Coal Creek Open Space Preserve
Coal Creek is an ideal place for a quick afternoon hike with one's dog. Several trails can be combined to create a pleasant two or three-mile loop. Views of the San Francisco Bay Area can be seen from the open grassland ridges below the Caltrans vista point parking area.
Although Coal Creek Preserve is only around 500 acres, there is much to enjoy about it's rich history. Once a place where Native Americans gathered and ground acorns and other seeds, acquisition by the District saved this area from being turned into a residential subdivision.
The preserve's five miles of trail provide important trail connections between Skyline Boulevard and Alpine Road for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Mountain bicyclists can take advantage of this connection to complete loops through Russian Ridge back to Portola Valley.
Dog, bike, and equestrian access is limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve — always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted.
Rules & Regulation
- 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 permitted. In 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 allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information 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.