Our Mission To protect and interpret the resources and wildlife entrusted to Palo Alto for the enjoyment of future generations.
Palo Alto's open space preserves offer a chance to hike from the marshes of the bay to the redwoods of the upper Santa Cruz mountains. The Baylands Preserve protects some of the last remaining salt marsh and mud flat habitats on the west coast. It offers excellent birding year round. Foothills Park is a 1,400-acre preserve with rugged chaparral, woodland, fields, streams, a lake, 15 miles of backwoods trails and spectacular views of the bay. Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is a beautiful mixture of rolling savannah grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest. Each area of the preserve has something different to offer: views of the bay; a quiet walk through the grasslands; or a snooze by the lake. Esther Clark Nature Preserve is a good place for quiet meditation or watching the sun set.
Open Space offers a variety of nature programs, hikes, camps, walks, and other activities in the preserves. See the Activities and Programs page.
Visit the parks map for location and addresses of the open space preserves as well as neighborhood parks. For all of Palo Alto's open space preserves, see the Open Space trail map.
As of October 9, 2013, smoking is prohibited in all Open Space preserves. For more information, click on this link.
All Open Space Nature Preserves are open daily from 8:00 am until sunset. Click here for Park Hours.