Pearson Arastradero Preserve
Managed by: City of Palo Alto
Location: Santa Clara County, just off I 280 in Palo Alto
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am until sunset
Trail Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Things to See and Do: Just 10 minutes from downtown Palo Alto is Pearson Arastradero Preserve, a beautiful 609-acre preserve operated by the City of Palo Alto. In 2002, POST saved a 13-acre island of land in the middle of the preserve from development. A nice mix of rolling grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest, this is a favorite for joggers and dog-walkers. The preserve has 10.25 miles of trails. For a scenic loop, take the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail out to Arastradero Creek Trail, turn right on Woodrat Trail, then another right onto Meadowlark Trail before descending back to the de Anza Trail. For a longer out-and-back, take the Arastradero Creek Trail all the way to the city of Palo Alto’s Foothills Park—a residents-only jewel, unless you hike in. Be sure to check in at the kiosk in the main parking lot for the latest trail information.
Keep Your Eyes Open For: Yellow fiddlenecks, wild roses, tangled blackberry, quail, redwing blackbirds and cottontail rabbits.
Directions: From highway 280, take exit 20 for Page Mill Road toward Palo Alto/Arastradero Road. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Arastradero Road/Los Altos Hills. Turn left at Page Mill Road. Turn right at Arastradero Road. The preserve parking lot is located at 1530 Arastradero Road, 1/4 mile north of Page Mill Road.