Waterfall at Thornewood Preserve

Thornewood Preserve

Waterfall at Thornewood Preserve

Overview

Conveniently located in the hills above the Town of Woodside and ideally situated for a quick morning or afternoon getaway, Thornewood is a 167-acre preserve offering nice, easy hikes or horseback rides through beautiful surroundings.

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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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Schilling Lake at Thornewood Preserve
Schilling Lake at Thornewood Preserve

Schilling Lake

Schilling Lake is an excellent site to view waterfowl during their migration. Please make sure your dog is on leash and at your side when visiting this sensitive wildlife habitat area.

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.  

 

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YIELD. Bicycles yield to hikers and equestrians. HIkers yield to equestrians.

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

Thornewood Open Space Preserve is a place rich in history, and includes the site of the historic Thornewood estate. San Franciscan Julian Thorne bought the Woodside property in 1908, and in the 1920s architect Gardner Dailey designed and built the Thornewood house, the summer home of Julian and his wife Edna. (Gardner Dailey designed the farm buildings at the nearby Filoli, the DeYoung Museum addition, and the American Embassy in Manila, among other projects.) Thorne retained his estate and sold the remaining acreage, which reached from Thornewood to Skyline Boulevard, to August Shilling of the Schilling Spice Company, for whom Shilling Lake is named. The Thornewood House, surrounded by 3.5 acres of landscaping and a breathtaking view of the valley, is an example of estate life of the 1920s. This 87-acre estate was willed to the Sierra Club Foundation and later given to the District. Currently, the house and 10-acre private leasehold are being restored and are closed to the public. However, the remaining 77 acres of the estate, including an easy walk along wooded trails leading to Schilling Lake, are open to the public throughout the year.