Located on the urban fringe and extending towards Mt. Eden Road to the south and Stevens Creek County Park to the west, the 739-acre Preserve offers a variety of experiences to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Local visitors will find Fremont Older Open Space Preserve of particular interest because of its proximity and richness in local history.
To summit Maisie’s Peak, start at the Prospect Road parking lot and take the Cora Older Trail to the Seven Springs Loop Trail, to the Hayfield Trail, and finally to the Coyote Ridge Trail. Maisie's Peak is named after Maisie Garrod, and is the highest peak in the preserve. From the top of the peak you can see sweeping views of the Santa Clara Valley.
Maisie and her brother, R.V. Garrod purchased this property in 1910 and used the surrounding land for pasture, orchards, and hay. The remaining hayfields and fruit trees tell the story of this land’s agricultural past.
Trek through open hayfields and along oak covered trails on this 2.5-mile loop trail. You’ll climb the Cora Older Trail up to Seven Springs and Woodhills Loop Trails where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the Santa Clara Valley from the exposed hilltop of Hunters Point. Return along the Hayfield Trail.
Preserve Highlights & Features
This 900-foot hilltop offers beautiful sweeping views of the Santa Clara Valley.
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.
The following trails may be closed to bicycle and equestrian use during wet conditions.
- Toyon Trail is OPEN to bicyclists and equestrians.
- Wedding Trail is OPEN to bicyclists and equestrians.
Main entrance: (21 spaces) Parking is located off of Prospect Road in Saratoga. Exit Highway 85 at De Anza Boulevard. (From northbound 85 turn left on De Anza Blvd. and from southbound 85 turn right on De Anza Blvd.) Travel on De Anza Blvd. (towards the mountains) about 0.5 miles. Turn right on Prospect Rd. At the first stop sign, turn left and cross the railroad tracks to remain on Prospect Rd. Follow Prospect Rd. for 1.3 miles, turning left after the Saratoga Country Club, until the preserve parking lot is reached.
Additional parking is located in Stevens Creek County Park which is adjacent to Fremont Older.
- Bicyclists: Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only (marked on map). Helmets are required. Observe the 15 mph trail speed limit (5 mph when passing). Avoid startling hikers and equestrians by announcing your presence when approaching from behind.For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
- Dogs: Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
- Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails (marked on map). Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
- Fires are prohibited in preserves.
- Plants & Wildlife: Please leave undisturbed. If you encounter wildlife during a visit, do not approach, startle or feed it. Although wild animals are generally fearful of humans and will run away, some wildlife can be dangerous.
- Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
- Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity is prohibited.
- Weapons are prohibited in preserves.
A general access permit is required for any activity or event that:
- may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR
- would restrict the use of any part of Midpen lands by members of the public; OR
- requests or requires a fee be paid or a donation made for participation. This includes events where the fee is in the form of a mandatory purchase, such as a t-shirt.
Midpen trails and facilities are generally very safe. However, you are entering an environment where there are some naturally occurring hazards. Reasonable caution and common sense should be utilized when venturing into any outdoor environment.
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle! Lock your vehicle and store valuables out of sight or take them with you on the trail.
- Travel in groups of two or more. Two of more people can assist each other in the event of an accident or emergency.
- Dress for the environment. Temperature changes can be occur and you should dress in layers appropriate for the location, time of year and planned activities.
- Carry water with you. Drinking water is not available at most Midpen preserves so you should bring your own. Two quarts per person per two hour hike is recommended.
- Apply sunscreen and drink plenty of water prior to and during your outdoor activities.
- Be aware that cell service is very sporadic on the preserves.
Be Prepared and Aware
Plan ahead before you leave. Check regulations and weather, download a map, pack water and first aid.
Know your limits and take safety precautions.
Rattlesnakes are native to this area and are especially active in warm weather.
Poison oak grows on most preserves: Learn to identify and avoid it in all seasons.
Ticks are present in this area and may carry diseases.
Mountain lions are a natural part of this region’s environment and are occasionally seen.
In Case of Emergency
If you experience an emergency (fire, accident or other immediate threat to life or property), call 911. For nonemergencies, call 650-691-1200.
Activities & Events
The Preserve is named for Fremont Older, a noted San Francisco newspaper editor who, together with wife Cora, owned a portion of the Preserve for 60 years. Their home known as "Woodhills", once a gathering place for personalities of the day, has been leased to a private party and restored. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house and garden are not open to the public. While tours of the property have been offered in the past, there are no upcoming plans for tours at this time.
In 1975, Midpen purchased the property and the house was scheduled for demolition. Mort and Elaine Levine, local newspaper publishers, wanted to see the journalistic legacy of Fremont Older and "Woodhills" preserved. The District Board voted and approved a long-term lease with the Levines who absorbed the cost of the home’s restoration, which was completed in 1979. The Levine family still lives at "Woodhills."
Produced by Midpeninsula Media Center, May 2011
The full length version is available to the public at the following locations:
• Oral History and Community Memory Archive, CSU Monterey Bay • California History Center, De Anza College • Saratoga Historical Foundation • Cupertino Historical Society • California Room, San Jose State University Library