Arastradero Preserve
Part 1

Arastradero Preserve
Part 2

Arastradero Preserve
Part 3

Arastradero Preserve Virtual Reality Tour

Arastradero Preserve Stewardship Project




SF Bay
Rec. &

Arastradero Preserve
Part 3 - Other Trails

Bay Area Parks

Bay Area Hiking

County Parks


Other Trails

There are many other trails in the preserve, many unmarked and not on the current map. 

Northeast Hills

You can explore the hills to the north of the parking lot at the northeast corner of the preserve. These rolling grass-covered hills adjoin Stanford University's pasture lands. The trails provide views of Hwy 280, Felt Lake, and the Stanford antenna dishes and hills. A line of eucalyptus trees runs along the eastern boundary of the preserve. Felt Lake, which is off-limits, is just beyond the northwest corner. Looking back to the southwest, most of the rest of the park can be seen below the Santa Cruz Mountains. Below are pictures from this section:

(Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture. Hit the Back button on your browser to return.)
A gap in the parking lot fence allows access to the hills. One trail leads up the hill to the right.

On the way up the hill, looking back, you can see the parking lot, the private inholding across from it, and the park hills.

From the top of the hill, you can see the park entrance below to the left, with the golf course in the hills above it. 

From the hilltop, you can see the parking lot and the rest of the preserve below and to the southwest.

A trail leads down from the hills and runs parallel to the fence on the preserve's northern border. 

Looking beyond the eastern border, you can see Stanford's open space lands and Hwy 280. A small forest runs in a valley from the park boundary to Hwy 280. 

A line of eucalyptus trees lines the fence along the preserve boundary. 

Beyond the fence, you can see Felt Lake. The lake is part of the San Francisquito Creek watershed. It is an artificial reservoir created in 1929  when Stanford University built a diversion dam on Los Trancos Creek. Felt Lake is part of Stanford's nonpotable water supply. Water is used for irrigation and fire protection. In 1995, a fish ladder was built to allow steelhead trout to migrate upstream past the dam. The lake, like the surrounding lands, is a biological preserve and off-limits to unauthorized personnel. 

A trail leads down from the middle of the hills back to the parking lot. 

Looking back at the main part of the preserve from this middle trail, the path of Arastradero Creek can be seen, marked by trees. In the hills above are trails running along the park boundary below the golf course.

This view shows the golf course in the hills above the preserve and the Santa Cruz Mountains beyond that. 

Along the Golf Course Boundary to the Corte Madera Trail

The trail described below is unnamed and does not appear on the current park map.

It starts just past the main entrance, where 2 dirt single-track trails lead off to the left from the Corte Madera Trail. One trail goes up the hill on the right. The other goes up another hill on the left. This describes the trail on the left. 

This trail begins as a narrow, bumpy dirt single-track and widens into a dirt double-track. The view to the right shows the other trail running up the hill to the south. 

Continuing uphill, the trail begins to level off. Looking back downhill, the parking lot and the northern hills beyond them can be seen.

From the crest of the trail, the view to the north along the preserve boundary shows the northeastern hills and a wide firebreak protecting the private property next to the preserve. 

Ahead, you can see the trail running along the upper edge of the preserve below the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club.

The trail reaches a junction. Ahead, a trail drops steeply downhill to exit the park at Paseo Del Roble. 

To the left, the firebreak runs along the hills to the north. To the right, the trail follows an old paved road below the golf course. 

Looking back, the trail which started to the right of the trail you're on can be seen running over the hills below and eventually comes up to meet the current trail. 

The trail turns to the right. A birdhouse stands at the edge of the golf course. Nest boxes have been installed all over Arastradero Preserve by conservation groups and volunteers to help restore bird populations.

The trail finally heads steeply downhill to Arastradero Lake. (This is the view looking back up the trail.) See the 0.68 mile point in part 1.

Meadowlark Trail

The Meadowlark Trail was seen and taken in Part 2. However, this was not the whole trail. This shows the section between the Corte Madera Trail and the Acorn Trail.

This starts at the junction on the Corte Madera Trail at the pump station at 0.87 miles in part 1. At the junction, take the wide gravel service road to the right.

It runs uphill and follows along the hills, curving to the right. 

The service road levels off and reaches the junction with the Meadowlark Trail. Take the Meadowlark Trail to left. It is a wide gravel path that gradually leads uphill at the edge of a wide meadow. 

Looking back from the top of the rise, you can see the meadows and hills below. 

The trail turns right at the top of the hill. It then climbs up another hill. Looking back, the golf course can be seen in the background.

After passing the closed Acorn Trailhead on the left, the Meadowlark Trail passes the new Acorn Trail on the left. The Acorn Trail continues on to the right. The Meadowlark Trail then begins a steep climb up a hill to join upper Acorn Trail as seen at the 3.47 mile point in Part 2.

The Meadowlark Trail becomes a wide gravel service road. It parallels the Acorn Trail, making a wide U-curve and heading downhill to rejoin the Acorn Trail. See the 4.56 mile point in Part 2. 

Acorn Trail

The upper part of the Acorn Trail is covered in Part 2. One section of the trail not covered there is the lower section between the Corte Madera Trail, the Meadowlark Trail, and the water tank service road. 

The Lower Acorn Trail begins at the Corte Madera Trail (see the 1.46 mile point in Part 1). It runs uphill into an oak and poison oak forest. The trail is a wide dirt single-track.

It climbs steadily up the hill at an easy incline. Trees provide cool shade.

The trail levels off and emerges into a clearing.  You can see the golf course and large houses in the hills above the preserve.

The trail enters a cool oak and buckeye forest. It runs slightly downhill to cross a tiny creekbed, then rises uphill again.

Soon it reaches the wide gravel road of the Meadowlark Trail. (This is a view looking back at the Acorn Trail from the Meadowlark Trail.)

The Acorn Trail begins again on the other side of the Meadowlark Trail. It is a narrow single-track running through high grass on the side of an open hill. 

Looking down from the hill, you can see the Gate B entrance, seen at 5.20 miles in Part 2.

The trail crosses an unmarked single-track trail running up and down the hills.

It then runs downhill. You can see a wide firebreak on the hills ahead. The trail runs downhill and to the left.

It begins to parallel and descend to the creek below. It enters a shady tunnel formed by oaks and poison oak.

Soon you reach the bridge over the creek at the trail junction at 4.82 miles in Part 2.

Perimeter Trail

The Perimeter Trail continues from the preserve's main entrance, parallels the fence, and leaves the preserve at the park boundary in Los Altos at Arastradero Road. It is a narrow foot path running along the perimeter of the preserve. It is the only official trail that is closed to bicycles.

This is a view of the trail near the bend in the trail at 5.09 miles in Part 2.

This is the trail near the trail at the 4.94 mile point in Part 2.

Created  7/9/01, updated 9/27/06  by Ronald Horii