Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms
Good for Kids

Overview

Skyline Ridge Preserve offers 2,143-acres of remarkably varied landscape that includes ridge vistas, expansive meadows, a pond for nature study, and a quiet lake frequented by migrating birds. 

Funding from the California Park and Recreation Facilities Act of 1984 and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund assisted development of this Preserve.

Bike and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Gallery

Features

  • Two ponds for nature study and bird watching.
  • Trails designed for wheelchair and stroller access (at both Alpine Pond and Horseshoe Lake)
  • Several shaded picnic tables that overlook Alpine Pond.

David C. Daniels Nature Center 

Daniels Nature Center at Alpine Pond © Karl Gohl

An educational learning center open to the public on the weekends, April through mid-November. Restroom available.

The David C. Daniels Nature Center was funded in part by Peninsula Open Space Trust, a local nonprofit land trust.

Directions

The preserve's entrance is located about one mile south of the Page Mill Road / Alpine Road and Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) intersection. Equestrian parking is also available here.

Get driving directions to main lot:

 

Access to the Daniels Nature Center - park in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot, located on the northwest corner of the Page Mill / Alpine Road and Skyline Boulevard intersection (across Skyline Blvd. on the right). Walk through the tunnel under Alpine Road and follow the parth to reach the nature center.

Get driving directions to Russian Ridge OSP parking lot:

 

Trails

This preserve offers over 10 miles of trail for exploration. The preserve also contains a three-mile section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

Ipiwa Trail (Bay Area Ridge Trail) - Views of the Lambert Creek watershed, Butano Ridge, and Portola State Park will impress the hiker who makes a trek up this Trail.

Accessible Trails

Alpine Pond Loop - (0.5 miles) Fun for visitors of all ages and abilities. This short loop circles Alpine Pond and give visitors a chance to to peer into the shallow water in search of pond creatures. Accommodates visitors with wheelchairs or strollers. 

Horseshoe Loop - (1.3 miles) This easy enjoyable loop Trail features quarter-mile trails (Ridge, Horseshoe Lake, and Horseshoe Loop Trails)  to circle Horseshoe Lake. Please note: Only a portion of this loop is accessible, from the disabled persons parking lot to Horseshoe Dam.

Trail Conditions

No trail conditions to report.

History

Much of the land that became Skyline Ridge Preserve (and also Russian Ridge Preserve) was at one time owned by James Rolph, Jr. or "Sunny Jim," as he was known to his constituents. Rolph was one of California's most colorful politicians, serving as mayor of San Francisco from 1912 until January 1931, when he resigned to become the state's newly elected governor, a post he held until his death in 1934. After Rolph, the northern part of what became Skyline Ridge Preserve was owned by Mr. John Rickey of Rickey's Hyatt House in Palo Alto, who used it for a thousand-head hog ranch. Alpine Pond and Horseshoe Lake were constructed in the 1950s to provide water for the ranching and agriculture operations. Later the property was passed on to the Wasserman family, who used it to raise cattle and graze horses. It was the Wassermans who established the Christmas Tree farm that still exists on the Preserve today.

The District purchased the land that became Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve in 1982.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • 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 Ordinances

Overview

Skyline Ridge Preserve offers 2,143-acres of remarkably varied landscape that includes ridge vistas, expansive meadows, a pond for nature study, and a quiet lake frequented by migrating birds. 

Funding from the California Park and Recreation Facilities Act of 1984 and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund assisted development of this Preserve.

Bike and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Photo Gallery

Features

  • Two ponds for nature study and bird watching.
  • Trails designed for wheelchair and stroller access (at both Alpine Pond and Horseshoe Lake)
  • Several shaded picnic tables that overlook Alpine Pond.

David C. Daniels Nature Center 

Daniels Nature Center at Alpine Pond © Karl Gohl

An educational learning center open to the public on the weekends, April through mid-November. Restroom available.

The David C. Daniels Nature Center was funded in part by Peninsula Open Space Trust, a local nonprofit land trust.

The preserve's entrance is located about one mile south of the Page Mill Road / Alpine Road and Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) intersection. Equestrian parking is also available here.

Get driving directions to main lot:

 

Access to the Daniels Nature Center - park in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot, located on the northwest corner of the Page Mill / Alpine Road and Skyline Boulevard intersection (across Skyline Blvd. on the right). Walk through the tunnel under Alpine Road and follow the parth to reach the nature center.

Get driving directions to Russian Ridge OSP parking lot:

 

Trails

This preserve offers over 10 miles of trail for exploration. The preserve also contains a three-mile section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

Ipiwa Trail (Bay Area Ridge Trail) - Views of the Lambert Creek watershed, Butano Ridge, and Portola State Park will impress the hiker who makes a trek up this Trail.

Accessible Trails

Alpine Pond Loop - (0.5 miles) Fun for visitors of all ages and abilities. This short loop circles Alpine Pond and give visitors a chance to to peer into the shallow water in search of pond creatures. Accommodates visitors with wheelchairs or strollers. 

Horseshoe Loop - (1.3 miles) This easy enjoyable loop Trail features quarter-mile trails (Ridge, Horseshoe Lake, and Horseshoe Loop Trails)  to circle Horseshoe Lake. Please note: Only a portion of this loop is accessible, from the disabled persons parking lot to Horseshoe Dam.

Trail Conditions

No trail conditions to report.

Much of the land that became Skyline Ridge Preserve (and also Russian Ridge Preserve) was at one time owned by James Rolph, Jr. or "Sunny Jim," as he was known to his constituents. Rolph was one of California's most colorful politicians, serving as mayor of San Francisco from 1912 until January 1931, when he resigned to become the state's newly elected governor, a post he held until his death in 1934. After Rolph, the northern part of what became Skyline Ridge Preserve was owned by Mr. John Rickey of Rickey's Hyatt House in Palo Alto, who used it for a thousand-head hog ranch. Alpine Pond and Horseshoe Lake were constructed in the 1950s to provide water for the ranching and agriculture operations. Later the property was passed on to the Wasserman family, who used it to raise cattle and graze horses. It was the Wassermans who established the Christmas Tree farm that still exists on the Preserve today.

The District purchased the land that became Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve in 1982.

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • 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 Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms
Good for Kids

Hours

Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

July 8, 2015