above Stanford and Palo Alto, Preserve contains 10.25 miles of hiking in savanna grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest. It is not uncommon to see deer, bobcats, coyotes and many varieties of birds. Horses, bikes, leashed dogs and fishing (with license) allowed. Parking lot at 1530 Arastradero Road, 1/4 mile north of Page Mill Road. Open daily from 8 a.m.-sunset. size: 622 acres. Call 650-329-2423.
Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve
Cupertino. Montebello Road 0.5 miles from Foothill Blvd. Trails: 3.7 miles. Hiking, equestrian, and wheelchair accessible. Bicycles and dogs are not allowed. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings at the historic Picchetti winery. Trails include views of Stevens Creek Reservoir and a small pond. Exit Foothill Exwy from I-280, travel 3.5 miles southwest (toward the mountains) on Foothill Blvd./Stevens Canyon Road. Turn right on Montebello Road. The Preserve is 0.5 miles up Montebello Road on the left. size: 308 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
Skyline Blvd. 4.5 miles south of Hwy 92 , 4.5 miles south of Hwy 92. Trails: 24 miles of developed trails and historical logging roads provide opportunities for hikes, bikes or horse rides. Dogs are not allowed. Trails out of the canyon climb up to 1,600 feet. The centerpiece of this preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with towering redwoods, rushing creek and understory of ferns, berries and wildflowers. Half Moon Bay and the coast are visible from parts of the preserve. size: 4,412 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
Cristo Rey Drive, above Los Altos Hills. With 24 miles of trails, this open space area offers hiking, biking and equestrian opportunities. Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm with barnyard animals, is a highlight, as is Grant Cabin, which represents the living conditions of the late 1800s. The preserve is linked to the 165-acre Rancho San Antonio County Park., where non-gas-powered model airplane enthusiasts gather. size: 3,988 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Ravenswood Open Space Preserve
East Palo Alto. end of Bay Road, east of U.S. Hwy 101. This preserve is comprised of two noncontiguous areas located south of the Dumbarton Bridge and adjacent to San Francisco Bay. The larger area is located near Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto. The marsh attracts a variety of migrating birds including sandpipers, dowitchers and avocets. Great blue herons, white pelicans, and egrets are also common. 1.3 miles of trail. Wheelchair accessible. Hiking and bicycling is allowed, but horses and dogs are not allowed on the trails. size: 376 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
NW corner of the Skyline Blvd. and Page Mill/Alpine Road intersection , in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Los Altos Hills. Parking on the northwest corner of Skyline Blvd. and Page Mill/Alpine Road intersection.. In the spring, this preserve explodes with color when native wildflowers bloom. The Bay Area Ridge Trail links up here, offering views of San Francisco Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Russian Ridge offers 10.4 miles of varying terrain for bikers, hikers and equestrians. Borel Hill is the highest named point in San Mateo County. Dogs are not allowed. size: 3,137 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve
west of Skyline Blvd., above Los Altos Hills. Nearly 11 miles of trails are open for exploration to hikers, bikers and equestrians. Two 1-mile trails are accessible to wheelchairs and baby strollers: one encircling Alpine Pond and another hugging the shores of Horseshoe Lake. The David C. Daniels Nature Center at Alpine Pond is open on the weekends, April through mid-November. The preserve offers ridge vistas, meadows, a pond for nature study and lake frequented by migrating birds. Restrooms. No dogs allowed. size: 2,143 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area
Shoreline Blvd., Mtn. View. Located adjacent to Mountain View’s Shoreline Park, Stevens Creek preserve offers a half-mile trail where visitors may spot pied-billed grebes, great blue herons and other shoreline birds. Two endangered species, the clapper rail and salt march harvest mouse, make their homes here. size: 55 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Teague Hill Open Space Preserve
Teague Hill Open Space Preserve is primarily reserved for wildlife habitat and is only accessible to hikers and equestrians along the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Only one trail is accessible in the preserve. Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains just above the town of Woodside. size: 626 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Thornewood Open Space Preserve
La Honda Road, between Woodside Road and Skyline Blvd., Woodside. Trails: 1.5 mile. Hiking, equestrian. Historic Thornewood Estate; redwoods, oaks; Schilling Lake. Leashed dogs permitted.Access through a brick gate on the south side of La Honda Road (Hwy 84), 1.6 miles past its intersection with Portola Road in Woodside. A narrow driveway for 0.3 miles before parking. size: 167 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
Skyline Blvd., Portola Valley. Twelve miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, kite-flying. Views of the Peninsula and coast, picnic tables, creeks, grassland ridges, and a portion of the Ridge Trail. Spring Ridge parking area on Skyline Blvd., 2.3 miles south of Hwy 84. Additional roadside parking is available along Skyline Blvd. Hang gliding, paragliding and remote control gliding are allowed by obtaining a permit. size: 1,335 acres. Call 650-691-1200.