Horseshoe Lake at Skyline Ridge Preserve

Skyline Ridge Preserve

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.

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

Preserve Highlights & Features

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David C. Daniels Nature Center at Skyline Ridge Preserve

David C. Daniels Nature Center

Overlooking Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, the David C. Daniels Nature Center features imaginative displays that both children and adults can enjoy. 

Currently CLOSED due to COVID-19 public health guidelines.

Stories from the Preserves

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

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.