• Wildlife viewing
  • Particularly good for families
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Picnic


  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Particularly good for families
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling


2070 Bay Rd, East Palo Alto, CA,
South Bay
Info: (650) 691-1200
Dawn to ½ hr. past dusk
Not allowed, service animals OK
Last Reviewed:
October 2022
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Ravenswood Preserve consists of two parcels kept apart by intervening private property. The northern section is a 0.7 mile dead-end trail departing from the side of the Dumbarton Bridge approach. The southern segment is longer and features a 1.2 mile segment of the Bay Trail. From late autumn to spring visitors can scan the marsh for migrating birds, mixed amongst the year-round populations of avocets, ducks, sandpipers, and other common birds.


Cooley Landing Park and an Education Center are located within the preserve. The center is currently used for rentals only.

Trails and Pathways

Bay Trail: Ravenswood Preserve
Time to Complete:
45 minutes
Trailhead Location:
Bay Road, Cooley Landing and University Ave
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview:

A flat, easy-access pedestrian and bicycle trail runs along the levee surrounding the marsh. Head west from the Education Center on a paved trail to Ravenswood Bridge. Cross to the wide asphalt Bay Trail. To the right is a 0.1-mile paved spur to the southern observation deck. To the left, the Bay Trail continues 3/4 miles north towards the large northern observation deck from which you might see American avocets, ducks, herons, and egrets hunt the mudflats for food. There are views of the Dumbarton Bridge, an old railroad bridge, and the east bay. Beyond the viewing deck the trail continues behind a residential area for .5 miles to University Ave.


The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

To hike the 1.2 trail it’s best to park at the Bay Rd trailhead or at Cooley Landing at the foot of Bay Rd.; there’s only residential street parking at the University trailhead.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – During my visit in 2021 the restrooms at Cooley Landing were closed but nearby was an accessible portable unit.

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; Located At Cooley Landing

Additional Information:

Except for the nearly constant small aircraft noise from nearby Palo Alto Airport the trail is a good location to bird watch.

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