Town Square

Your favorite park

Original post made by Norbert von der Groeben on Jul 17, 2007

I'm Norbert von der Groeben, the chief photographer with the Palo Alto Weekly and currently working on a photo essay on Palo Alto parks from the foothills to baylands and would like to know what is your favorite park and what makes it special. Thanks for help.


Posted by Outdoorsman, a resident of University South
on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:07 pm

I've always been a fan of Eleanor Pardee Park on Lytton and Bryant. Quiet, nice atmosphere, good space for throwing the football or frisbee. And it's close to downtown, so there are nearby places to buy food for a picnic or go have lunch in between football or volleyball games.

Posted by Midtowner, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Seale Park

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 2:12 pm

In my experience, everyone's favorite park is the one nearest their home and they use it most of the time.

Posted by Midtowner, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Resident: very true..

Seale park does not have a rest room - very challenging for the parents with toddlers who are in the potty training mode. Any idea why this park does not have a public restroom ?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:23 pm

I was told it was to do with attracting the homeless. The reason why there was a restroom put at Hoover Park was because Little League complained and the City wanted Little Leagues money. I think it is a just reason, any time there are local organised sports going on all day, there is the likelihood the kids will just use bushes which is not pleasant. Toddlers and potty training do not seem like a good reason for the city. Still, Seale Park is used by AYSO and they could carry some clout. Ask them for the restrooms and they may have more clout than a resident.

Posted by Palo Alto resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I recommend Edith Johnson park, near Everett and Waverley.

It's a large park with a basketball and volleyball court, and a playground where many kids and parents go. It's a full block long, with tall trees, and plenty of room.

Many residents go there for a walk, a jog, or to read on one of the many benches.

Posted by Runner, a resident of Ventura
on Jul 17, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Right now, I am enamored with Arastradero Preserve for running the hills back to the Bowl loop, and even into Foothills Park.

The public bathrooms are the best in town, and the new straw-bale solar-powered center has lovely displays, and even educates visitors about types of local scat!

Posted by Secret Park Admirer, a resident of Ventura
on Jul 17, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Palo Alto's most secret park is Esther Clark Nature Preserve
(end of Old Trace Road, off of Arastradero Rd)

Esther Clark Nature Preserve is a small, undeveloped nature reserve of grassland and oaks. It has no picnic tables, restrooms, or other amenities. It is a good place for quiet meditation or watching the sun set. Open 8:00 am to sunset. Pets are permitted on leash.

Posted by atotic, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 17, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Barron Park: chickens, donkeys, a stream to wade into, and long swings, are top attractions for our toddler.

Posted by A walker, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2007 at 8:48 pm

The sight of donkeys, and the knowledge of thier history, makes Bol Park interesting. The sheep and chickens make it amusing. The creek makes it fun. The bike path makes it good for you.

Posted by Running Mom, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2007 at 9:44 am

I cast another vote for Bol Park, an old favorite for its serenity and beautiful oaks, and access to the creek and donkeys. My son, who's in second grade, likes it too -- but he also likes Pardee park because it's got that skateboard area.

We both also like parks with community gardens, like Pardee and Johnson parks.

And lastly, farther afield, Arastradero Preserve, owned by the City of Palo Alto -- great place for a walk, run or bike ride any day of the week.

Keep up the great work, Norbert. We love your photos.

Posted by Pun-ditty, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2007 at 12:42 pm

City Council Park, City Hall, Palo Alto - open most Mondays from 7:00PM until closing. Easily one of the most fascinating displays of the full range human political behavior - a political ethnologist's dream

free admission, no picnic tables, bathrooms and water fountain available. Bring the kids...

Posted by Don G., a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2007 at 3:59 pm

I have to agree with the post that the closest park is the one you favor. I really like Rinconada for all the amenities it has and things to do; swimming, tennis, children's museum and zoo, jogging 1/4 mile loop, picnic centers, playgrounds, trees.

However, I really like Foothills park which is a relative untapped Palo Alto gem of a park for nature lovers, hikers, and fisherman. At dusk it is peaceful and serene at Lake Boranda. I've seen so much wildlife there including coyote, rattlesnake, deer, and jack rabbits. I almost hesitate to announce it because I like it's secluded anonymity among Palo Alto parks.

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2007 at 9:47 pm

I am keeping my vote for favorite park to myself - we already have so many people coming from elsewhere because it's such a great park, which is actually kind of nice except that there is no place for them to go to the bathroom.

My second favorite park is Robles Park on Park. It's got play structures, basketball courts, baseball, picnic tables (with barbecue facilities), shade, trains running nearby, great paths. It's also not too crowded.