The forested slopes and steep, cool canyons of Huddart Park are located within easy reach of the population centers of the San Francisco Peninsula. The park is only 3.5 miles west of Highway 84. With barbecue pits, a playground, grassy meadows, and hiking and riding trails, Huddart Park makes a great place to have a picnic or explore a redwood forest.
Werder Playground Closed The playground at Huddart Park will be closed temporarily beginning November 19 through mid-December to allow for tree removal and resurfacing. The playground is located near the Werder Shelter and meadow area.
In August 1840, the Governor of Spanish California granted the land, later called Rancho Canada de Raymundo, to John Coppinger, an Irishman who had become a naturalized Mexican citizen. This 12,545-acre rancho contained the 973 acres, which are now Huddart Park.
In 1850, the California Gold Rush was booming, and the demand for lumber to build San Francisco resulted in extensive logging operations in the rancho area. Near the present borders of the parks, 5 sawmills operated between 1853 and 1860. Richard's sawmill, built in 1853, operated just outside the present park boundary west of Skyline Boulevard. From this mill, Richard's Road led down the mountain. Wagons loaded with lumber and drawn by teams of oxen traveled down it towards Redwood City, where the lumber was barged to San Francisco. Today, Richard's Road Trail follows the route of this old road.
Near the park is the historic Woodside Store built in 1853 by Dr. Orville Tripp. Tripp's store was at the hub of activity during this early logging boom since about 15 sawmills were within five miles of its door.
James Huddart was a wealthy San Francisco lumberman and long-time resident of Woodside. He was raised in an orphanage with his sister and apparently spent a rather miserable youth. It was his desire to do something with his holdings in San Mateo County, particularly for the youth in the area.
Before his death on in 1935, Huddart deeded 900 acres of his property to the County of San Francisco with the provision that it would be accepted and developed into a public park. Due to water rights problems along Squealer Gulch Creek, San Francisco held it only two years. When the State of California also had problems with the water rights, the property was willed to the County of San Mateo, who has owned and operated the land as a public park since 1944.
In the hundred years since the Huddart Park area was logged, a new forest of redwoods and other trees have grown, covering much of the evidence of this early logging activity. However, still visible are large stumps of the virgin redwoods and "skid roads" over with the teams of oxen dragged logs to the sawmills.
Huddart Park offers numerous trails, some for horseback riding and hiking, and some for hiking only. Trails run along gulches and creeks, others traverse unique hillside habitats and lead you to breathtaking views of the countryside.
Observe all trail signs and posted speed limits. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed off designated paved areas. Please respect your fellow trail users and follow the trail etiquette guidelines for safe and courteous trail use.
The numerous and various facilities of Huddart Park include picnic sites with barbecue pits, a nature trail, hiking and riding trails, and a playground. Grassy meadows, youth and adult camps, and an archery range (maintained by King's Mountain Archery Club in partnership with San Mateo County Parks) are also found at the park.
Drop-in family picnic areas are located in the park. Five group picnic areas (Zwierlein, Redwood, Oak, East Meadow, and West Meadow) are available by reservation. These areas accommodate 100-250 people. All sites have barbecue pits.
Three shelter buildings are located in the park, the Werder Shelter, the Miwok Shelter, and the Redwood Shelter. These buildings provide partial cover for group picnics. Fees are charged for shelter building use and are available by reservation only. The Werder Shelter is adjacent to the park's largest grassy meadow and the Redwood Shelter affords a wonderful view of the central Bay Area. Miwok Shelter is closed during the week except by reservation.
Three group campgrounds, Toyon areas #1, #2, and #3, are available for group camping by reservation only, April-October (closed Nov-March). Toyon areas #1 and #2 have a maximum capacity of 50 people per site. Toyon #3 has a maximum capacity of 35 people. Restroom facilities are available with running water.
Huddart Park affords over 900 acres of coastal mountain environment for a variety of activities. Many miles of trails afford even the experienced hiker many hours of pleasure. Many of the trails are also open to equestrian use, making this park one of the favorite destinations of the local equestrian community.
The Sequoia Day Camp makes this a popular spot for organized youth activities. Day camps are held throughout the summer by various groups and agencies for thousands of the area's youth.
The grassy meadow just below the Werder Shelter has long been a favorite of park visitors. Its five acres of gently sloping grassy meadow is a popular location to just drive to, park, and spread out for a relaxing picnic.
Days and Hours of Operation
Huddart Park is open every day of the year including all holidays. It opens daily at 8:00 A.M. The closing time varies by time of year. The closing times are:
December - February 5:00 P.M.
March 6:00 P.M. (before Daylight Savings Time starts)
March 7:00 P.M. (after Daylight Savings Time starts)
April - August 8:00 P.M.
September 8:00 P.M. (through Labor Day)
September 7:00 P.M. (beginning the day after Labor Day)
October 7:00 P.M. (first week[s] of October)
October 6:00 P.M. (last three weeks of October)
November 6:00 P.M. (before Daylight Saving Time ends)
November 5:00 P.M. (after Daylight Saving Time ends)
Entry into the park for overnight camping reservations is restricted after the park closing time.
Several different plant communities offer a varied habitat for the creatures found in the park. Along the streams and in gullies, the majestic coast redwoods provide a cool, well-shaded environment. Here sword fern and redwood sorrel provide luxuriant cover for large, yellow banana slugs that inch slowly on their way.
In contrast, the chaparral areas are hot and dry. Few trees exist here. Shrubs, such as manzanita, chamise, chaparral pea, and yerba santa form a thick, almost impenetrable mass of brush. Here the visitor can see jackrabbits, brush bunnies, chipmunks, and lizards scurrying through the underbrush. Birds that are often seen and heard are quail, scrub jays, and wrentits.
Bordering the chaparral and the redwood forest is the mixed evergreen forest, which covers most of the park. Here trees, such as tanbark oak, madrones, California laurel, coast live oak, and douglas fir are dominant. Beneath the trees are many shrubs, including sticky monkey flower, wild lilac, toyon, wood rose, and poison oak. Brilliant wildflowers, such as western hound's tongue, indian warrior, and fremont's star lily (zygadene lily) are found along with the graceful wood fern.
Black-tailed deer, raccoons, black squirrels and, less commonly, bobcats, coyotes and grey foxes may be seen. Common birds include acorn woodpeckers, chickadees, towhees, and Steller's Jays.
Integrating with the other plant communities in the extreme lower part of the park is the foothill woodland characterized by large white (valley) oaks, black oaks and bay trees.
Prepare for a safe and enjoyable visit to Huddart Park and other San Mateo County Parks by being aware of your natural environment.
Directions to the Park
When coming to Huddart from the north (San Francisco) or the south (San Jose), use Highway 280. Turn off at the Woodside Road (Highway 84) exit. Turn westbound (towards Woodside). Proceed approximately 1.5 miles through the Town of Woodside. Turn right on Kings Mountain Road. Proceed up the hill to the main park entrance.
Huddart Park has five group picnic areas available by reservation: the Zwierlein Area, the Redwood Area, the Oak Area, the East Meadow Area, and the West Meadow Area.
Three shelter buildings are also located in the park: the Werder Shelter, the Miwok Shelter, and the Redwood Shelter. These buildings provide partial cover for group picnics and are available by reservation.
Three group campgrounds are also available by reservation: Toyon #1, #2, and #3. These campsites are closed October-April and open for use by reservation only May-September.
The Sequoia Day Camp accommodates up to 250 youth and leaders and includes use of the amphitheater. The amphitheater, when reserved separately, accommodates up to 250 people. All these areas are available by reservation for organized youth and/or adult groups, except the amphitheater, which can also be reserved for other non-day camp activities.
Reservations are not required for general drop-in use. Reservations are required for groups of 25 or more and for all youth groups regardless of size or age. Fees are charged for using these areas. Payment in full by credit card is required at the time you make the reservation. Vehicle entry fees are also charged at the gatehouse.
To reserve a picnic site, a sheltered site, or a group camp site at Huddart Park please visit our on line reservation system or call the San Mateo County Parks Department reservations desk at (650) 363-4021. Reservations for the day or youth camp sites or the amphitheater must be made by phoning the reservations desk.
A large and varied number of volunteer activities take place all year long at Huddart Park as part of the Parks Department's Volunteer Program. Individuals, groups, families and organizations can take part in trail construction, exotic plant removal, habitat restoration, trail patrol and other beneficial and rewarding projects.