This stroll is great for an after-work escape; a nice, easy hike close to the 280 freeway.
Migratory birds and California slender salamanders
Distances: 1.5 miles round trip
Elevation change: 100 feet
Hiking time: Less than an hour
Trail surface: Packed dirt
Best Season: All year
Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space
Parking lot location: Click here for directions
Overview: Located above the Town of Woodside, Thornewood Preserve is a 167-acre preserve containing several easy hikes suitable for a nice stroll or horseback ride.
The route shown below includes a peaceful out-and-back stroll through sun-speckeled canopies of big-leaf maples and moss-covered oaks. There is also a section of trail that takes you through shady redwood trees around Schilling Lake (which is really more like a pond).
The trail begins near a private road but signs clearly mark where to start hiking. The first part of the trail meanders gradually downhill. Then, at .49 mile, the trail joins an old road for rest of the journey to the lake.
There is a considerable amount of poison oak at this preserve, but it’s easily avoided if you stay on the trail. In the spring, there is a wide variety of wildflowers to be found here. But it’s a nice trail to visit any time of year.
Originally the site of the historic Thornewood estate, this area was as the summer home of Julian Thorne and his wife Edna. The estate, including 87 acres of land and the Thornewood House itself, was willed to the Sierra Club Foundation and later given to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The house and surrounding 10 acres are currently closed to the public and under restoration; however, the remaining 77 acres of the estate are open to the public year round.