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All Midpen Preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year from dawn until one-half hour after sunset.
Rich in marshland and vegetation, this 376-acre preserve is comprised of two noncontiguous areas located south of the Dumbarton Bridge and adjacent to San Francisco Bay.
The larger southern area, located near Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto, provides public access, funded by the Coastal Conservancy and made possible through a joint effort between San Mateo County and the District.
DIRECTIONS & PARKING
To reach the southern portion of the Preserve, take the University Avenue exit (toward East Palo Alto) from Highway 101. (From southbound Highway 101, turn left on University Avenue. From northbound Highway 101, the freeway exit will dead-end into the stoplight for Donohoe Street. Turn left on Donohoe Street, then turn right on University Avenue.) Continue on University Avenue (north) for about 3 long blocks. Turn right on Bay Road. Follow Bay Road to the very end, continuing through gate RW01 (about 1 mile total). Note: Bay Road narrows and becomes a dirt road. The Preserve parking area is on the left.
The northern portion of the Preserve lies adjacent to and south of the Dumbarton Bridge approach. Parking is available on the frontage road on the west side of the bridge.
There are approximately 1.5 miles of wheelchair accessible trail on levees at this bayfront preserve. The trails are 6- to 8-feet wide, constructed of aggregate base with chip seal surface. Overlook platforms and benches are destinations at both ends of this trail, offering a place for picnics, bird watching, or just enjoying the San Francisco Bay.
HISTORYSouth Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project
The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is a federal/state multi-agency effort (Fish and Wildlife Service, California State Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local water districts) aimed at restoring 15,100 acres of commercial salt ponds at the south end of San Francisco Bay to a mix of tidal marsh, mudflat, and other wetland habitats.
Phase 1 of the restoration project, September 2010, focused on restoring a former commercial salt pond (Ravenswood Salt Pond SF2) into a natural tidal wetland that will support wildlife such as shorebirds. The restoration work included:
For more information, please visit the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.
Below is a list of some basic regulations that will help to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.
The Ravenswood Preserve parking lot is now open.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that seasonal trail closures may change from day to day without notice, based on changing weather conditions. Also note that during winter storm season high waters can make creek crossings hazardous, so plan your outing accordingly.
Last updated on: 1/18/2015