The Nature Preserve is on private property. However, as part of a agreement with the Town, made in 1975, the area was set aside to preserve “in perpetuity for all future generations the Open Space character of the land”. Also, as part of this agreement, Portola Valley Ranch granted easements to the trails, allowing the public to enjoy its natural tranquility and beauty.
In a further effort to protect the area and its trails, the agreement with the town stipulated that this area be set aside as one that did not allow bikes or dogs anywhere on the property.
STAY ON TRAILS
The open space surrounding the trail is not for public use and we ask all visitors to stay on the trails, helping to protect fragile grasslands, riparian habitats and other ecological features.
NO DOGS IN NATURE PRESERVE
Damage to native plants - Dog waste releases nitrogen to the soil encouraging invasive plants which compete with and force out native plants.
Disturbance to wildlife - The presence of dogs can stress wildlife, cause wildlife to become less active during the day and cause wildlife to move away. The sent of dogs can displace wildlife long after the dogs are gone. Dogs can pass diseases to wildlife.
Damage from off-leash dogs - Not only does this violate the San Mateo County dog-leash law, off-leash dogs wandering off trail are especially damaging to plants and nesting birds. They disrupt the travel patterns of wildlife and at times have chased and or killed wildlife. Horses are allowed on these trails and dog-horse interactions can be unpredictable and dangerous.
NO BIKES IN NATURE PRESERVE
Erosion - The trails are not designed for bikes. Bikes damage the trails, particularly at turns, causing erosion and rutting.
Safety - These trails are narrow, some with tight turns and are used by horses, hikers and families.
Pathogens - Bike tires bring in pathogens and invasive plant seeds from neighboring areas.
Easement Restriction - The terms of the easement granted to the Town of Portola Valley do not allow the use of bikes on these trails.