Bedwell Bayfront Park

Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park re-opens today, joining MidPeninsula Regional Open Space preserves, along with many San Mateo County and Palo Alto parks. The Stanford Big Dish remains closed.

In the revised shelter-in-place order issued by San Mateo and Santa Clara counties on April 29, residents are allowed “to engage in outdoor recreation activity, including, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, bicycling, and running.”

As a reminder, residents are asked by the health department to travel no more than 10 miles from their homes for recreational purposes. And if parking lots are full, refrain from parking on area streets. Instead visit another park.

“We are excited to reopen Bedwell Bayfront Park for the benefit of our residents,” said Menlo Park  Mayor Cecilia Taylor. “It remains important for all of us to continue to follow the health officer’s order and the new safety protocols. This is for the protection of all park users and their loved ones. Help us maintain a safe environment for all so that we can keep the park open for everyone in our community.”

Visitors to Bedwell Bayfront Park are now required to maintain a distance of six feet from those outside their household, carry a face covering for use in the parking lot, in public restrooms and when encountering others along the trails. The public restrooms will be open, but restricted to one person in the restroom at a time. Public drinking fountains remain closed. In addition, parking will be restricted to approximately half the parking lot, with every other parking spot blocked off, and no parking in unauthorized areas along the sides of the road or outside the park gates.

San Mateo County Parks reopened 13 of its 23 parks earlier this week, with similar safety protocols in place.

“We are eager to welcome visitors back to San Mateo County Parks and for them to experience the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors and on the trails,” said Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. “During this time, it’s critical that park users follow the new rules developed to prevent overcrowding, discourage gatherings and that support social distancing. Let’s work together to ensure that parks are safe environments for everyone.”

Playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, fields, visitor centers, and some restrooms and parking lots remain closed.

In Palo Alto, Baylands and Arastradero are open. (Foothill Park is also open but restricted to City of Palo Alto residents.) The parking lot at Baylands is open weekdays, closed weekends; restrooms are also open. Vehicle access at Arastradero Preserve is still not allowed, though visitors walking or cycling continue to have access; restrooms remain closed.

MidPen posted on its website: “We’re happy to announce that, with guidance from county health officials, we have reopened all preserves. Some trail use restrictions have been lifted: bikes and horses are again allowed on multiuse trails. Safe social distancing is still required, and to make that easier, Midpen has implemented one-way routes on some popular loop trails. Please follow the signs.

“Thank you for doing your part and enjoying your public open space responsibly during the ongoing county stay-at-home orders. We’ve seen many of you practicing safe social distancing and welcoming others by sharing the trails. We believe in the healing power of nature and that it is important for us all to be able to get outside to connect with and experience the positive emotional and physical health benefits of being in nature.”

Though trails are open, restrooms,  drinking fountains and group areas remain closed.

While Stanford opened its golf course for member play on Tuesday, May 5, which will be expanded to faculty, staff, students, and alumni play on Tuesday, May 12, the Big Dish walking/jogging paths remain closed. In response to an inquiry on why the Dish remains closed given that outdoor activities are now allowed under the expanded shelter-in-place guidelines issued April 29, a Stanford spokeswoman replied:

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are continuing to keep the Dish closed at this time but actively discussing and planning for ways to reopen the Dish while keeping the health and wellbeing of our community as our as primary objective.

“Given the updated Santa Clara County shelter-in-place order now extends through May 31, we are continuing to monitor the situation in conjunction with the County and health officials.

“We realize that the Dish is a community treasure and its closure is a disappointment for many in our community.”

Top photo of Bedwell Bayfront Park by Linda Hubbard (c) 2018; second photo from top of Edgewood Park by Linda Hubbard (c) 2017; photo of Hamm’s Gulch trail on Windy Hill by Linda Hubbard (c) 2016; photo of Big Dish taken on April 3, before its closure by Linda Hubbard (c) 2020

{ 2 comments }

Bedwell Bayfont Park is now closed

We admit to being a bit confused about how people who never ventured out to nearby parks are now flocking to them. After the notice of the Dish closure today, we learn that Bedwell Bayfront Park is closing effective 8:00 pm tonight due to “twice the daily average of visitors.” For many years it was […]

Click to read more →

Ranger service begins at Bedwell Bayfront Park and Kelly Park

On November 1, park ranger service began at Bedwell Bayfront Park and Kelly Park. Rangers will work 365 days per year, with the weekly hours worked ranging from 28 to 40 hours depending on the time of year. The ranger’s work includes daily patrol, educational outreach, verbal and/or written warnings pursuant to municipal code, fire […]

Click to read more →

Portion of perimeter trail at Bedwell Bayfront Park closed for repairs

Starting Wednesday, July 31, part of the Bedwell Bayfront Park perimeter trail will be closed for repairs for up to two weeks. The affected area is a small part of the 2.3-mile trail around the park’s edge, which is also part of the San Francisco Bay Trail. Repairs involve the leachate collection system that pumps […]

Click to read more →

Kites take to the sky over Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park

Families flocked to Bedwell Bayfront Park yesterday with the goal of hoisting kites into the air. Most were successful (unlike the Warriors last night, undoubtedly to one youngster’s dismay). This Menlo Park open space is well situated near the Bay so gets some gusty winds, especially at this time of the year. InMenlo contributing photographer […]

Click to read more →

Kite Day comes to Bedwell Bayfront Park on May 4

Come enjoy wonderful views of the San Francisco Bay as you take your kite to the skies while enjoying great food and activities for the kids. Since our first Kite Day in 1988 there has been no better place to fly a kite in Menlo Park, then Bedwell Bayfront Park. Enjoy: – Kite flying – […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Grass as high as an elephant’s eye

Well almost. The point is that in many years jogging and hiking at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park we’ve never seen grass as tall as this year’s spring crop, which stands well over six feet. Whether that is as “high as an elephant’s eye” as the song from the musical Oklahoma notes, we aren’t […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Red globe of a sun rising in smoky skies

The rising sun had an extra eerie glow early this morning as it rose surrounded by the smoke that still lingers over Menlo Park, the result of the devastating fire in Butte County. The birds of Bedwell Bayfront Park took little notice.

Click to read more →

Maintenance work continues at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park

As construction at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge continues, workers have completed a parallel track for trucks that will remove truck traffic from most parts of the San Francisco Bay Trail in Bedwell Bayfront Park. Trucks continue to use the park’s entrance and the first ¼ […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Bedwell Bayfront Park’s colorful landscape

Remove the buildings from this photo taken early one morning last week at Bedwell Bayfront Park, and you’d be left with a landscape that’s slightly other worldly thanks to the colorful salt ponds.

Click to read more →

Wildlife refuge enchancements bring trucks through Bedwell Bayfront Park but minimal trail impact

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge has launched levee maintenance work at its Ravenswood Ponds in Menlo Park. This effort will be followed by Phase 1 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, which will build a new public trail, create almost 300 acres of new […]

Click to read more →