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Portola Valley Trails

Plan for Trails

Stanford’s Portola Terrace faculty and community residences includes two trails, which will provide safe, public access to Stanford University’s large oak woodland in conformance with the Trails and Path Element of the Portola Valley General Plan. Stanford will continue to coordinate with the Town of Portola Valley Public Works and Planning Department on the final details of the trails to be consistent with the Town’s Trail Standards, and will build these trails as part of the development of Portola Terrace.

Trail Network

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Portola Terrace Loop and Alpine Road Trails

The guidelines for these trails on Stanford property follow the objectives and principles laid out in the Trails and Path Element of the Portola Valley General Plan.

The goals are to:

  • minimize any disturbance to the natural terrain and vegetation;
  • provide a variety of experiences for users;
  • provide convenient, safe passage;
  • minimize intrusion on privacy in residential areas;
  • adapt to the existing conditions to the extent possible.

The proposed routes are equivalent to the location and length of the conceptual routes found in the Trails and Path Element of the General Plan.

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Portola Terrace Loop Trail

Stanford proposes a new publicly accessible looped trail route of about three-quarters of a mile in length that approximates the layout of the two conceptual trails on the large oak woodland. It offers the following benefits to the community:

  • provides two connections to the Alpine Road trail, making it accessible from either the north or south;
  • designed to avoid habitat degradation;
  • minimizes changes in the natural flow of water across the land; 
  • does not intrude into the extremely steep hillside in order to minimize disturbance to the natural terrain.

Alpine Road Trail 

As part of the Portola Terrace residences, Stanford will also improve the existing trail route along the property frontage (more than half a mile). The Alpine Road Trail presently exists as a worn dirt equestrian path and runs primarily within the Alpine Road right-of-way. Some portions of the existing trail leave the Alpine Road right-of-way and meander onto the Stanford property.

With approval of the residences, Stanford will agree to dedicate those portions on university property to the Town of Portola Valley in the form of an access easement for the life of the property.

Running along the east side of Alpine Road is the Dwight Crowder Path, a multi-use trail improved in 2011 with funds provided by Stanford. The Dwight Crowder Path would serve pedestrians and the Alpine Road Trail along Stanford’s property could remain an equestrian trail.