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San Mateo Memorial Park – Mt. Ellen Trails

Memorial Park with its 499 acres provides an opportunity to view outstanding old-growth redwoods and has picnic facilities, a visitor center, a camp store, a creek swimming area, and campfire programs. The park is known for its family camping areas and the Tan Oak and Mt. Ellen Nature Trails.

Timber surrounding this area was logged in the late 1800's and early 1900's, both for redwood lumber and the bark of the tan oak tree. In fact, four small sawmill sites are either on or adjacent to the present park boundaries. Fortunately, many of the areas in the park were saved from the logger's saws and were eventually acquired by the County in 1924. The park was memorialized for for the men of San Mateo County who died in the First World War.

The Depression brought many to the area when Memorial Park was established as a project camp for the Work Projects Administration created by President Roosevelt. Many of the existing restrooms, roadways and picnic sites are the result of their efforts.

Thousands of campers use the Creek Trail during the spring and summer seasons. They love to follow the river and enjoy it. The park can fit 2200 campers in their campgrounds during the summer, and most of those folks eventually find their way down to the creek. So, for the past 10 years, they've had to stumble through the rough terrain of the use trail that has developed since the trail disappeared. The trail was originally built in the 60's, so it lasted 30 years. The nearby Homestead Trail is used by local residents to walk to Loma Mar and elsewhere.

Location: Memorial Park, San Mateo County, California - Mt. Ellen Trails

Directions: When coming to Memorial Park from the bayside of the peninsula, use Highway 84 west from either Highway 280, 101 or 35 (Skyline Boulevard). Travel westbound down Highway 84 from Skyline Boulevard to Pescadero Road near the Town of La Honda. Turn left (south) on Pescadero Road. Follow Pescadero Road 5.6 miles to the park entrance.

As you travel through the town of Woodside, please note that the speed limit is 25 m.p.h. Otherwise, you might be involuntarily contributing to the Woodside General Fund.

When coming to Memorial Park from the coastside, use Highway 1 to Pescadero Road. Follow Pescadero Road 9.3 miles to the park entrance.

The parking/meeting area is going to be the parking lot immediately in front of the Memorial Park entrance kiosk on the south side of the road.

Additional Information: Participants should bring water, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, lunch and normal precautions against poison oak exposure (work gloves, long sleeved shirts and long pants). The Trail Center provides tools, training, gloves, and refreshments after the workday.

Assemble at 8:30 for safety talks and crew assignments. We will start work on the trail at 9:00.

All park entry fees will be waived for volunteers.

Agency: San Mateo County Parks - David Vasquez, Supervising Ranger

Supervisor: Dave Taylor/Judd Volino

Project Lead: Bill Farrell/Judd Volino