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Trail Center
3921 E. Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Ph.: (650) 968-7065

Project Information Sheet

Woodland Star (Acorn) Trail Realignment

Arastradero Preserve (Palo Alto, CA)
Spring 2002


The trails in Arastradero Preserve receive heavy use from all visitors during every season. Due to the heavy clay soils and drainage patterns, many of the trails are especially vulnerable to damage and require frequent maintenance. Typical problems include ponding and ruts due to lack of proper drainage, berms on the outside of trails and lack of tread definition. The Woodland Star (Acorn) Trail is no exception, with soil problems compounded by poor layout.

     An aerial photo (external window - 200 Kb) and topographical map (external window - 500 Kb) of the project, including trail names; pre-construction survey photos; and a listing of plants and animals found near the route are available. The City of Palo Alto's site includes a map of the preserve. You may also wish to see a MapQuest map of the Preserve and surrounding area.

Project Description:

Woodland Star (Acorn) Trail (March 9, Apr. 21, May 11): We will realign a section of the Woodland Star (formerly Acorn) Trail between the road from Gate C (Meadowlark) and the water tank utility road. The existing trail is steep, vulnerable to erosion and challenging even under dry conditions. The grade exceeds 30% in some areas. The reroute will move this segment to the east and north.

Detailed Description: The new alignment uses the approximately 350 feet of existing Woodland Star Trail from the Meadowlark Trail junction at near Gate C down to the edge of the meadow at the large oak trees. The trail curves sharply back to the left and drops off the ridge, heading toward a switchback above the drainage. The trail parallels the drainage, crosses the disk line, and enters the woods. After a second switchback near the existing trail, the new trail crosses the drainage and follows the drainage to the existing trail. Approximately half the new trail will be in oak woods.

     Following completion of the reroute, the old trail will be closed and restored to natural conditions. The new trail will be closed to all users during the winter of 2002/2003 to prevent erosion. Due to the soil conditions, the trail is not expected to be open during wet conditions, but may be open to hikers only beginning winter 2003/2004.

Technical Specifications:
Trail Width: 4 ft.
Maximum Grade: 10% for new construction; existing grade for maintenance
Outslope: 2-3% (standard)
Flagging: At grade level (consult crew leader)
Hazards and Other Considerations: poison oak, wasps (possible), ticks, rattlesnakes, woodrat nests, native plants
Total Distance: Approx. 1400 ft.
Structures required: Possible reinforcements on upper switchback, culvert at bottom
Expected Number of Workdays: 3
Access to Worksite and Parking: Parking at Preserve main lot, along Arastradero Rd. near Page Mill intersection, Page Mill Park & Ride
Water, Restrooms, Picnic Area: Water and restrooms at main lot (or as arranged); picnic area to be announced at workday

Emergency: 911 from phone at main lot or by cell phone

Nearest Hospital: Stanford Hospital. From Arastradero Rd., go to Page Mill Rd., turn left and go to I-280 entrance. Take I-280 2 mi. north to Alpine Rd. exit; go right on Alpine and travel 2 mi. to Sand Hill Rd. Turn right and travel 1.5 mi. Stanford Hospital entrance and follow signs to Emergency.

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