Volunteer Horse Patrol

San Mateo County Parks

Volunteer Horse Patrol

Do you enjoy riding in San Mateo County Parks?

Wondering how you can help protect your County Parks?

Would you like to stay a few days for free at the Jack Brook Horse Camp as Camp Host on dates that YOU choose?

Want to share your enthusiasm for the parks?

Join the San Mateo County Parks

The purpose of the Volunteer Horse Patrol is to assist the San Mateo County Department of Parks in providing safe and enjoyable trail use for park visitors. The scope of the volunteer activity is to observe and report trail use and conditions, and to inform and assist park visitors. Parks participating in this program include Edgewood Park in Redwood City, Huddart & Wunderlich Parks in Woodside and Pescadero Creek Park in LaHonda.

Next Volunteer Horse Patrol Training
(online via Zoom)

DATE: Mar 23 & 24, 2021 - You must attend both evenings
TIME: TBA (will be early evening)

Please complete and submit our Volunteer Application Form.

General Requirements

  1. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and own or lease a horse. We do not provide horses.
  2. Your horse should be experienced on trails, sound and in good condition, and calm enough to work safely with other horses and people.
  3. Prospective volunteers attend two evening training sessions (not on horseback) with park staff in March.
  4. Trainee and horse do a ride-a-long with any current VHP member in April.
  5. Trainee and horse successfully complete a qualification ride in May (checking for the traits in item #2 above).
  6. Finally, a graduation ceremony and BBQ is held in June, where trainees are formally admitted to our unit.


Contact San Mateo County Parks or
Karen Gregory, Unit leader (650) 799-1040‬

(All year long, we keep an email list of people who want to join, and send them details in February. Just let us know that you're interested)

About the San Mateo County Volunteer Horse Patrol

The San Mateo Country Volunteer Horse Patrol was founded in 1987 by a group of local equestrians who wanted the county to benefit from their frequent riding and knowledge of the beautiful trails in San Mateo County. The volunteers serve as the "eyes and ears" of the country parks. Equestrian teams (horse and rider) ride the trails while park staff attend to the more heavily used park areas.

The VHP helps the park service by observing and reporting trail use and conditions. Volunteers also inform and assist visitors by answering questions, providing maps, and advising visitors of park regulations and trail etiquette. Park visitors and the park service both benefit from the visibility and general assistance provided by the volunteers.

Recognition for Service

On Tuesday, November 22, 1988 the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County presented the San Mateo County Volunteer Horse Patrol with a resolution honoring and commending our members for our community involvement and value to San Mateo County. The Volunteer Horse Patrol is still looking for riders with this kind of commitment to community involvement. Applications for membership are welcomed each spring.

Volunteer Activities

Volunteer activities combine the joys of trail riding, the camaraderie of group activities, and the satisfaction of helping San Mateo County maintain a secure and safe environment for all park users. Volunteers perform minor trail maintenance while riding through the parks, using small saws and clippers to remove trail obstacles when possible. For larger maintenace needs, VHP members take photographs and submit them to the Park staff via the VHP website, enabling the rangers to know in advance the scope of the problem they will face and to assist them in determining the correct equipment needed at the problem area. The VHP also participates in volunteer work days at Pescadero Creek Park and on the adopted Skyline Trail connecting Huddart and Wunderlich Parks. VHP also provides a Camp Host service throughout the season at Jack Brook Horse Camp. Informal meetings are held several times a year. First Aid and CPR training are offered annually to volunteers.