Bridge

The latest news and information about the District and Preserves.

One Way Trails in Rancho San Antonio

one way routes in Rancho San Antonio to promote social distancing. Please stay 6 feet apart from people you do not live with. #keepyourparksopenTo help with social distancing, Midpen is temporarily restricting traffic to one-way routes on crowded trails. Download the updated map for one-way route information

Please do your part to keep your parks open by following all trailhead signage and staying 6 feet apart from people you do not live with.

 

COVID-19 Updates

Updated Sunday, March 30, 2020

The health and safety of our community, preserve visitors, volunteers and employees are Midpen’s top priority. We are working hard to keep trails and preserves open to provide a safe opportunity for people to be in nature for mental, as well as physical, health during this public health emergency.

Keep 6 feet apartHELP KEEP OUR PARKS OPEN

Most Midpen preserves are open at this time. However, if visitors do not maintain safe social distancing—stay 6 feet apart from people you do not live with—we may have to close our preserves. Please follow these simple guidelines to reduce crowding in Midpen preserves.

  • Do not hold social gatherings at parks or anywhere.
  • Share the trail and yield to others to maintain a safe distance.
  • Do not park in a crowded parking lot or use a crowded trail.
  • Leave no trace: pack out what you pack in. Most Midpen preserves do not have garbage cans and collection is limited where we do..
  • Look for nearby nature to enjoy, look for the hidden nature in your own neighborhood.

Know before you go

  • Restrooms and drinking fountains are closed; plan ahead before leaving home.
  • Windy Hill Preserve is closed. Other areas receiving high use may be closed without notice. Please check the trail conditions and preserve pages before heading out.
  • Certain crowded narrow trails at Rancho San Antonio will be restricted to one-way traffic beginning Monday, March 30.
  • Parking restrictions around popular preserves have been posted for Highway 35 around Purisima Creek Preserve, Alpine Road around Russian Ridge, on Cristo Rey Drive near Rancho San Antonio, and around Windy Hill in Portola Valley.
  • Paper maps are no longer available at preserves. Please download a map before leaving home or snap a photo of the signboard map before you hike.
  • Group gathering areas are closed including Deer Hollow Farm, Daniels Nature Center, Black Mountain Backpack Camp and Picchetti Winery and picnic area.
  • Group activities are suspended including docent-led hikes, volunteer projects and special use permits. 
  • Midpen has closed our main office at 330 Distel Circle in Los Altos in compliance with county health official orders to shelter at home. Staff are working from home and remain available via telephone or voicemail (650-691-1200) and email (info@openspace.org or individual emails) during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

Please continue to follow the guidance of your local county public health department to limit the spread of COVID-19:

Santa Clara County Department of Public Health

San Mateo County Health

We’re grateful these public lands exist and that so many of you support efforts to protect, preserve, maintain, and restore our natural and working lands for the benefit and enjoyment of our broader community.

Remember, you can always follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and enjoy nature from wherever you are!

A letter to the public from the Midpen Board of Directors

As we all face these extraordinary times in response to the COVID-19 order, the Board wants to thank everyone in the Midpen family for their efforts and successes in keeping most Midpen lands and trails open so people can get exercise, get out of their apartment or house, breathe in the fresh air, and have a respite in nature. We are proud of our staff for acting creatively and proactively so we can continue to serve the public in this way, while also continuing our constant work of managing our open spaces to protect our vital natural resources and enhance our overall regional resilience within our spectacular Bay Area home.

More than ever, we need “room to breathe.” Thank you for the support you have all shown Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District over the years, and please join us in thanking our staff for their dedication and continued work.

    Good health to you all,

    Ana Ruiz, General Manager            Karen Holman, Board President

 Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. – John Muir

A letter from the Midpen Board of Directors

March 20, 2020

As we all face these extraordinary times in response to the COVID-19 order, the Board wants to thank everyone in the Midpen family for their efforts and successes in keeping most Midpen lands and trails open so people can get exercise, get out of their apartment or house, breathe in the fresh air, and have a respite in nature. We are proud of our staff for acting creatively and pro-actively so we can continue to serve the public in this way, while also continuing our constant work of managing our open spaces to protect our vital natural resources and enhance our overall regional resilience within our spectacular Bay Area home.

More than ever, we need “room to breathe”. Thank you for the support you have all shown Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District over the years, and please join us in thanking our staff for their dedication and continued work.

Good health to you all,

Ana Ruiz, General Manager            Karen Holman, Board President

Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. – John Muir

Rancho San Antonio Now Open

Updated: Thursday, February 20.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has located and trapped the mountain lion responsible for injuring a 6-year-old child at Rancho San Antonio Preserve.

Due to the circumstances of the attack, CDFW officials made the determination to euthanize this mountain lion, after DNA taken from the cat was matched to evidence from the attack.

“Mountain lion attacks are rare.” Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Area Superintendent Brad Pennington said. “Fortunately, the child’s injuries were minor. Unfortunately, the behavior exhibited by this mountain lion indicated it was a danger to public safety.”

Rancho San Antonio Preserve will reopen Friday morning. 

CDFW confirmed the mountain lion was a female, weighing between 60-70 pounds and estimated to be between 2-4 years old.

“That’s small for a full-grown lion,” Pennington said, “which can mean she wasn’t thriving. Mountain lions face a lot of challenges. They need large, connected areas of habitat. Our region is divided by roads and development, which puts wildlife closer to people and us closer to the wildlife.”

Midpen works closely with partners like CDFW to minimize conflicts so people and wildlife can live safely together. Some of the ways Midpen helps mountain lions and other wildlife survive and thrive include protecting nearly 65,000 acres of connected open space, supporting wildlife research and through projects like Midpen’s Highway 17 wildlife and trail crossing, which will create a critical wildlife corridor that gives animals room to roam.

Rancho San Antonio is the most popular of Midpen’s 26 open space preserves, drawing an estimated 600,000 visitors a year to the nearly 4,000-acre preserve. “That’s a lot of traffic on 24 miles of trail,” Pennington said. “We get reports of mountain lion sightings at Rancho about once a month and what we’re monitoring for is unusual animal behavior.”

Midpen rangers have placed warning signs reminding visitors of the recent attack, which occurred about 2 miles from the main parking area on a trail called Wildcat Loop and will continue to monitor for unusual wildlife behavior

 “It’s a good opportunity to remind visitors that many of the outdoor places we love are in mountain lion territory and the best way to keep both you and them safe is to look like a threat,” Pennington said.

If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself large and loud and slowly back away. Do not run and do not turn your back. Visitors should report all mountain lion sightings at Rancho to rangers at 650-691-2165.

To learn more, visit our mountain lion resource page or join Midpen staff for a Coexisting with Cougars event at Hidden Villa on March 12.

For media inquiries, contact Jordan Traverso at the California Department of Fish & Wildlife at 916-654-9937 or jordan.traverso@wildlife.ca.gov.

 

Outdoor Service Project

Join an Outdoor Service Project to help us care for the land.

Fremont Older Parking Restrictions

Parking restrictions near Fremont Older begin November 4.The City of Saratoga has implemented a “no parking” policy on Rolling Hills Road. Street parking will be permitted on the first 200 feet on the east side of Rolling Hills Road north of Prospect Road.

Please respect preserve neighbors and refrain from smoking and littering. Restroom available at the Prospect Road parking lot at the preserve entrance.

Now Hiring

Join our passionate, talented and dynamic team as we work collaboratively towards our vision.

Learn more

Photo Contest

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District invites photographers to enter its 11th Annual Digital Photography Competition, running March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020.

We are seeking compelling digital images of nature, capturing the diversity of our open spaces.

Learn more