View of rolling golden field and oak trees

Hawthorns Area Plan

Hawthorns Property at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. By Midpen staff.

The 79-acre Hawthorns area of Windy Hill Open Space Preserve was protected from development when it was gifted to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in 2011. Since then, staff have been working to restore native grasslands, improve community wildland fire safety and protect historic features on the property. A multiyear public process began in 2021 to explore the feasibility of introducing ecologically sensitive public access to the undeveloped portion of the property.

Surveying in-progress at the Hawthorns Area October 2021

Midpen contracted with BKF Engineers to conduct a property boundary survey for the Hawthorns Area. This work will entail survey equipment, vehicles and personnel along the Hawthorns Area property boundary and nearby public roadways. Work is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 20 and continue intermittently until Friday, October 29, but may be subject to change.

This survey will not result in any immediate improvements at the Hawthorns Area but will be used to inform future discussions regarding the location of public access facilities (such as parking areas and trails) within the Hawthorns Area.

For questions regarding this boundary survey, please contact Alex Casbara at


Map in color of geographic region for Hawthorns Area Plan project in Los Altos Hills.

There will be multiple opportunities throughout development of the Hawthorns Area Plan for public input. To stay informed, please sign up using the comment card below to receive updates. Additional information will be provided on this webpage as the project proceeds.

Icon of shaking hands with a mountain in the background.
Land Preservation
Natural Resources Protection and Restoration
Natural Resources
Public Access, Education, and Outreach
Public Access
illustration of a bird in flight next to the letters MAA
Measure AA


Join the Midpen Planning and Natural Resources Committee for a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, November 16 at 2 p.m. as they review the revised project vision and goals.

The Committee will also review a draft working group strategy, which would provide a forum for stakeholders to collaborate with Midpen on planning for ecologically sensitive public access to the Hawthorns Area. 

The staff report, and information on how to comment and participate, will be posted by Friday, November 5 at

Stay informed!

Sign up to receive notifications about projects at Windy Hill Preserve.


The Hawthorns Area includes rolling grassland, oak woodland and year-round flows in Los Trancos Creek that support a diverse community of native plants and wildlife. To protect the natural environment, Midpen removed debris and old vehicles from the property. Midpen staff also partnered with Grassroots Ecology to restore the property's native grasslands, including carefully timed mowing to reduce the spread of non-native yellow star thistle and removal of non-native, highly flammable French broom. 

Working closely with the Woodside Fire Protection District fire marshal, Midpen also completed significant vegetation management on the property to improve community wildland fire safety, including creating a new shaded fuel break, emergency vehicle staging area and disked fire lines. 

Hawthorns Historic Complex

The property was originally developed in the late 1880s as a summer estate. For more information, please visit the Hawthorns Historic Complex page

Hawthorns House 1893
Hawthorns House - 1893, front (north) elevation
Funded by Measure AA 2014 Open Space Bond

Funded by Measure AA

This project is supported by Measure AA, a 30-year, $300 million bond passed by local voters in 2014 to support Midpen’s community-created Vision Plan top 25 priority projects.

Here is the tentative schedule for developing the Hawthorns Area Plan: 

2021-2022Develop vision and goals for the Hawthorns Area 
2022-2024 Prepare Hawthorns Area Plan 
 2024-2025Conduct environmental review per CEQA
2025Hawthorns Area Plan approval and permitting