Open Space Preserves

Due to inclement weather and hazards, our open space preserves may close or partially restrict access without notification.

The mission of Open Space is to protect and interpret the resources and wildlife entrusted to Palo Alto for the enjoyment of future generations. The preserves offer trails from the marshes of the bay to the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains.


Baylands Preserve

The Baylands Preserve has some of the last remaining salt marsh and mud flat habitats on the west coast. It offers excellent birding year round.

Esther Clark Nature Preserve

Esther Clark Nature Preserve is a good place for quiet meditation or watching the sunset. 

Foothills Nature Preserve

Foothills Nature Preserve is a 1,400-acre preserve with rugged chaparral, woodland, fields, and a lake. Hike on 15 miles of trail, have a picnic, or enjoy spectacular views of the bay from Vista Hill. This park is open to all guests.

Pearson - Arastradero Preserve

Pearson - Arastradero Preserve is a beautiful mixture of rolling grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest. Each area of the preserve has something different: views of the bay, a quiet grassland stroll, or a snooze by the lake.

Activities & Programs

Open Space offers a variety of nature programs, hikes, camps, walks, and other activities in the preserves.

Parks Map