Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area is a birders paradise. At this 55-acre bayfront preserve, located adjacent to Mountain View’s Shoreline Park, visitors can view a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds, including black-necked stilts, mallards, snowy and great egrets, great blue herons, cormorants, and pintails.
This half-mile long stroll on a gravel trail along the San Francisco Bay is a treat for birders. You will likely see some of the more common residents of the preserve, such as mallard ducks, American avocets, sandpipers, egrets, black-necked stilts, and swallows. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the preserves more unusual birds, such as burrowing owls or the endangered Ridgeway’s rail.
Preserve Highlights & Features
Visitors can view a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds at this preserve, including black-necked stilts, mallards, snowy and great egrets, great blue herons, cormorants, and pintails.
Marshland vegetation provides protected habitat for the endangered Ridgway’s rail and salt marsh harvest mouse.
San Francisco Bay Trail
Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Area is accessible from the San Francisco Bay Trail, a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay, through all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities and across seven toll bridges. With over 350 miles in place, the Bay Trail connects communities to parks, open spaces, schools, transit and to each other, and also provides a great alternative commute corridor. The ultimate goal of the Bay Trail is to build a beautiful shoreline bicycle and pedestrian path for all to enjoy.
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.
- No reported trail closures.
Main entrance: The Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area is accessible from Shoreline-at-Mountain View Park. From Highway 101 take Shoreline Boulevard east to the Shoreline Park entrance. After passing the entrance kiosk, turn right into the “Kite Area” parking lot.
- Dogs: Dogs are not allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves visit the Dog Access page. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access.
- Equestrians: Horses are NOT allowed in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For information on preserves open to horses 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
Construction of the salt-evaporation ponds to the north removed the marsh from tidal action. There is no indication that the property was used for salt production, but it may have been used for hunting and grazing. The District used a matching grant to acquire this property from Peninsula Regional Open Space Trust, which received it as a gift from Leslie Salt.