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. Peninsula Open Space Trust, a local non-profit
land trust, provided major support for acquisition of this preserve.
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is located in the Town of Portola Valley.
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 on Portola Road fills quickly. Overflow parking is available at the Portola Valley Town Center, approximately 0.4 miles north on Portola Road. Please do not park on Portola Road: parking is strictly enforced.
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 District visitors should not enter that area.
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!
Visitors can meander through a variety of habitats along the preserve’s
12 miles of 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
Popular among bicyclists is the Spring Ridge Trail, which descends
from Skyline Boulevard and continues along a grassy ridge to Portola Valley.
Below is a list of some basic regulations that will help to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.
Hours: Preserves are open a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed 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 Presreve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permitted. Download Dog Access Guidelines
Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). Download Bicycle Access Guidelines
Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. Riders under 18 years of age are required to wear a helmet on all District land. Download Equestrian Access Guidelines
Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.
Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves.
Plants and Animals: Please leaves plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution.
Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.
The Eagle Trail which provides a connection between Hamms Gulch and Razorback Ridge trails will be closed to all use 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday from August 19, 2014 to October 31, 2014 during construction on Alpine Road.
The Betsy Crowder Trail is OPEN to equestrians.
Hamms Gulch, Lost, and Razorback Ridge Trails are OPEN to equestrians.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that seasonal trail closures may change from day to day without notice, based on changing weather conditions. Also note that during winter storm season high waters can make creek crossings hazardous, so plan your outing accordingly.