“A trail along Arastradero Creek that climbs to Foothills Park.”
— David Hitchcock
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Wildflowers
The preserve is open from 8am to sunset throughout the year. Hours are posted at the parking lot and can be found online cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/…
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 Arastradero Creek Trail
is wide and gravel, making it an easy for running. The trail climbs steeply toward the end, making for a good finish to the workout.
The Enid Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is an open space area that combines habitat preservation and restoration with recreation. The 10.25 miles of trails that run through the area are open for walkers, runners, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. The thirteen trails found in the preserve allow you to combine them in various combinations for a new adventure with every visit.
Run roughly .65 miles from the parking lot along the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail
to Arastradero Lake. Just past the lake, the Arastradero Creek Trail
cuts off to the left and passes a utility station that sits on the right hand side of the trail. The trail is about 8-10 foot wide and made of gravel for the majority of its length, providing a great surface for hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and horse back riders. On the left side of the trail, the Arastradero Creek follows the trail for almost its entire length, although it is down in a gully. On the right side of the trail, the hills rise above the trail offering views of wildflowers that bloom in the spring. Deer feed in the fields above the trail early in the morning and at sundown. Rabbits scurry across the trail and hawks soar overhead.
After moving along the trail for roughly .75 miles, the Acorn Trail
cuts back to the right and climbs up the hill. The Arastradero Creek Trail
continues straight ahead for another .2 miles until the Woodrat Trail
departs via a dirt, singletrack trail that goes off into the woods. The trail continues straight ahead as the woods begin to close in on the trail and the Sobey Pond sits on the left hand side of the trail. While most of the views are obscured, you can tell its a larger body of water. As the trail moves through the woods, it begins to climb gently at first and then more steeply as it approaches a curve that goes off to the right. Climbing steeply for approximately .15 miles, the trail reaches the hilltop before dropping down to Gate D at the boundary of Foothills Park. At the hilltop, there is a road that goes off to the right, but that leads to private property which is closed to visitors.
At this point, you can return to your car via the Arastradero Creek Trail
or taking one of the connectors to return via one of the other paths that traverse the preserve.
Gate D provides the only access for non-Palo Alto residents to legally enter Foothills Park for hikers or runners. It's closed to mountain bikers and horseback riders.
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.