Birding · Views · Wildlife
The Windy Hill Preserve is open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset throughout the year.
The Betsy Crowder Trail is named for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Board Director who passed away in 2000. She worked tirelessly for the protection of the open spaces in the bay area. The trail can be accessed by following the trail to the right as the Spring Ridge Trail
leaves the parking lot or by taking the Spring Ridge Trail
for roughly a mile before the Betsy Crowder Trail breaks off to the right and drops back to the parking lot.
As the trail descends from the Spring Ridge Trail
, it drops through a gate that is used to control access for horses, especially in wet conditions. The trail continues to descend as views of the San Francisco Bay opens up to the right. After passing a bench where the views can be enjoyed. The trail then descends into the woods as trees begin to move in on either side. The trail hugs the hills as it continues to make a gentle descent toward the parking lot. Toward the end of the trail, several giant eucalyptus trees sit alongside the trail, peeling their bark around the base of the trees. The trail reaches a switchback where a large ravine drops off the trail. Dropping alongside the fire road, the trail levels out and makes its way back to the parking lot in Portola Valley.
If you follow the Betsy Crowder Trail from the parking lot, when the trail ends at the Spring Ridge Trail
, you can turn to the left and follow the trail back to the parking lot or turn to the right and continue climbing up into the preserve.
Flora & Fauna
Various types of trees line the trail. Rabbits and various species of birds can be be seen along the trail.