Explore BAO Events
Plan Your Own
The park has pedestrians and mountain bikers that frequent the trails at all hours of the day so you will not be alone. Most of the trails are exposed to the sun and there is very little elevation change. This review covers a short one mile hike to the Arastradero Lake where you can fish for largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, carp. It is recommended to go early in the morning for the bass.
The entrance to the park is easy to see off of Arastradero road. The lot has parking for about 25 cars and I have never seen it full. There is a nature center down the path from the parking lot and the restrooms and drinking water are just next door.
Park entrance Parking lot
Path to nature center Restrooms
Head to the end of the parking lot that is in opposite direction to the nature center, where you can connect to the Redtail Loop Trail. Along the way you will pass some native and non-native grasses and flowers. After about a one tenth of a mile, you will cross Arastradero road and begin the Portola Pastures Trail.
Start of the Redtail Loop Trail
Blue-eyed grass (native) Road crossing
Portola Pastures Trail Dipsacus fullonum (the common teasel)
One striking aspect of the preserve is the plentiful Coastal Live Oak trees and savanna grassland covering the hillside. I have heard other visitors to this park have coyote and bobcat sightings as well as Western rattlesnakes. Crossing the bridge takes you to the trees.
Bridge crossing Coastal live oak
Meadow rye grass Coastal Live Oak
After 0.3 miles, the trail turns into Meadowlark Trail, then bear right on Juan Bautisa de Anza Trail and then left onto Paseo Del Roble Trail where is a small stream that you need to cross.
Begin Meadowlark Trail
Stream and bridge crossing
The Paseo Del Roble Trail takes you to Arastradero Lake. There is one spot along the south end of the trail where you can head down to the lake (see picture). Another option is to take the Lake Trail and find a spot at the end of the trail to sit and fish among the singing and playful birds. California Quail, Western Meadowlark, Acorn Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk and American Kestrel as well as migrating birds keep you company depending on when you visit.
Arastradero Lake fishing spot Lake Trail