Dogs are welcome in Palo Alto Open Space preserves as long as these rules are followed:
All dogs must be on a leash and under physical control at all times by an able-bodied person. See Municipal Code Chapter 6.16.100.
Foothills Park exceptions:
Dogs are permitted in Foothills Park on weekdays only. Dogs may not enter Foothills Park on weekends or city holidays. Dogs may not be left in the car or tied up outside the park. See Municipal Code Chapter 22.04.150(l).
2.08.100 Holidays and other special days.
(a) Regular Holidays. The following days are declared to be holidays on which municipal business of the city shall be suspended:
- Every Saturday and Sunday;
- New Year's Day, January 1;
- Martin Luther King Day, the third Monday in January;
- Washington's Birthday, the third Monday in February;
- Memorial Day, the last Monday in May;
- Independence Day, July 4;
- Labor Day, the first Monday in September;
- Columbus Day, the second Monday in October;
- Veterans Day, November 11;
- Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November, and the day following;
- Christmas Day, December 25.
In the event that any of the aforementioned days, except Sunday itself, falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be considered a holiday. In the event that any of the aforementioned days, except Saturday itself, falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be considered a holiday.
(b) Other Special Days. The mayor may proclaim a day or any portion thereof as a holiday, a day of mourning, or other similar special day for the observation or commemoration of a noteworthy public event, provided that municipal business shall not be suspended on such day or portion thereof, unless the mayor's proclamation so states.
Dog owners must clean up the waste left by their pets. Use a proper receptacle; do not leave by the side of the trail. See Open Space Regulation R1-30(H).
The municipal code is available at this link.
If you wish to let your dog off-leash, Mitchell Park has a dog run, as well as some parks in surrounding communities. Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, part of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, has a large off-leash area.
Reporting Dogs Off Leash
If you see dogs off leash, report them to the rangers. Call 650-617-3156 (Baylands Ranger Station) or 650-329-2423 for Foothills Park and Pearson Arastradero Preserve. We need this information:
Location and direction of travel
Description of dogs
Description of owners
Leaving your name and phone number would be helpful if we need clarification but is not required.
If you see the same people with their dogs off leash repeatedly, please keep reporting them to the rangers.