Since 1972 the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) has served as an independent entity that has preserved more than “63,000 acres of public land and manages 26 open space preserves,” according to the organization’s website. The district’s boundary stretches from San Carlos to Los Gatos and to the Pacific Ocean from south of Pacifica to the Santa Cruz County line.
“Midpen’s purpose is to create a regional greenbelt of unspoiled public open space lands in order to permanently protect the area’s natural resources and to provide for public use and enjoyment.”
Among the district’s preserves are “redwood, oak, and fir forests, chaparral-covered hillsides, riparian corridors, grasslands, and wetlands along the San Francisco Bay. Ranging from 55 to over 18,000 acres, 24 preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year. Visitors will find over 225 miles of trails, ranging from easy to challenging terrain.”
Midpen is consistently working on a variety of open space and preservation projects, such as the Coastside Protection Program, the Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve Plan, the Ravenswood Bay Trail Project and more. Midpen also organizes a wealth of activities and provides numerous resources to help people explore Bay Area open space, including free docent-led activities, hikes, equestrian activities and more.