Visit Safely

Welcome to the City of Palo Alto Open Space Preserves, including:

  • Baylands Nature Preserve
  • Pearson-Arastradero Preserve
  • Foothills Park

We encourage you to visit safely by learning about ways to protect the environment and keep your family safe while experiencing the outdoors.

We welcome you to enjoy a walk in a park or an open space preserve while maintaining social distancing of more than 6 feet from persons outside of your household. Please wear a mask at all times.

Open Space Preserve Rules, including Foothills Park

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

  • Dogs are not permitted anywhere in Foothills Park on weekends or city holidays. Dogs are only permitted on weekdays and must be on a leash under physical control at all times. More information is on our Dogs page.
  • Bicycles are allowed on paved roads only, and not on trails. All bicyclists must wear helmets.
  • Coasting devices (i.e., skates, roller blades, scooters, and skateboards) are not allowed in Open Space.
  • Fires and barbecues are restricted to designated areas. Staff may restrict usage depending on fire danger.
  • Use park barbecues for charcoal fires only; no wood fires.
  • No collecting of plants or animals.
  • No smoking anywhere within Open Space nature preserves.
  • No remote-control devices, for articles such as boats, planes, quadcopters or drones.

Know Before You Go

  • Foothills Park has a visitor cap, during high peak times, you may be turned away. Enjoy another open space area or come back at a less busy time like on the weekdays.
  • Bring water, a snack and make sure to take a photo or download a park map before you arrive.

While You Are At An Open Space Preserve

  • Only park in designated parking areas. Visitors parking illegally will be ticketed.
  • Trails or areas blocked off are for your safety. Please stay on designated trails.
  • Take out what you bring in. Leave no garbage behind.
  • Leave wildlife alone. Please do not feed any animals in the park.
  • When letting others pass on trails, be aware of snakes, ticks, Poison Oak and your footing when making room off the trail.
  • For more about ticks and what they look like, find resources online at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  • If you have questions, find a ranger or a volunteer.

Online Resources

Recreate Responsibly: protect yourself, the outdoors and others by following these safety tips.

New to hiking? Watch a video: Our partners at Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District offers tips for new visitors and those new to hiking

Foothills Park Local Partners: Learn about the City and local partners commitment to the future of Foothills Park

More about Foothills Park:

Download a Foothills Park Map HERE.

For a downloadable quick guide to what to watch out for when you visit Foothills Park, go here: English Flyer, Spanish Flyer.

For more about all Palo Alto Open Space Preserves, go here.