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El Sereno El Sereno

All Midpen Preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year from dawn until one-half hour after sunset.

Overview | Directions and Parking | Trails | Regulations

OVERVIEW

El Sereno Open Space Preserve is named for 2,249-foot Mt. El Sereno, part of a prominent ridge located south of the town of Saratoga and west of the town of Los Gatos. A distinctive scenic backdrop to these cities, the 1,415-acre Preserve is primarily a chaparral community with some wooded areas near the creeks. You may also catch a glimpse of the deer, coyote, and brush rabbits that make their homes here.

Features

El Sereno

While hiking or riding at El Sereno Open Space, you'll enjoy the fragrant smells of the California bay laurel and a variety of shrubs common in the chaparral habitat, including chamise, coyote bush, and yerba santa.

The Preserve's nearly 7.4 miles of wide, gradual trails provide numerous opportunities for recreation. At the north end, the Overlook Trail accommodates hikers, bicyclists, and dogs on leash. At the south end, trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Along the ridge, a three-mile trek offers spectacular panoramic views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserves, and the South Bay.

 

DIRECTIONS & PARKING

El Sereno Open Space Preserve is located in the hills above the towns of Saratoga and Los Gatos. A six-car parking lot, is available near the Overlook Trail trailhead; however, a permit (no fee) is required to park in this lot. For additional details or to obtain a parking permit, please see the Permit Information page. Please note that dogs are permitted ONLY on Overlook Trail at this Preserve.

Access to the southern part of the Preserve is from the end of Montevina Road, three miles west of Highway 17. Take the Bear Creek Road/Montevina Road exit off Highway 17, and follow Montevina Road until it ends. There is limited parking at the roadside turnout.


 

 

TRAILS

The Preserve's nearly 7.4 miles of wide, gradual trails provide numerous opportunities for recreation.

  • At the north end, the Overlook Trail accommodates hikers, bicyclists, and dogs on leash. Please note that dogs are permitted ONLY on Overlook Trail at this Preserve.
  • At the south end, trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.
  • Along the ridge, a three-mile trek offers spectacular panoramic views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserves, and the South Bay.

Download a map of El Sereno Open Space Preserve

Note: This Preserve is bordered by private property. Please respect the boundaries and stay on designated preserve trails.


REGULATIONS

Below is a list of some basic regulations that will help to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.

  • Hours: Preserves are open a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed on designated trails in this preserve. Must be controlled on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. Dogs are allowed only in designated preserves or areas as posted. Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permitted. Download Dog Access Guidelinespdf
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). Download Bicycle Access Guidelinespdf
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. Riders under 18 years of age are required to wear a helmet on all District land. Download Equestrian Access Guidelinespdf
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.

  • Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.

  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.

  • Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves.

  • Plants and Animals: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution.

  • Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.
Download District Regulations and Ordinancespdf

 

Latest News
Ancient Oaks Trail Extension Now Open! The new trail is the final phase of the POST-funded Mindego Gateway Project, and connects the new Mindego Parking Lot with Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve’s popular multi-use trail network.  More>>

(5/11/2015)



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