Bear Creek Stables / photo by Midpen staff

Bear Creek Stables

Bear Creek Stables / photo by Midpen staff

Located within Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Bear Creek Stables is a boarding and training facility for over 70 horses that has been in operation since the 1930s. Dr. Harry L. Tevis first developed the site in 1916 to accommodate his Tennessee walking horses on his extensive estate. Following the Midpen’s acquisition of the site in 1999, the stables have continued under lease with a tenant.

Midpen has kept the century-old horse stable operational allowing existing uses and public programs to continue. In 2019, Midpen elected to move forward with a Capital Maintenance and Repair Project to maintain equestrian programming, implement key repairs and incorporate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Planning and permitting are currently underway for the capital maintenance and repair projects. These include:

  • Repairing existing structures
  • Replacing the caretaker’s cottage with a pre-fabricated residence
  • Replacing the public restroom, septic and leach field
  • Updating ADA parking, water system and driveway

Bear Creek Stables Ad-Hoc Meeting

On May 14, 2024, the board of directors formed an Ad Hoc Committee to consider additional options and engage the community for input on the following:

  • Stables or operations management
  • Architectural and engineering experience
  • Therapy programs
  • Fundraising including grants

The board further directed the Committee to work with elected officials to support the stables.

Public Access, Education, and Outreach
Public Access
illustration of a bird in flight next to the letters MAA
Measure AA

Goals and Objectives

The Bear Creek Stables Site Plan, approved in 2017, guides Midpen in managing the stable to meet the following goals:

  • Maximize public benefits of Bear Creek Stables by broadening public access and use of the facility, consistent with the lease agreement
    • Formalize and expand public access within the stable lease area, while ensuring the safety of horses, equestrians, and the general public visiting the site
    • Design and construct new infrastructure for public programs and repair or replace needed infrastructure for at the boarding facility
    • Designate trail connections from the stable to the rest of the preserve
  • Emphasize the protection of the natural resources at Bear Creek Stables
    • Maintain and manage roads and stable facilities to reduce erosion
    • Follow design guidelines and use best management practices when implementing all stable facilities improvements
    • Limit access to erosion-prone and sensitive habitat areas
  • Develop a viable plan that is financially feasible for both a tenant and Midpen
    • Establish a long-term lease
    • Balance Midpen’s mission with potential improvements and programs

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Stables Operator

In 2022, Midpen completed a competitive process to pursue a multiyear agreement with a selected concessionaire for operation of the Bear Creek Stables. Chaparral Country Corporation (Chaparral) was identified as the highest ranked candidate with the experience and background to implement the board-approved operational goals for the stables. Chaparral’s submittals and interviews demonstrate that they have the expertise, experience, resources and shared purpose to effectively manage and operate the stables and lead the public programs that are allowed at the site.

In response to public comment about the proposal process and the changes to the stables operations, please see these clarifying answers.


May 14, 2024

Public Meeting: The Midpen board of directors will receive an update on the Repair Project, County permitting status, and updated projected costs. The board will consider and vote on next steps for the project
Agenda report

January 1, 2023Chaparral becomes the new operator of stables facility. 
December 5, 2022All current boarders will need to sign a new boarding agreement with Chaparral.
November 19, 2022Staff and representatives from Chaparral will be on-site to answer any boarders' questions. 
August 24, 2022Public Meeting:  The Midpen board of directors voted to award a multi-year concessionaire agreement for Bear Creek Stables to Chaparral Country Corporation.
Agenda report
July 14, 2021Public Meeting: The Midpen board of directors received a presentation on the process for selecting a long-term Bear Creek Stables operator. Both the board and members of the public provided input on the proposed operational requirements and operator selection criteria.
Agenda report
June 9, 2021Public Meeting: The Midpen board of directors received an update on the Bear Creek Stables project and affirmed the Use Permit permitting approach to implement the project.
Agenda report
Spring 2021Ongoing permitting coordination with the County of Santa Clara.
Summer 2020Capital maintenance and repair construction plans 50% complete.
April 8, 2020Public meeting: The Midpen board received an update on the Bear Creek Stables project and allocated $1.223M of the available Interest on Measure AA Bond Proceeds to close the known funding gap to implement capital maintenance and repairs.
Agenda report
October 9, 2019Public meeting: Midpen’s board votes not to pursue public-private fundraising to raise the resources that would be needed to implement the entire 2017 Bear Creek Stables Site Plan.
Agenda report
Summer 2019Planning and permitting for capital maintenance and repair projects begin.
April 25, 2019Public meeting: Midpen’s board approves implementing capital maintenance and repairs within the approved project budget, while pursuing implementation of the entire Bear Creek Stables Site Plan in the long-term.
Agenda report
2018-2019Coordination with Santa Clara County to clarify capital maintenance and repairs allowed under the stable’s existing legal nonconforming use.
2017Preliminary planning reveals site constraints and challenges associated with implementing the Bear Creek Stables Site Plan. New cost estimates increase funding gap.
January 25, 2017Public meeting: Bear Creek Stables Site Plan approved by Midpen’s board as part of the Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve Plan, along with a certified Environmental Impact Report.
July 6, 2016Public Meeting: Midpen's board selected the preferred site plan alternative, which was incorporated into the Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve Plan.
Agenda report
February 24, 2016Public Meeting: Midpen's board reviewed two site design alternatives for the Bear Creek Stables and directed the General Manager to develop three additional site design alternatives to address the high, upfront capital costs for the proposed improvements.
Agenda report
2015-2016Public and environmental review process to create the Bear Creek Stables Site Plan


At the April 8, 2020, public meeting, the Midpen board of directors committed an additional $1,223,000, for a total of $5,534,928, to implement the Bear Creek Stables project. A funding gap of approximately $5 million currently exists to implement the entire Bear Creek Stables Site Plan.

Previously, at the October 9, 2019, public meeting, the Midpen board voted to continue with capital maintenance and repairs within the approved budget, but not to pursue public-private fundraising for the additional resources that would be necessary to implement the entire 2017 Bear Creek Stables Site Plan. This decision was made due to rising costs and a high level of uncertainty for fundraising success. Opportunities remain for outside groups to fundraise for operational, programmatic and small-scale improvements in partnership with the Bear Creek Stables' operator.