Stanford University trail opens

A decade in the making, trail offers panoramic views of the Bay Area

A long-awaited public hiking trail that has been a decade in the making will open Friday, May 20.

The new trail, called the Matadero Trail, is the "S1" route in the Santa Clara Countywide Trails Master Plan. The trail runs on Stanford University land from the south corner of Page Mill Road and Foothill Expressway and alongside Page Mill to Deer Creek Road. It crests over a ridge and winds down to where Arastradero Road crosses under Interstate 280.

The path over the ridge is designed for pedestrians. Separate lanes planned for bicyclists will continue along Deer Creek Road. At the high point of the trail, hikers will have views of the San Francisco skyline, bridges across the bay, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Hamilton.

"This trail was a long time coming. It is beautiful, and we are pleased that the public can now enjoy it," Larry Horton, senior associate vice president for public affairs at Stanford, said.

Stanford Director of Land Use and Environmental Planning Charles Carter, who oversaw the trail's development, praised the county Parks and Recreation Department for its collaboration in designing and building the trail.

"This isn't a nature trail per se, but it crosses a variety of landscapes where one can see native oak trees, riparian communities, grasslands and wildflowers, birds and other wildlife. I hope people enjoy it and recognize how Stanford's stewardship of its land resources yields public benefits."

Hikers should plan to walk or bicycle to the trail since the area offers no public parking. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset, Stanford officials said. Although maintained by Stanford, the trail will come under the auspices of Santa Clara County. Stanford has granted a land-use easement to the county.

"I walked the lower part of the trail two weeks ago myself and enjoyed it a lot. It's a great addition to our recreational opportunities," Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss said.

Building the trail was one of more than 100 conditions contained in the 2000 General Use Permit (GUP), which is Stanford's long-term land-use agreement with Santa Clara County. The GUP governs land use on more than 4,000 acres of Stanford land within Santa Clara County.

— Palo Alto Online staff


Like this comment
Posted by bicycle parking?
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

If we do bike there, is there safe bicycle parking at the start of the "no bicycles" section of the trail?

Like this comment
Posted by any parking?
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on May 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

There's no parking anywhere nearby.....what good is a trial that has no way to access it unless you walk several miles to it or bike (and then can't bike on it??!) Great way to ensure that the public CAN'T use it!

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