Protecting Woodside's Horses and Rustic Charm
Woodside owes its very existence and appeal to horses. Horsepower built Woodside, horse people have enriched it, horse trails have enhanced it, and horse properties have protected it from development. As a result, Woodside’s open lands and rustic charm are as coveted as rare gems in the congested San Francisco Bay Area.
This valuable asset needs diligent protection. Recognizing its debt to the horse, the value of its ranching history, the resulting attraction of its rural nature and ensuing economic benefits, The Town of Woodside together with groups such as WHOA! actively protect its equestrian legacy and trail system through legislation, volunteerism, and the Town’s General Plan.
WHOA! Focuses its Efforts in Two Major Areas
Preservation of Trails and Equestrian Facilities
WHOA! works to protect the infrastructure necessary for horses to thrive - The Woodside trail system and equestrian facilities.
Outreach through Education and Building Awareness
WHOA! strives to educate and inform through events such as Day of the Horse and other means to share the benefits of horses for people and the landscape.
Preserving Equestrian Trails
A major focus of WHOA! is preservation of the equestrian trails within and connecting to the Woodside Trail System. This system, which also adjoins and includes the Portola Valley Trail System, is unique in the region. It connects the following county parks and regional open space:
- Huddart Park
- Wunderlich Park
- Edgewood Park
- a number of Mid-Peninsula Open Space District (MROSD) open spaces.
- The Bay Area Ridge Trail and San Francisco Watershed can also be accessed by the Woodside Trail System.
Woodside Trail System - A Unique Asset
Advisor on the Huddart and Wunderlich Park Master Plan
Educating about Horses and their Needs
The Huddart and Wunderlich Parks Master Plan took over two years to complete. WHOA! and other equestrian organizations spent countless hours shepherding this process and have applied major effort to educating park management, consultants and staff about horses and their needs, as well as the impact of various activities on the use and safety of the trail system.
Folger Barn Preservation
The historic Folger Estate Stable in Wunderlich County Park has been fully renovated and future generations can enjoy its architecture and history tours, children’s programming, horse boarding and horse back riding. It is also home to one of the last remaining public horse arenas in the County. This project was a recipient of proceeds raised by Woodside Day of the Horse 2006-2008.
Horse Park at Woodside
WHOA! members have also been active in helping to ensure the continuation of The Horse Park at Woodside. We are fortunate to have this remarkable piece of property, more than 250 acres and all of its advantages, available and open to public use. To learn more about this amazing facility, the plans for enhancement, and the groups responsible for its bright future, please visit their website.
Working Towards Common Goals
WHOA! members are involved in regional projects that focus on preserving and supporting horse facilities, such as the Folger Stable and The Horse Park at Woodside.
Protecting Barns = Protecting Horses
Born Again Barns
Protect our barns that protect our horses. Remember that the presence of horses is responsible for the rural atmosphere of Woodside that is so highly valued.
- Please help retain and expand our outstanding trail system by keeping your stable permits/trail user fees current.
- If you purchase a parcel of land with a permissive horse trail on it, please consider dedicating that strip of land as a Conservation Easement to the Town, which will then maintain the trail and assume liability for its use.
- If you have an empty barn on your property, please consider reopening it for equestrian use. Because barns themselves are part of our rural picture, it is important to preserve, maintain, and/or restore them.
WHOA! welcomes new residents to the Woodside-Portola Valley area with a basket of goodies and information about everything equine in their new neighborhood. We are pleased to introduce new residents to the fact that even though they now live in the heart of a very urbanized area with 5-star restaurants, hotels and perspectives, they also have chosen a very unique area which honors the heritage of the horse and all that it stands for. This means a relaxed lifestyle with rustic surroundings which includes no sidewalks, many large, beautiful open spaces and majestic woodlands parks.
It is important that new residents understand that the horse serves the Woodside area by contributing millions of dollars to our economy and more. Horses:
- Help our disabled to walk again
- Teach our children responsibility
- Provide our older citizens a means of active exercise
- Help keep all our citizens mindful of the respite that this area offers from the hectic, frenzied lifestyle that surrounds us
Our hope is to encourage all new residents to continue to cherish all that the horse stands for, even if they never sit upon these wonderful creatures themselves.
Back in the Saddle (BITS)
Were you a horse crazy teenager? Did you herd cows in your youth on a ranch? Did you ride in your early years on the trails or in shows and like most of us give it up for school, careers, or family? Now is your time to get Back In The Saddle!
Have you always dreamed of riding a horse? Are you just curious and want to give it a try? If you don’t own a horse, you can take lessons or ride on horses provided by many area programs. Many of these programs are excellent for children.