Ravenswood Open Space Preserve
Located in a tidal marsh along the San Francisco Bay, Ravenswood Preserve is a great location for birdwatching and easy-access walks.
- Salt Marsh Habitat - These wetlands provide an important buffer for high-tide events and rising sea levels. The marsh vegetation acts as a sponge, absorbing and filtering water from both the bay and upland creeks. A gradually sloped landscape gives water levels space and time to dissipate and allows wildlife to move freely with changing tides. The area provides important habitat for a wide variety of animals like crabs, shrimp, fish, birds and mammals, including two endangered species: Ridgeway’s rail and the salt-marsh harvest mouse.
- A Changing Landscape - The tide moves in and out of the marsh several times a day, changing the look of the surrounding landscape. During high tide, the wetlands are a maze of connected waterways winding through cordgrass and pickleweed, unique marshland plants that thrive in the brackish mixture of fresh and saltwater. During low tide, the water recedes, revealing muddy soil that provides a great place for birds to feed.
- Pacific Flyway - The area is a critical stop for migrating birds. Sandpipers, dowitchers and avocets use wetlands to rest and feed during their cross-continental journeys. Great blue herons, white pelicans and egrets are also commonly seen in the area.
- San Francisco Bay Trail - The trails within the preserve are part of the Bay Trail, a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay. The raised boardwalk and bridge across the wetlands recently linked a long-standing gap to create 80 miles of continuous trail, from Sunnyvale to Menlo Park and across the Dumbarton Bridge to the East Bay.
Rules & Regulation
Ravenswood Trail - 2.1 mi. Level trail with great views of the bay and excellent bird watching.
Visit the Easy Access Opportunities page for additional information.
- Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
- Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves visit the Dog Access page. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in Preserves wherever we allow public access.
- 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 NOT allowed in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For information on preserves open to horses 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.