Parks and Recreation

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow reminds San Mateo County residents that activities typically associated with holidays require caution and planning with a focus on keeping loved ones safe and continuing to bring down COVID-19 case numbers.

“As we approach the [Labor Day] weekend, I can’t stress enough the need for social distancing, face coverings, and avoiding gatherings,” he said. “While Labor Day is usually a time for family events and backyard barbecues, this year COVID-19 requires us all to celebrate differently – by staying in our household groups, avoiding others if we go outside, and wearing a face covering any time we are in public.

“Our return to normalcy in San Mateo County depends on these measures. We’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to go. And we’ve all got be responsible and safe this weekend. Our comeback depends on all of us.”

Fourteen San Mateo County Parks reopened September 3 after closing Aug. 20 when park rangers were assigned to assist with the CZU Lightning Complex fire. In Menlo Park, Flood Park is open for walk-ins only; the parking lot is closed.

As of September 3, San Mateo County recorded 8,452 COVID-19 cases. The breakdown by city/town in InMenlo’s coverage area: Atherton – 34; Ladera – less than 10; Menlo Park – 345; North Fair Oaks – less than 10; Portola Valley – 27; unincorporated west Menlo Park – less than 10; Woodside – 27.

In keeping with current San Mateo County Health Orders and state guidelines, park visitors are reminded to carry a face covering and wear it when a distance of six feet can’t be maintained. Drop-in picnic tables are for single household use only; group gatherings are not allowed in picnic areas.

See a list of open San Mateo County Parks.

Pescadero Creek, Sam McDonald and Memorial parks are contained in the mandatory evacuation zone of the CZU Lightning Complex fire and remain closed.

The City of Pacifica will close all beaches and beach parking lots from sunrise Saturday, Sept. 5 to sunrise Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Some California State parks and beaches in San Mateo County remain closed due to area fires. See state park information here.

InMenlo file photo of Flood Park (c) 2019

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Menlo Park Youth Advisory Committee now accepting applications

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) advises the Parks and Recreation Commission on activities, events and programs for Menlo Park youth. The YAC consists of a maximum of 12 high school students who serve minimum one-year terms from September to May. Students enrolling in grades 9-12 and who live in Menlo Park city limits are eligible […]

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Four Peninsula parks where trails are less crowded – plus how to support POST

Looking for the least crowded parks and preserves in our area? You’re not alone. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend daily life, visiting our local open spaces has become more popular than ever. Which is understandable when you consider all the mental and physical health benefits of being in nature — we need these […]

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Vehicle fee to enter Flood Park in Menlo Park eliminated

At its August 4th meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors eliminated the $6.00 vehicle fee to enter Flood Park in Menlo Park The 21-acre county-owned and -operated park primarily serves residents from Menlo Park, North Fair Oaks, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City. It is popular for its playgrounds, picnic sites, reservation sites, sports […]

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New section of Bay Trail opens at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve this Friday

Be among the first to see the new, small-but-mighty section of trail that now connects more than 80 miles of San Francisco Bay Trail!  Join Midpeninsula Regional Open Space to celebrate the opening of this newest section at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve on Friday, Aug. 7, from 11:00 am to Noon. Register online. We’ll take […]

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Outdoor exercise activities this summer in Menlo Park

Menlo Park’s two swimming pools – Burgess and Belle Haven – are now open seven days a week. Both pools are operated in partnership with local business, Menlo Swim & Sport, and provide a wide range of aquatics activities for all ages. In compliance with public health orders, social distancing and other health precautions are in […]

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Spotted: Pretty hedge of flowers on Big Dish

Stanford’s Big Dish has been opened a week and we’ve walked it twice. Not sure if we spotted this pretty hedge of flowers that some industrious Dish folks planted on the first go-round. Anyone know anything about it? Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2020

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Spotted: Shadowy figure on Big Dish path the morning it re-opened

The parking spots along Stanford Avenue were almost all full when we arrived this morning around 6:30. It was fun to see some familiar faces, mostly walking solo as group gatherings are not allowed under the new rules. There is one counter clockwise direction, what we call “the hard way,” so that’s good. Snapped the […]

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Get ready for the new rules when Big Dish re-opens for walking and jogging on July 6

Stanford is reopening the Big Dish walking and jogging paths on Monday, July 6, with regular summer hours from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm. This welcome news comes many weeks after other local open spaces like MidPeninsula Regional and city and county parks re-opened to visitors. We got an advanced look at both the new […]

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Wide hiking trails make getting outdoors easy while maintaining physical distancing

Getting outside has been a saving grace for my family and me during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re always left with the same question: where can we go hiking while maintaining social distance? With park closures and varying county restrictions, it’s hard to keep up with all the pandemic-related regulations. By now, we all know […]

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Different kind of “sign-of-the-time”: Homeless helper at Fremont Park

Emails Menlo Park resident Barb Slaton: “We have been gathering [six feet apart] in Fremont Park with our Peet’s takeaway coffee. We noticed a young man picking up trash. “After seeing him several times, we got to know him a bit. Turns out he is homeless, living in Menlo Park. He is clean, respectful, fully-masked […]

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