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La Honda Creek Preserve

Harrington Creek Trail

Preserve Info

Hiking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash
Restrooms

Overview

Offering magnificent views of the coast, colorful wildflower displays in the spring, and immersion into a historic ranchland, La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve is an ideal spot to escape the pressures of everyday life.  The more than 6,100-acre Preserve, considered by many as the gateway to the San Mateo Coast, features forests and redwood to the north, open rolling grasslands to the south, and spectacular panoramic views of the coast and ridgelines throughout.

New on-leash dog access areaNotice of Change to On-Leash Dog Access in Upper La Honda

In accordance with the La Honda Creek Open Space Master Plan, the District is opening designated trails in Upper La Honda Creek Preserve (as shown on map) to on-leash dog access starting October 19, 2018.

A permit for parking is required to park in the upper portion of the Preserve. No parking is allowed outside the gate or along Allen Road.

Public access is currently available in two unconnected parts of the Preserve.

  • Upper La Honda Creek features 3.5 miles of shorter sections of trail through forest and redwoods. Due to parking limitations, a no-fee permit is required for access to Upper La Honda Creek.
  • Lower La Honda Creek offers 6 miles of trail through open rolling grasslands. Trails run through an active grazing operation, and visitors may encounter cattle and ranchers. A no-fee permit is required for equestrian parking at the Event Center, all other visitors park at the Sears Ranch Road lot.

Dog Access Limited: Dogs are only allowed on designated trails in Upper La Honda Creek, accessible by permit only.

Sharing the Trail with Cattle

Cattle are large animals and can be intimidating, but they are not aggressive by nature. Keep your distance and walk around groups of cows allowing plenty of space.

Find out more about hiking with grazing animals.

 

 

Gallery

Features

Lower La Honda Creek

  • Explore the rolling grassland ridges of this working cattle ranch. As the wind whistles past, look overhead - raptors can usually be seen soaring on the updrafts above. A variety of wildlife make their homes here, including coyotes, deer, and bobcats.

Upper La Honda Creek

  • The truly impressive "Big Tree," is one of the few remaining old-growth redwoods in the area.
  • Vista Point offers a spectacular panoramic view of the seemingly never-ending valleys leading to the coast. On a clear day, visibility extends to the ocean.

Directions

Lower La Honda Creek

  • Access to Lower La Honda Creek at the Sears Ranch Road parking lot off of Highway 84 in La Honda
  • Equestrian parking is available by permit at the Event Center

Get driving directions:

 

 


Upper La Honda Creek

The only vehicle access to northern La Honda Creek Preserve is by permit on Allen Road. There is no parking outside of the Preserve gate.

Trails

  • Lower La Honda Creek offers 6 miles of trail through open rolling grasslands. Trails run through an active grazing operation, and visitors may encounter cattle and ranchers.
    Tips for hiking among grazing animals
  • Upper La Honda Creek features 3.5 miles of shorter sections of trail through forest and redwoods. A no-fee permit is required for access to Upper La Honda Creek.

Trail Conditions

  • The Folger loop is OPEN
Date updated: Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 8:15pm

History

La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve was established in 1984 with the purchase of a 255-acre property. Following many additional land acquisitions, the Preserve now encompasses over 6,100 acres. Over 4,500-acres of these lands, including the former Driscoll Ranch, were purchased by the Peninsula Open Space Trust and transferred to Midpen to add to the Preserve

In order to manage the Preserve’s rich ecological and cultural resources, and provide opportunities for public enjoyment and education, Midpen completed a comprehensive 30-year Master Plan in 2012.  Through this public planning process, a Preserve Vision was created, to harmoniously blend recreation and ranching uses for the benefit of the land, wildlife, and surrounding commuting, both present and future.  As part of implementation of the Master Plan, Midpen has completed many land stewardship projects.  Five ponds were deepened and reinforced to allow threatened California Red-legged frogs to breed, and encourage the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake to return to the Preserve.   Miles of ranch roads were repaired to reduce sediment flowing to Harrington, La Honda, and San Gregorio Creeks, which provide habitat for Steelhead and Coho Salmon.  Fences and springs were upgraded to support cattle grazing.  Existing trails and staging areas were improved in Upper La Honda Creek, and a parking lot was constructed on the lower Preserve.  More trails and a staging area near the historic Red Barn are planned, that will link the upper and lower Preserve areas and provide additional recreation opportunities, including mountain bicycle use, in the near future.
La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve Master Plan

Regulations

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only 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 permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on preserves open to bikes visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • 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 Ordinances

Overview

Offering magnificent views of the coast, colorful wildflower displays in the spring, and immersion into a historic ranchland, La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve is an ideal spot to escape the pressures of everyday life.  The more than 6,100-acre Preserve, considered by many as the gateway to the San Mateo Coast, features forests and redwood to the north, open rolling grasslands to the south, and spectacular panoramic views of the coast and ridgelines throughout.

New on-leash dog access areaNotice of Change to On-Leash Dog Access in Upper La Honda

In accordance with the La Honda Creek Open Space Master Plan, the District is opening designated trails in Upper La Honda Creek Preserve (as shown on map) to on-leash dog access starting October 19, 2018.

A permit for parking is required to park in the upper portion of the Preserve. No parking is allowed outside the gate or along Allen Road.

Public access is currently available in two unconnected parts of the Preserve.

  • Upper La Honda Creek features 3.5 miles of shorter sections of trail through forest and redwoods. Due to parking limitations, a no-fee permit is required for access to Upper La Honda Creek.
  • Lower La Honda Creek offers 6 miles of trail through open rolling grasslands. Trails run through an active grazing operation, and visitors may encounter cattle and ranchers. A no-fee permit is required for equestrian parking at the Event Center, all other visitors park at the Sears Ranch Road lot.

Dog Access Limited: Dogs are only allowed on designated trails in Upper La Honda Creek, accessible by permit only.

Sharing the Trail with Cattle

Cattle are large animals and can be intimidating, but they are not aggressive by nature. Keep your distance and walk around groups of cows allowing plenty of space.

Find out more about hiking with grazing animals.

 

 

Features

Lower La Honda Creek

  • Explore the rolling grassland ridges of this working cattle ranch. As the wind whistles past, look overhead - raptors can usually be seen soaring on the updrafts above. A variety of wildlife make their homes here, including coyotes, deer, and bobcats.

Upper La Honda Creek

  • The truly impressive "Big Tree," is one of the few remaining old-growth redwoods in the area.
  • Vista Point offers a spectacular panoramic view of the seemingly never-ending valleys leading to the coast. On a clear day, visibility extends to the ocean.

Lower La Honda Creek

  • Access to Lower La Honda Creek at the Sears Ranch Road parking lot off of Highway 84 in La Honda
  • Equestrian parking is available by permit at the Event Center

Get driving directions:

 

 


Upper La Honda Creek

The only vehicle access to northern La Honda Creek Preserve is by permit on Allen Road. There is no parking outside of the Preserve gate.

Trails

  • Lower La Honda Creek offers 6 miles of trail through open rolling grasslands. Trails run through an active grazing operation, and visitors may encounter cattle and ranchers.
    Tips for hiking among grazing animals
  • Upper La Honda Creek features 3.5 miles of shorter sections of trail through forest and redwoods. A no-fee permit is required for access to Upper La Honda Creek.

Trail Conditions

  • The Folger loop is OPEN
Date updated: Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 8:15pm

La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve was established in 1984 with the purchase of a 255-acre property. Following many additional land acquisitions, the Preserve now encompasses over 6,100 acres. Over 4,500-acres of these lands, including the former Driscoll Ranch, were purchased by the Peninsula Open Space Trust and transferred to Midpen to add to the Preserve

In order to manage the Preserve’s rich ecological and cultural resources, and provide opportunities for public enjoyment and education, Midpen completed a comprehensive 30-year Master Plan in 2012.  Through this public planning process, a Preserve Vision was created, to harmoniously blend recreation and ranching uses for the benefit of the land, wildlife, and surrounding commuting, both present and future.  As part of implementation of the Master Plan, Midpen has completed many land stewardship projects.  Five ponds were deepened and reinforced to allow threatened California Red-legged frogs to breed, and encourage the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake to return to the Preserve.   Miles of ranch roads were repaired to reduce sediment flowing to Harrington, La Honda, and San Gregorio Creeks, which provide habitat for Steelhead and Coho Salmon.  Fences and springs were upgraded to support cattle grazing.  Existing trails and staging areas were improved in Upper La Honda Creek, and a parking lot was constructed on the lower Preserve.  More trails and a staging area near the historic Red Barn are planned, that will link the upper and lower Preserve areas and provide additional recreation opportunities, including mountain bicycle use, in the near future.
La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve Master Plan

  • Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only 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 permittedIn accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access. For more information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on preserves open to bikes visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Permits: A use permit is required for any activity or event which: may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR is advertised or noticed in any publication, poster, electronic posting or flyer; OR requests/requires a fee be paid for participation. Visit the Permit page for more information.
     
  • 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 Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash
Restrooms

Hours

Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

La Honda Creek Preserve

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