Hikes and Rambles: Pearson-Arastradero Preserve (Palo Alto)

Arastradero Lake

We are always on the look out for close, easy walking trails that I can walk with the kids during the week. The Pearson-Arastradero Preserve has over 10 miles of trails, but we just walked .4 of them up to the Arastradero Lake and then back. The trail we covered was a mixed use trail allowing horses, bikes, and hikers. It was a fairly wide packed dirt trail that was perfect for the kids to run along.

When you first find parking you will follow a short trail down to the road. The crossing made me a little nervous with the kids, but we just had to move quickly. Traffic wasn’t bad so that helped a lot.

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

For the first part of the walk we could see some nice private homes looking down on us. I’d be really interested to hear how much those places go for.

Juan Bautista de Anza TrailPath around Arastradero Lake

The lake itself was on the small side but nicely situated in the hills so you didn’t hear the surrounding roads. There were several species of duck floating peacefully on the pond, and there were two 200 ft trail options to take around the lake. The lower one hugged the lake closely before disappearing into mud and the higher one sloped pretty dramatically at first, and we didn’t follow it to see where it went.

Arastradero Lake from the Lake TrailKid's posing with fallen tree


I’m sure we’ll be back to explore more of the available trails, but we’ll probably make this short little trip on a regular basis. With the path by the parking lot and the 200 ft lake trail, I would peg our trip at a mile exactly. For a Mom traveling with two kids, this is a pretty perfect distance and it’s hard to find something this length with such a pretty lake as the destination.

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve
1530 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
650-329-2423 (Foothills Park)

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