“There are great views all along this trail that cuts through the preserve.”
— David Hitchcock
Birding · Views · Wildflowers
The preserve is open from 8 am to sunset throughout the year. Hours are posted at the parking lot and can be found online
. Part of the trail is seasonal (after .85 miles) and may be closed due to rain. Call 650-329-2423 or check online
The Enid Pearson-Arastradero Preserve trails are either crushed gravel or dirt, making them ideal for running. Most of the gravel trails are wide while most of the dirt trails are narrow (2-3 feet wide). Depending on the weather, some areas might be muddy and turned up due horses and mountain bikers using the trail. It is important to be alert to your surroundings due to the trail being shared with horseback riders and mountain bikers. Hikers and runners are asked to yield to horses for everyone’s safety.
The Meadowlark Trail breaks off from the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail
roughly .5 mile from the parking lot on Arastradero Road. The gravel trail breaks off to the right and climbs up the hill until it hooks to the left as the Portola Pastures Trail
continues straight ahead. Following the top of the hills, the trail makes its way through the preserve for roughly .4 miles until it crosses the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail
. Just before the intersection, there is a small, dirt track that leads up a hill, Bonus Hill Trail
. After crossing the intersection, the trail transforms into a dirt track as it winds its way uphill to the Acorn Trail
intersection. At this point, the Meadowlark Trail becomes a seasonal trail that may be closed if there has been a lot of rain.
Continuing for another half mile, the trail hugs the contour of the surrounding hills as it makes its way toward the Woodrat Trail
. If you take a moment and look behind you, views of the South Bay and the preserve stretch out before you. Wildflowers are seen on both sides of the trail through this area. Shortly after passing the Woodrat Trail
junction, which goes off to the left, a small dirt track leads out to Vista Point
where a giant shade tree offers a place to rest and enjoy the best views in the preserve. Meadowlark Trail continues straight and passes the Bowl Loop
trails that go off to the left and provide great trails for mountain bikers. At this point, the Meadowlark Trail begins to drop back down as it moves to the right. As it gently descends to 2.0 miles, the trail intersects with the Woodland Star Trail
that comes in from the right. There is a large shade tree and a bench here for you to take a rest and enjoy a snack.
From this point, the trail continues for another .1 of a mile where it ends at Gate C. You can turn around and enjoy any of the trails that you have passed up to this point. The Woodland Star Trail
and the Bay Laurel Trail
can be used as a shortcut to get back to the Meadowlark Trail close to the Acorn Trail
Flora & Fauna
Deer, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, turkeys, hawks, turkey vultures, and other varieties of birds can be seen in the area. Mountain lion sightings have been reported in the area, so keep an eye out.