Our Vision

The CHAPS believe that horses and the disappearing natural world in which they thrive are necessary for healthy communities. Historically, horses have been essential to life in the United States for transportation, work, recreation, and encouraging connections to nature. In San Mateo County, examples of this heritage can be found at Folger Stable, The Woodside Store and Jack Brook Horse Camp. The CHAPS seek to recognize the continuing contribution of the horse by supporting the development and maintenance of equestrian facilities and activities in the County.

California Vehicle Code?

Yes, the California Vehicle Code specifically addresses horses. 


doth stagecoachVC Section 21050 Riding or Driving of Animal

21050. Every person riding or driving an animal upon a highway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division and Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.


VC Section 21759.  Caution in Passing Animals

The driver of any vehicle approaching any horse drawn vehicle, any ridden animal, or any livestock shall exercise proper control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear necessary or as may be signaled or otherwise requested by any person driving, riding or in charge of the animal or livestock in order to avoid frightening and to safeguard the animal or livestock and to insure the safety of any person driving or riding the animal or in charge of the livestock.


VC Section 21805 Equestrian Crossings

21805. (a) The Department of Transportation, and local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, may designate any intersection of a highway as a bridle path or equestrian crossing by erecting appropriate signs. The signs shall be erected on the highway at or near the approach to the intersection, and shall be of a type approved by the Department of Transportation. The signs shall indicate the crossing and any cross marks, safety devices, or signals the authorities deem necessary to safeguard vehicular and equestrian traffic at the intersection.

(b) The driver of any vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any horseback rider who is crossing the highway at any designated equestrian crossing which is marked by signs as prescribed in subdivision (a).

(c) Subdivision (b) does not relieve any horseback rider from the duty of using due care for his or her own safety. No horseback rider shall leave a curb or other place of safety and proceed suddenly into the path of a vehicle which is close enough to constitute an immediate hazard.


VC Section 23127 Trails and Paths

23127. No person shall operate an unauthorized motor vehicle on any state, county, city, private, or district hiking or horseback riding trail or bicycle path that is clearly marked by an authorized agent or owner with signs at all entrances and exits and at intervals of not more than one mile indicating no unauthorized motor vehicles are permitted on the hiking or horseback riding trail, or bicycle path, except bicycle paths which are contiguous or adjacent to a roadway dedicated solely to motor vehicle use.

For the purpose of this section "unauthorized motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle that is driven upon a hiking or horseback riding trail without the written permission of an agent or the owner of the trail or path.

This section does not apply to the operation of an authorized emergency or maintenance vehicle on a hiking or horseback riding trail or bicycle path whenever necessary in furtherance of the purpose for which the vehicle has been classed as an authorized emergency vehicle. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. 


San Mateo County Park Trail Etiquette Guidelines
  • Check with Park Rangers for current information on trail conditions, and to obtain more detailed, up-to-date maps of the specific parks.

  • On those trails with considerable horse rider usage, runners and hikers should observe a basic rule of conflicting usage. The horses have the right-of-way! Foot Traffic should always stop and stand quietly off the trail until the horse passes. Failure to observe this rule can endanger not only the hiker and runner, but also the horse rider.

  • Pets are not allowed in any County Park/Trail.

  • Observe any trail closure signs.

  • The trails on this site are: a) trails which are safe. Most trails have been recently rebuilt to a standard 4' width and maximum 10% grade; b) trails which are scenic. The variety ranges from redwood forest, to chaparral, to grassy ridges; c) trails of varied distance.

  • Always respect the plant and animal life found in these unique communities.

  • Educate yourself on Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.