Full Review: Arastradero Preserve

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.


Arastradero_Preserve__1.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__2.jpg

              Park entrance                            Parking lot


Arastradero_Preserve__3.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__4.jpg

          Path to nature center                         Restrooms



               Drinking water


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.


Arastradero_Preserve__6.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__7.jpg

                         Start of the Redtail Loop Trail


Arastradero_Preserve__8.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__9.jpg

       Blue-eyed grass (native)                   Road crossing


Arastradero_Preserve__10.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__11.jpg

          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.


Arastradero_Preserve__12.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__13.jpg

     Bridge crossing                    Coastal live oak


Arastradero_Preserve__14.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__15.jpg

                                           More trees


Arastradero_Preserve__16.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__17.jpg

              Meadow rye grass                      Coastal Live Oak



               Exposed trail


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


Arastradero_Preserve__23.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__24.jpg

                        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_Preserve__25.jpg Arastradero_Preserve__26.jpg

   Arastradero Lake fishing spot                  Lake Trail