Bounded by Portola Valley, Los Altos Hills, The Pearson-Arastradero Preserve and Los Trancos Open Space, the 1,400-acre Foothills Park is a nature lover's paradise. Miles of trails provide access through rugged chaparral, woodlands, fields, streams, a lake, and provide spectacular views of the bay area. Wildlife abounds, and it is common to see deer and coyotes; if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of a bobcat. The park is located 2.7 miles west of Hwy. 280 at 3300 Page Mill Road.
Foothills Park is open to Palo Alto residents and their guests only. Proof of residency is required. Guests must be accompanied by a Palo Alto resident. Limit of 15 guests in two cars per resident. Names of guests cannot be left at the gate. Groups of 25 or more must make a reservation.
There are fifteen miles of hiking trails, which offer a variety of hiking experiences. The longest hike is the Los Trancos Trail, which is 7.5 miles. The Toyon Self-Guided Nature Trail enables you to learn about nature at your own pace.
Fishing is permitted in Boronda Lake. All anglers over the age of 16 must have a California Sport Fishing License. Fish species inhabiting the lake include bass, catfish, and sunfish. While swimming is prohibited you can enjoy the lake with your non-motorized and hand-launched boat. Canoes are also available for rent on the weekends and holidays from May 1st to October 31st, weather permitting.
Six picnic areas offer a variety of sites; tables, barbeques, and water are available. Groups of more than 25 people must have a reservation; the Oak Grove group picnic area is available by reservation only.
Towle Camp is a seasonal campground available to residents and their guests for tent camping from May 1 to October 31. At the end of Wildhorse Valley, eight peaceful campsites are nestled under the trees, each site offers a BBQ, water, picnic table, tent area and a food box. Six of the campsites can accommodate up to eight people, the two remaining campsites can accommodate up to sixteen people. Campsites can be reserved up to one year in advance. Many Friday and Saturday nights are booked two to four months in advance. Sunday through Thursday nights are often available that same week.
The Nature Interpretive Center has exhibits and maps and is the starting point for many nature walks.
Special request interpretive programs are available at Foothills Park by reservation. Programs vary from arts and craft style programs, nature hikes and walks to canoe programs on Boronda Lake and can be tailored to the needs of your group. Please contact Ranger Felicity Hartnett at 650-329-2423 for more information or reservations.
If staff is available you can also request a Ranger to stop by and visit with your group in any preserve. These free "15 minute" talks are a great way to get acquainted with the park, find out what is blooming or what animals are out or learn a little about the history of this local treasure. Please call 650-329-2423 for requests in Foothills Park and the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve or 650-617-3156 for the Baylands Preserve.