The Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is easily accessible from Highway 280, and this hike provides stunning views of the surrounding open space.
Yellow fiddlenecks, wild roses, tangled blackberry, quail, redwing blackbirds and cottontail rabbits.
Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation change: 300 feet
Hiking time: 2 hours
Trail surface: mixed
Best Season: year round
Managing agency: City of Palo Alto
Parking lot location: Click here for directions
Overview:There are several short hikes to choose from at the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, which has over 10 miles of trails to explore.
For a scenic loop, take the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail out to Arastradero Creek Trail, turn right on Acorn Trail, then another right onto Meadowlark Trail before descending back to the de Anza Trail.
For a longer out-and-back, take the Arastradero Creek Trail all the way to the City of Palo Alto’s Foothills Park — a local jewel. This hike has several steep spots with a 20 percent slope, mostly toward the west end. However, the trail is wide and compacted in all areas.
In 2002, POST saved a 13-acre island of land in the middle of the preserve from development. A nice mix of rolling grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest, this is a favorite for joggers and dog-walkers.