Glenwood hikers
Glenwood Open Space Preserve

Preservation + Recreation + Water Protection

Fast Facts

With funding from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the City of Scotts Valley protected this land in 2003. Thanks to the support of Land Trust members, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County built and manages over seven miles of trail on the East and West sides the preserve and manages the property for special species protection.

  • 170

    Total Acres
  • 3

    Miles of Trails in West Glenwood
  • 4.2

    Miles of Trails in East Glenwood
2016 08 28 Glenwood Preserve 20 1
2017 04 15 Glenwood Preserve 147 1
2016 08 13 Glenwood Preserve 06 1
2016 08 13 Glenwood Preserve 39 HDR 1

Why This Land Is Preserved

In 1993, a concerned group of citizens formed the Friends of Glenwood. The group worked to overturn plans to develop what is now Glenwood Open Space Preserve. The proposed development would have removed the hilltops and placed 276 homes and a golf course on 170 acres. Thanks to their efforts, this last remaining undeveloped land in Scotts Valley continues to be forests, meadows, riparian areas, and wetlands. 

Glenwood is home to a high number of rare and endangered species, including the Ohlone tiger beetle, Opler’s longhorn moth, and the Scotts Valley spineflower. The land also works to recharge the aquifer beneath it, the prime source of water for the community. 

The cows on the property are part of the strategy to protect the rare and endangered species on the property. As the Preserve Manager, we have the responsibility of protecting and enhancing the habitat for these special species. Conservation grazing is one of the ways we enhance the habitat for endangered species. Some species thrive with short grass and bare soil, and cattle grazing is an effective way to accomplish this.

The Glenwood Open Space Preserve trail system was designed, permitted, and built by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County through donations from our members. A grant from Caltrans helped pay for the trails at the East Preserve. We believe in a “big tent,” so we have provided something for everyone at the Glenwood Preserve. 

The Preserve consists of two properties, each with different rules, on different sides of Glenwood Drive in Scotts Valley. All trails are maintained by Land Trust Santa Cruz County staff and volunteers. 

Note that the trails at the top of West Glenwood belong to the Salvation Army Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center. They are kind enough to allow visitors to use their trails from September through May. No bikes are permitted, but you can walk your dog on a leash. Please be respectful of their property and staff. Using these trails is a privilege, not a right.

Available Activities

  • Hiking
  • Dog Walking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Horseback Riding

Access Overview

West Glenwood Open Space Preserve is open from sunrise to sunset for hiking, mountain biking, and dog walking.

  • 2-4 foot wide trails

  • Loop trails

  • Gentle gradients

  • All plants and animals are protected

  • Dogs must be on a leash. Pick up after your dog(s).

  • NO camping

  • NO smoking, fireworks, open fires

  • NO motor vehicles

  • NO horses

  • NO alcohol

East Glenwood Open Space Preserve is open from sunrise to sunset for horseback riding. The equestrian entrance is located on Canham Road. Please read the Equestrian Brochure and Equestrian Trail Map before heading out on the trails. The gate code is HORS (4677).

  • All plants and animals are protected

  • NO dogs

  • NO bicycles

  • NO smoking, fireworks, open fires

  • NO alcohol

East Glenwood Open Space Preserve is open from sunrise to sunset for hiking.

  • 2-4 foot wide trails

  • Several bridges

  • Water district road

  • Gentle gradients

  • Access points from neighborhoods

  • Pond

  • Cattle

  • All plants and animals are protected

  • NO dogs

  • NO bicycles

  • NO smoking, fireworks, open fires

  • NO alcohol

Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs are allowed at West Glenwood. They must be on a leash at all times.

Mountain bikes are allowed at West Glenwood.

Horses are allowed anywhere on or off-trail at East Glenwood in the equestrian area (see brochure for details). Please note that the East Glenwood Preserve has challenging terrain and narrow trails. The trails are best experienced by intermediate or expert riders.

Dogs and bikes are not allowed at East Glenwood due to conflicts with cattle. Cattle see dogs as predators and can act aggressively toward them or their owners. Cattle can also be scared by dogs and bikes, potentially resulting in the herd running on the trails to escape, which could injure other trail users.

Yes, there are! Our staff has even seen them. A few times a year, we get confirmed mountain lion sightings on both the East and West Glenwood trails. When this occurs, we post a notice at the entrances for a period of 3 weeks.

Ticks may carry disease so take bites seriously! Ticks at the Preserve can carry several pathogens that could adversely affect health, including bacteria that cause Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever. To avoid encountering ticks:

  1. Stay on trails and do not brush up against vegetation.

  2. Do not sit on logs.

  3. Remember, only a small percentage of people get a rash.

Some ticks are tiny enough to make it difficult to see with the naked eye. If you are bitten by a tick, remove it immediately and consult your physician. If you get any symptoms of illness after recreating on trails, let your physician know.

Please call Scotts Valley Police Department at (831) 440-5670. For emergencies, please dial 911. Examples of emergencies include resource damage, vandalism, or dogs chasing cattle.

More Information and Updates

Discover the history of this location and check back for news on future projects.


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