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, Woodside actively protects its equestrian legacy and trail system through legislation, volunteerism, and its General Plan.
The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) is an advocacy group that works independently and in collaboration with other organizations and local government to ensure the presence of the horse in Woodside and the surrounding San Mateo County communities is recognized, protected, and promoted. Everything that WHOA! does supports equestrians and the equestrian lifestyle. This includes the preservation of the rural landscape, which owes its existence in part to the continuing presence of horses in the area, and to the equestrian advocates who promote the continuing relevance of horses to changing lifestyles.
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 three county parks: Huddart Park, Wunderlich Park, and Edgewood Park, and a number of Mid-Peninsula Open Space District (MROSD) open spaces. Additionally, the Bay Area Ridge Trail and San Francisco Watershed can also be accessed by the Woodside Trail System.
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.
WHOA! works with other local and regional organizations to achieve 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.
Folger Barn Preservation
The historic Folger Estate Stable in Wunderlich Park has been fully renovated and future generations can enjoy its architecture and history tours, children’s programming, and horse boarding. This project was a recipient of proceeds raised by Woodside Day of the Horse 2006-2008. (NM: add website?)
The 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 at www.horsepark.org.