Mindego Ranch

Location and Background

The Mindego Ranch property, a 1,047-acre cattle ranch, was added to the western portion of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in 2008. The Preliminary Use and Management Plan that was approved as part of the property purchase included standard resource management actions, signage, and site security, structural demolition, and continuation of grazing under the provisions of a grazing lease.

Mindego Ranch Use and Management Plan

The Mindego Ranch Use & Management Plan is a long range planning effort that directs future land management, operations, and public access actions and activities at Mindego Ranch with the goal to protect and enhance habitat for sensitive wildlife species, while responsibly integrating necessary land management activities and sensitive public access at Mindego Ranch.  Over the three years since the plan’s approval, several capital improvement projects have been completed or are nearing completion.

Download Mindego Ranch Use & Management Plan Amendment

Mindego Gateway

Mindego Gateway opened in May 2014.  The site includes parking for 20 cars, a restroom, access to a popular trail system, and the Audrey C. Rust commemorative site with tiered viewing platforms, including a wheelchair-accessible terrace.

Ancient Oaks Trail Extension

Stunning views of the Pacific Ocean are a highlight of this trail as it meanders up hilly woodlands and meadows from the new staging area before connecting with the Ancient Oaks Trail.  Visitors can head back to the parking area along the Charquin and Mindego Hill Trails that complete the 3-mile loop.

Current Progress

  • Public trail access to Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) Council Circle – Scoping Summer/Fall 2015 and targeted opening in Spring 2016
  • Grazing Request for Proposals Released – May 2015
  • The extension of Mindego Hill Trail to the top of Mindego Hill is nearly complete and is expected to open in Spring 2016 once cattle grazing is reintroduced to the area.

Project History

  • May 2015 – Ancient Oaks Trail Extension opens.
  • May 2014 – Mindego Gateway opens. 
  • January 2014 – The District’s Board adopted the Mitigated Negative Declaration and approved the Mindego Ranch Use and Management Plan Amendment.
  • May 2008 – The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Board of Directors approved the purchase of the Mindego Ranch Property from POST.