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

Project Information Sheet

Acorn Trail Realignment

Arastradero Preserve (Palo Alto, CA)
Spring 2001


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 Acorn Trail is no exception, with soil problems compounded by poor layout.

     Trail Center volunteers rerouted several hundred feet of the Perimeter Trail in 1998, closed a volunteer trail and repaired erosion damage. In 1999, we repaired 600 ft. of the Perimeter Trail between Portola Stables and Gate B. [See the description and schedule for the project] and in 2000, we rerouted one segment of Acorn Trail and constructed 1400 feet of new trail.

     An aerial photo and topographical map of the project, including trail names 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:

Acorn Trail (March 10, Apr. 22, May 12 and June 2): We will realign the southwest section of the Acorn Trail between Meadowlark (at the old barn site) and Corte Madera Trails (near John Sobey Pond). The existing trail is an extremely steep section vulnerable to erosion and very difficult to traverse even under dry conditions., particularly at the bottom. The grade on the lower half is 13-20%. The reroute will move this segment to the east and north; the junction with Corte Madera Trail will be shifted a slightly downhill. The new alignment will create one of the Preserve's few wooded trails.

Detailed Description: The new alignment uses the approximately 350 feet of existing Acorn Trail from the Meadowlark Trail junction at the old barn site down to the large oak tree and teasel control area. The trail curves sharply back to the left and drops off the ridge, heading toward a switchback at the drainage. The trail turns down the drainage through a series of four additional switchbacks and meets Corte Madera Trail a few feet to the north (downhill) of the present junction. Most of 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 2001/2002 to prevent erosion. Due to the soil conditions, the trail is not expected to be open to horses and bicyclists during wet conditions.

Technical Specifications:
Trail Width: 3.5-4 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.
Total Distance: Approx. 1400 ft.
Structures required: Possible reinforcements on switchbacks
Expected Number of Workdays: 2
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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