Baylands Nature Preserve

view of Baylands Nature Preserve marsh

Baylands Nature Preserve

Bounded by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the 1,940-acre Baylands Preserve is one of the largest tracts of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide access to a unique mixture of tidal and fresh water habitats.

Many consider this area to be one of the best bird watching areas on the west coast. The preserve has a substantial resident population of birds as well as being a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway.

Things To Do

Include walking, running or biking on 15 miles of trails; bird watching; wind surfing and boating (non-motorized craft such as canoes, kayaks or small, hand-launched boats and sailboards). The city also offers a variety of nature walks and programs on ecology and natural history. Activities and Programs 

Preserve Rules

These are a few of the rules to help everyone enjoy this nature preserve:

  • Dogs must be on leash at all times. Report dogs off leash to the ranger station at 650-617-3156.
  • No collecting of plants or animals.
  • Groups and Special Events of 25 or more must have a permit.  

Baylands Nature Preserve 
Ranger Station
2500 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Location Map

Open every day of the year from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.  Park Hours


Baylands Trail Map

Palo Alto Open Space Trail Map

Special Events Permit and Application


Baylands For Tomorrow - A community outreach volunteer work

Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center
2775 Embarcadero Road

Hours of Operation:

Wednesday - Friday, 2-5 pm

Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm

 Winter Hours (Nov. 15 - Jan. 31)

 Wednesday - Friday, 1-4 pm

 Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm


Holiday Closures:

Friday, November 10th

Sundays, Dec. 24th and Jan. 31st


Sunday Naturalist Walks

Free program; meets in the Nature Center lobby at 10:30 and 12:30

To rent, call the Junior Museum and Zoo at 650-329-2111
Location Map

Environmental Volunteers
2560 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
650 493 6800

Byxbee Park Hills (Art Park) 
2375 Embarcadero Road 
Location Map

Baylands Athletic Center 
(baseball and softball)
1900 Geng Road 
Location Map

Picnic Area 
2500 Embarcadero Road
Adjacent to the Ranger Station Available first-come, first-serve for groups of 24 or fewer. For larger groups, see the Groups and Special Events page.

Palo Alto Landfill Conversion to Park Land Informational Handout

Information on the conversion of the Landfill to dedicated park land.

2018 Open Space Hours
Note: Last entry to all preserves is one half hour before preserve closing time.
2018 Open Space HoursMore...

Value of Volunteering in Open Space
The City of Palo Alto contracts with Grassroots Ecology and Save the Bay as stewardship partners. Based on this analysis by Grassroots Ecology, the city gets a return of almost double its investment in the contract.

Value of Volunteering in Open SpaceMore...

No Smoking in Open Space and Parks Effective 10/9/2013
Smoking of any type will be prohibited in neighborhood parks and Open Space preserves beginning October 9, 2013.
No Smoking in Open Space and Parks Effective 10/9/2013More...

Baylands Nature Preserve Birding
Information about birding at the Baylands.
Baylands Nature Preserve BirdingMore...

Burn Ban in Palo Alto Foothills

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Palo Alto Fire Department has issued a proclamation suspending burn permits and other uses of open fires effective August 11, 2018. Because of this, wood campfires and charcoal burning are prohibited in Towle Campground; 1-liter gas tabletop camp stoves are permitted. Charcoal fires are permitted only in Oak Grove and Orchard Glen picnic areas; all other barbecues are closed.

Burn Ban in Palo Alto FoothillsMore...
News Image ID 66454

History of Waste and The Baylands
The area now known as the Palo Alto Baylands started as a waste disposal site in the early 20th century. Over time we learned how to better treat and dispose of our waste, and even convert some of it into useful energy. The landfills are now closed and being turned into additional parkland.
History of Waste and The BaylandsMore...

History of Baylands Nature Preserve
History of the John Fletcher Byxbee Recreation Area, more commonly known as the Baylands Nature Preserve.
History of Baylands Nature PreserveMore...

Open Space Medallions - Order Yours Today
Fundraiser for Adopt-a-Park
Open Space Medallions - Order Yours TodayMore...