a rider and horse in a grassy meadow

Foothills Preserve

Foothills Preserve (Joyce Tu)

Overview

This tiny 212-acre preserve's steep and forested ravines form part of the Adobe Creek watershed above Hidden Villa Ranch and are adjacent to Palo Alto's Foothills Park.

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Hiking: All Trails
Hiking: All Trails
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Bicycling: Not Permitted
Bicycling: Not Permitted
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Equestrian: All Trails
Equestrian: All Trails
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Dogs on Leash: All Trails
Dogs on Leash: All Trails
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No Easy Access
No Easy Access
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Camping: No Camping
Camping: No Camping
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Restrooms: Not Available
Restrooms: Not Available

Preserve Highlights & Features

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a bench on a hilltop overlooking the valley below

Scenic View Point

The single trail in this preserve leads to a hilltop that offers 360 degree views of the San Francisco Bay communities from San Jose to San Francisco.

Nature

Here are some of the plants and animals that other visitors have observed at this preserve and recorded in iNaturalist. Protected species may be excluded and some species may not yet have been observed. Help improve iNaturalist by adding your observations to the Midpen Biodiversity Index project

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Know Before You Go

Preserve regulations help provide a safe, enjoyable visit while protecting sensitive areas and wildlife. 

Share the Trail 

  • Use designated trails to avoid damage to natural resources and prevent injury. 

  • Avoid blocking the trail. Step aside to allow others to pass .  

  • Whether you’re walking or biking, always yield to equestrians. 

  • Leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in. Most preserves do not have trash cans. Littering is prohibited. 

  • Abuses of trail etiquette should be brought to the attention of a ranger or call the Midpen main office at 650-691-1200. 

Activities & Events

There are currently no events scheduled.

History

The opportunity to purchase the initial 90 acres of this Preserve came at a time when the District (known then as the Midpeninsula Regional Park District) was in its infancy and the criteria for land purchases were still being established. When the District was formed in 1972, it was a year or so before funds were available to buy land. So the general manager at the time, Herb Grench, sought out people who were willing to make gifts of land to the District to get the ball rolling. One such gift, made in 1974, was this small parcel tucked between Hidden Villa and Foothills Park south of Palo Alto. Later this gift was used to obtain a matching grant for the purchase of Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area.