Baylands Nature Preserve

view of Baylands Nature Preserve marsh

Baylands Nature Preserve

Bounded by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the 1,940-acre Baylands Preserve is one of the largest tracts of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide access to a unique mixture of tidal and fresh water habitats.

Many consider this area to be one of the best bird watching areas on the west coast. The preserve has a substantial resident population of birds as well as being a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway.

Things To Do

Include walking, running or biking on 15 miles of trails; bird watching; wind surfing and boating (non-motorized craft such as canoes, kayaks or small, hand-launched boats and sailboards). The city also offers a variety of nature walks and programs on ecology and natural history. See the Activities and Programs page for more information.

Preserve Rules

These are a few of the rules to help everyone enjoy this nature preserve:

  • Dogs must be on leash at all times. More information is on our Dogs page. Report dogs off leash to the ranger station at 650-617-3156.
  • No collecting of plants or animals.
  • No feeding wildlife, including the duck pond.
  • No smoking anywhere within Open Space nature preserves.
  • No kite flying.
  • No remote control devices, including such devices as boats, planes, quadcopters.
  • Groups of 25 or more must have a permit. Please visit our Groups and Special Events page for more information.


Baylands Nature Preserve
Ranger Station
2500 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Location Map

Open daily from 8:00 am until sunset. Click here for Park Hours

Baylands Trail Map

Palo Alto Open Space Trail Map

Special Events Permit and Application

Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center
2775 Embarcadero Road
Call for hours
To rent, call the Junior Museum and Zoo at 650-329-2111
Location Map

Environmental Volunteers
2560 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
650 493 6800
View the Marsh Cam

Byxbee Park Hills (Art Park)
2375 Embarcadero Road
Location Map

Baylands Athletic Center
(baseball and softball)
1900 Geng Road
Location Map

Picnic Area
2500 Embarcadero Road
Adjacent to the Ranger Station Available first-come, first-serve for groups of 24 or fewer. For larger groups, see the Groups and Special Events page.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2016
Palo Alto Landfill Conversion to Park Land Informational Handout
Information on the conversion of the Landfill to dedicated park land.

2015 Open Space Hours
Note: Last entry to all preserves is one half hour before preserve closing time.

Open Space Nature Programs
Nature programs led by rangers in the current season

Value of Volunteering in Open Space
The City of Palo Alto contracts with Acterra and Save the Bay as stewardship partners. Based on this analysis by Acterra, the city gets a return of 2.5 times its investment in the contract.


No Smoking in Open Space and Parks Effective 10/9/2013
Smoking of any type will be prohibited in neighborhood parks and Open Space preserves beginning October 9, 2013.

Baylands Nature Preserve Birding
Information about birding at the Baylands.

History of Waste and The Baylands
The area now known as the Palo Alto Baylands started as a waste disposal site in the early 20th century. Over time we learned how to better treat and dispose of our waste, and even convert some of it into useful energy. The landfills are now closed and being turned into additional parkland.

History of Baylands Nature Preserve
History of the John Fletcher Byxbee Recreation Area, more commonly known as the Baylands Nature Preserve.

Open Space Medallions - Order Yours Today
Fundraiser for Adopt-a-Park