Over 100,000 people enjoy Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve each year, and for good reason. Edgewood’s 467 acres provide over 10 miles of trails through iconic oak woodlands, chaparral, and grasslands.
Edgewood, however, is more than just a park; it is San Mateo County’s only natural preserve. A natural preserve is a special place, where we all share a special obligation to respect the land, minimize disturbance, and protect the many hundreds of native plants and animals, large and small, that call this place home. At Edgewood that includes a number of rare, threatened or endangered species, including the Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis), San Mateo thornmint (Acanthomintha duttonii), and the white-rayed pentachaeta (Pentachaeta bellidaflora).
A Few Steps Can Do a Lot of Damage
It is tempting to wander off the marked trails, but even small amounts of foot traffic in the woods and grasslands can destroy the sensitive plants and wildlife habitat that make Edgewood so beautiful. Once one person ventures off-trail, soil becomes compacted, grasses and wildflowers get trampled, and other people begin to mistake the paths left behind as actual trails, compounding the damage.
Signs, branches lying across a path, or straw covering the ground are all indications that this is not a trail. Please don’t follow deer paths or other informal “social trails.”
Ticks and Snakes and Lions, Oh My!
There are also unseen hazards off trail. Poison oak is abundant and even bare twigs can give you a terrible, itchy rash. Ticks are common, especially in the woods and grassland areas. Edgewood is also rattlesnake territory. When you are hiking or running off trail, it is difficult to spot well camouflaged snakes, yellowjacket or hornet nests, and hazards like gopher holes. It is also important to realize that Edgewood is an open space area in mountain lion habitat. While it is very unlikely you will ever see a mountain lion in the wild, this is still their home and wandering off trail, especially near dawn or dusk, can increase the risk of an encounter.
Support the Park You Love
Please do your part to help protect Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve. Stay on the marked trails, picnic only in the designated picnic areas, keep pets at home, and pack out all trash, including your apple cores and orange peels! With your help, we can keep Edgewood wild and wonderful for generations to come.
Learn more about Project 467, our habitat restoration efforts. You can show your support by becoming a Friend of Edgewood, join today.