Preserve Info

Hiking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash

Overview

Conveniently located in the hills above the Town of Woodside and ideally situated for a quick morning or afternoon getaway, Thornewood is a 167-acre Preserve offering nice, easy hikes or horseback rides through beautiful surroundings.

Dog Access: Leashed dogs are allowed on all trails at this Preserve.

Gallery

Features

  • Schilling Lake is an excellent site to view waterfowl during their migration, so please be sure your dog is on leash and at your side when visiting this sensitive wildlife habitat area. 

Directions

Access to the preserve is through a brick gate on the south side of La Honda Road (Highway 84), 1.6 miles past its intersection with Portola Road in Woodside. A narrow driveway winds through the woods for 0.3 miles before reaching the parking lot located on the west side of the driveway. Parking for approximately 12 cars is available here.

Get driving directions:

 

Trails

Bridle Trail - This 0.75-mile Trail winds through second growth Douglas fir and redwood forest and emerges in oak and madrone forest to connect with the Schilling Lake Trail. Funded in part by State Proposition 50 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), this new trail creates safe equestrian, hiking, and dogs-on-leash passage through Dennis Martin Creek while reducing sedimentation to the aquatic environment. Because much of the path passes beneath dense forest canopy, the trail remains wet for long periods of time and may close seasonally due to concerns for public safety and environmental protection.
 

Schilling Lake Trail - This 0.75-mile Trail gradually winds through sunlit canopies of big-leaf maples and moss-covered oaks and ends under the shade of the grand redwoods that surround the tranquil lake.

Trail Conditions

  • The access from Old La Honda Road at Dennis Martin Creek is OPEN to hikers and equestrians.

History

Thornewood Open Space Preserve is a place rich in history, and includes the site of the historic Thornewood estate. San Franciscan Julian Thorne bought the Woodside property in 1908, and in the 1920s architect Gardner Dailey designed and built the Thornewood house, the summer home of Julian and his wife Edna. (Gardner Dailey designed the farm buildings at the nearby Filoli, the DeYoung Museum addition, and the American Embassy in Manila, among other projects.) Thorne retained his estate and sold the remaining acreage, which reached from Thornewood to Skyline Boulevard, to August Shilling of the Schilling Spice Company, for whom Shilling Lake is named. The Thornewood House, surrounded by 3.5 acres of landscaping and a breathtaking view of the valley, is an example of estate life of the 1920s. This 87-acre estate was willed to the Sierra Club Foundation and later given to the District. Currently, the house and 10-acre private leasehold are being restored and are closed to the public. However, the remaining 77 acres of the estate, including an easy walk along wooded trails leading to Schilling Lake, are open to the public throughout the year.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only 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 permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on preserves open to bikes 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

Conveniently located in the hills above the Town of Woodside and ideally situated for a quick morning or afternoon getaway, Thornewood is a 167-acre Preserve offering nice, easy hikes or horseback rides through beautiful surroundings.

Dog Access: Leashed dogs are allowed on all trails at this Preserve.

Photo Gallery

Features

  • Schilling Lake is an excellent site to view waterfowl during their migration, so please be sure your dog is on leash and at your side when visiting this sensitive wildlife habitat area. 

Access to the preserve is through a brick gate on the south side of La Honda Road (Highway 84), 1.6 miles past its intersection with Portola Road in Woodside. A narrow driveway winds through the woods for 0.3 miles before reaching the parking lot located on the west side of the driveway. Parking for approximately 12 cars is available here.

Get driving directions:

 

Trails

Bridle Trail - This 0.75-mile Trail winds through second growth Douglas fir and redwood forest and emerges in oak and madrone forest to connect with the Schilling Lake Trail. Funded in part by State Proposition 50 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), this new trail creates safe equestrian, hiking, and dogs-on-leash passage through Dennis Martin Creek while reducing sedimentation to the aquatic environment. Because much of the path passes beneath dense forest canopy, the trail remains wet for long periods of time and may close seasonally due to concerns for public safety and environmental protection.
 

Schilling Lake Trail - This 0.75-mile Trail gradually winds through sunlit canopies of big-leaf maples and moss-covered oaks and ends under the shade of the grand redwoods that surround the tranquil lake.

Trail Conditions

  • The access from Old La Honda Road at Dennis Martin Creek is OPEN to hikers and equestrians.

Thornewood Open Space Preserve is a place rich in history, and includes the site of the historic Thornewood estate. San Franciscan Julian Thorne bought the Woodside property in 1908, and in the 1920s architect Gardner Dailey designed and built the Thornewood house, the summer home of Julian and his wife Edna. (Gardner Dailey designed the farm buildings at the nearby Filoli, the DeYoung Museum addition, and the American Embassy in Manila, among other projects.) Thorne retained his estate and sold the remaining acreage, which reached from Thornewood to Skyline Boulevard, to August Shilling of the Schilling Spice Company, for whom Shilling Lake is named. The Thornewood House, surrounded by 3.5 acres of landscaping and a breathtaking view of the valley, is an example of estate life of the 1920s. This 87-acre estate was willed to the Sierra Club Foundation and later given to the District. Currently, the house and 10-acre private leasehold are being restored and are closed to the public. However, the remaining 77 acres of the estate, including an easy walk along wooded trails leading to Schilling Lake, are open to the public throughout the year.

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only 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 permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on preserves open to bikes 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
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash

Hours

Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

September 11, 2015
October 10, 2015