Situated among oak-studded hills overlooking Redwood City, San Carlos, and Woodside, Emerald Hills was originally conceived as a resort community for city-weary San Franciscans during WWI. The area we call Emerald Hills actually consists of two large subdivisions created around 1920: Emerald Lake (even though there are two lakes) and Emerald Hills. Until about 1990, you could hear residents refer to this area by either designation or by Emerald Lake Hills. When we changed to our own mailing designation, the U. S. Post Office would allow only a two-word name, so we chose Emerald Hills. 

The 1920s developers turned the area around Emerald Lakes, the small emerald-green reservoirs for which the region was named, into a weekend recreational retreat that featured a golf course, club house, hotel and country cottages. The stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent depression bankrupted the original developers, putting an end to the resort project. Residential growth proceeded very slowly in the years that followed.

In the early 1980s, sewers were installed and a construction boom followed, nearly doubling the number of homes to 1500. Today, Emerald Hills offers residents a rustic environment with large lots, close proximity to recreational areas, and convenient access to transportation routes, schools, and commercial centers. Popular with professionals, Emerald Hills has one of the highest per household incomes in San Mateo County.

Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve
Renowned throughout the Bay Area for its spectacular display of spring wildflowers, Edgewood Park occupies 467 acres of grasslands, chaparral, and wooded foothills between Highway 280 and the homes of Emerald Hills. Known for its biotic diversity, this small wilderness was declared a permanent natural preserve in 1993 with support from the EHHA, thus protecting it from any future development.

The park has four entrances [view map]: Old Stage Camp Road off Edgewood Road, the Sunset Trailhead off Hillcrest Way, Clarkia Way off CaƱada Road, and the Sylvan Way Access. A well-maintained system of trails is open for hikers, joggers, and equestrians. A small-scale interpretive center is planned, and ground-breaking is expected to begin summer of 2005. See the informational video here. For more info, visit the Friends of Edgewood site.

Emerald Lakes
Named for the distinctive emerald green water that fills them, the two lakes created by the original developers of Emerald Hills still exist to enhance the beauty of the area. While Upper Emerald Lake on Jefferson Avenue is privately held by the owners of its surrounding shoreline, Lower Emerald Lake is owned and operated by the Emerald Lake Country Club. Formed in 1926, the club is located at 500 Lake Boulevard on the intersection of Oak Knoll and Vista Drive. Club members and their families enjoy swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and fishing in Lower Emerald Lake during the summer months. A limited number of club memberships are available to the public.

Handley Rock Park
Located on Handley Trail Way in the center of Emerald Hills, Handley Rock Park features a 50 foot monolith of sandstone,the largest formation of its kind in San Mateo County Situated on a one-half acre lot, this County-approved private park is operated by the Handley Rock Association, a group of local residents and rock-climbing enthusiasts.

Emerald Hills is in the Redwood City School District (650-365-1550, district map) and the Sequoia Union High School District (650-369-1411, enrollment boundaries). High school students attend either Sequoia or Woodside High School. Elementary school aged children attend either Clifford (assigned to northern half of Emerald Hills) or Roy Cloud schools. However, since the Redwood City School District is an open enrollment district, children can go to schools other than their home attendance area school. View the RCSD Parents Page to see attendence areas, school calendars, etc.

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