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Windy Hill Windy Hill

All Midpen Preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year from dawn until one-half hour after sunset.

Overview | Directions and Parking | Features | Trails | Regulations


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.


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.

Parking for the upper portion of the preserve, the Spring Ridge parking area, is located on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), 2.3 miles south of Highway 84 (La Honda Road) and 4.9 miles north of Page Mill Road. Additional roadside parking is available along Skyline Boulevard.   


Windy Hill

  • 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 valley.

  • Popular among bicyclists is the Spring Ridge Trail, which descends from Skyline Boulevard and continues along a grassy ridge to Portola Valley.

Download a map of Windy Hill Open Space Preserve


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 Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permitted. Download Dog Access Guidelinespdf
  • 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 Guidelinespdf
  • 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 Guidelinespdf
  • 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 leave 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.
Download District Regulations and Ordinancespdf


Latest News
Ancient Oaks Trail Extension Now Open! The new trail is the final phase of the POST-funded Mindego Gateway Project, and connects the new Mindego Parking Lot with Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve’s popular multi-use trail network.  More>>


Activities at the Preserve

Explorer Hike: Lower Windy Hill

Ideas for...

Dog Owners



Mountain Bikers

People with Disabilities

Trail Conditions

The Betsy Crowder Trail is OPEN to equestrians.

Lost Trail, Hamms Gulch Trail, and Razorback Ridge Trail 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.

Last updated on: 5/7/2015

Additional Information

Permit Information

Dog Access Guidelines

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