Windy Hill Preserve.

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms

Overview

Windy Hill is named for its distinctive, breezy grass-covered hilltop, which can be seen from many areas of the peninsula. The 1,335-acre preserve features open grassland ridges and forests of redwood, fir, and oak.

The Peninsula Open Space Trust, a local nonprofit land trust, provided major support for acquisition of this preserve.


Temporary COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Face coverings are required when you can’t stay 6 feet away from persons you don’t live with. Many Midpen trails are narrow — wear a mask, bandanna or gaiter you can pull over your mouth and nose as needed.
  • Select one-way routes are in effect to promote social distancing.
  • Paper maps are not available at preserves. Please download a map before leaving home or snap a photo of the signboard map before you hike.

Gallery

Features

  • Windy Hill is an ideal spot for kite flying. 
  • Hang gliding, paragliding, and remote control gliding are allowed by obtaining a special activity permit. Please see Permit Information for details
  • Picnic tables are located adjacent to the Spring Ridge parking area – a super beginning to a day or the perfect ending to a long hike!

 

How to Get Here

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is located in the Town of Portola Valley.

Lower Windy Hill

The parking lot at the lower portion of the preserve is located on Portola Road. Parking is available for 25 vehicles. Please note: This parking lot fills quickly. Please do not park on Portola Road: parking is strictly enforced.

Overflow parking is available at the Portola Valley Town Center, approximately 0.4 miles north on Portola Road. Take the Portola Trail from the Town Center to the Windy Hill parking lot.

Get driving directions to main lot:

 

Equestrian trailer/bus parking
Equestrian trailer/bus parking is available, courtesy of the Town of Portola Valley, at the driveway entrance to the Spring Downs Equestrian Center at 725 Portola Road.  The driveway off Portola Road is town property, and there is a gravel area to the left of the paved driveway that is suitable for trailer/bus parking. A ½-mile roadside trail runs from the driveway to the Windy Hill parking lot on Portola Road. Please note: Spring Down is a private facility, and Midpen visitors should not enter that area.

Get driving directions to equestrian parking:

 

Upper Windy Hill

Parking for the upper portion of the preserve, the Skyline Boulevard Picnic Area, is located on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), 2.3 miles south of Highway 84 (La Honda Road) and 4.9 miles north of Page Mill Road. Additional roadside parking is available along Skyline Boulevard.

Get driving directions to Skyline Boulevard Picnic Area:

 

 

Trails

Hikers and equestrians use the Hamms Gulch, Eagle, Razorback Ridge, and Lost Trails to make an 8-mile loop through forested ridges to the valley floor and back again.

The Anniversary Trail provides a short hike atop Windy Hill, with spectacular views of the bay and surrounding valley.

Popular among bicyclists is the Spring Ridge Trail, which descends from Skyline Boulevard and continues along a grassy ridge to Portola Valley.

Dogs - Leashed dogs are allowed on all trails except Lost and Razorback Trails. (Dogs are allowed on the portion of Lost Trail between the Hamms Gulch Trail and the Anniversary Trail).

Trail Conditions

This information is updated as needed when trails are opened or closed, or when there is scheduled trail maintenance. Visit the full Trail Conditions page for more information.

  • Due to COVID-19 precautions Sequoias Trail is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. for use only by residents of the adjacent Sequoias retirement community.

The following trails may be closed to equestrian use during wet conditions.

  • Betsy Crowder Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Hamms Gulch Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Lost Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Razorback Ridge Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
Date updated: Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 8:15am

History

Recognized as a significant addition to Midpen in 1980, Windy Hill Preserve was formed in the "upper" portion with a 537-acre acquisition with major support from the Peninsula Open Space Trust. A second major purchase of 429 acres in 1987 added the "lower" portion and included the scenic backdrop of Spring Ridge.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this Preserve. Must be controlled on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. Dogs are allowed only in designated preserves or areas as posted. Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicycles: Are allowed on designated trails only (those shown on the map for bicycle use). Helmets are required. Observe the 15 mph trail speed limit (5 mph when passing). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Weapons: All weapons are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Plants & Wildlife: Please leave plants and animals 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. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Overview

Windy Hill is named for its distinctive, breezy grass-covered hilltop, which can be seen from many areas of the peninsula. The 1,335-acre preserve features open grassland ridges and forests of redwood, fir, and oak.

The Peninsula Open Space Trust, a local nonprofit land trust, provided major support for acquisition of this preserve.


Temporary COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Face coverings are required when you can’t stay 6 feet away from persons you don’t live with. Many Midpen trails are narrow — wear a mask, bandanna or gaiter you can pull over your mouth and nose as needed.
  • Select one-way routes are in effect to promote social distancing.
  • Paper maps are not available at preserves. Please download a map before leaving home or snap a photo of the signboard map before you hike.

Features

  • Windy Hill is an ideal spot for kite flying. 
  • Hang gliding, paragliding, and remote control gliding are allowed by obtaining a special activity permit. Please see Permit Information for details
  • Picnic tables are located adjacent to the Spring Ridge parking area – a super beginning to a day or the perfect ending to a long hike!

 

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is located in the Town of Portola Valley.

Lower Windy Hill

The parking lot at the lower portion of the preserve is located on Portola Road. Parking is available for 25 vehicles. Please note: This parking lot fills quickly. Please do not park on Portola Road: parking is strictly enforced.

Overflow parking is available at the Portola Valley Town Center, approximately 0.4 miles north on Portola Road. Take the Portola Trail from the Town Center to the Windy Hill parking lot.

Get driving directions to main lot:

 

Equestrian trailer/bus parking
Equestrian trailer/bus parking is available, courtesy of the Town of Portola Valley, at the driveway entrance to the Spring Downs Equestrian Center at 725 Portola Road.  The driveway off Portola Road is town property, and there is a gravel area to the left of the paved driveway that is suitable for trailer/bus parking. A ½-mile roadside trail runs from the driveway to the Windy Hill parking lot on Portola Road. Please note: Spring Down is a private facility, and Midpen visitors should not enter that area.

Get driving directions to equestrian parking:

 

Upper Windy Hill

Parking for the upper portion of the preserve, the Skyline Boulevard Picnic Area, is located on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), 2.3 miles south of Highway 84 (La Honda Road) and 4.9 miles north of Page Mill Road. Additional roadside parking is available along Skyline Boulevard.

Get driving directions to Skyline Boulevard Picnic Area:

 

 

Trails

Hikers and equestrians use the Hamms Gulch, Eagle, Razorback Ridge, and Lost Trails to make an 8-mile loop through forested ridges to the valley floor and back again.

The Anniversary Trail provides a short hike atop Windy Hill, with spectacular views of the bay and surrounding valley.

Popular among bicyclists is the Spring Ridge Trail, which descends from Skyline Boulevard and continues along a grassy ridge to Portola Valley.

Dogs - Leashed dogs are allowed on all trails except Lost and Razorback Trails. (Dogs are allowed on the portion of Lost Trail between the Hamms Gulch Trail and the Anniversary Trail).

Trail Conditions

This information is updated as needed when trails are opened or closed, or when there is scheduled trail maintenance. Visit the full Trail Conditions page for more information.

  • Due to COVID-19 precautions Sequoias Trail is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. for use only by residents of the adjacent Sequoias retirement community.

The following trails may be closed to equestrian use during wet conditions.

  • Betsy Crowder Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Hamms Gulch Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Lost Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
  • Razorback Ridge Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
Date updated: Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 8:15am

Recognized as a significant addition to Midpen in 1980, Windy Hill Preserve was formed in the "upper" portion with a 537-acre acquisition with major support from the Peninsula Open Space Trust. A second major purchase of 429 acres in 1987 added the "lower" portion and included the scenic backdrop of Spring Ridge.

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this Preserve. Must be controlled on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. Dogs are allowed only in designated preserves or areas as posted. Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicycles: Are allowed on designated trails only (those shown on the map for bicycle use). Helmets are required. Observe the 15 mph trail speed limit (5 mph when passing). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Weapons: All weapons are prohibited in preserves.
     
  • Plants & Wildlife: Please leave plants and animals 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. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash
Wheelchair accessible
Restrooms

Hours

Preserves are open from one-half hour before official sunrise until one-half hour after official sunset.

Preserve Activities

There are no events scheduled at this preserve currently.