Parks in South Bay

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Almaden Quicksilver County Park (San Jose)

The park is the site of over 135 years of mining activities with remnants of mining structures throughout the park. All mines and adits have been sealed except for the San Cristobal mine that can be viewed from behind a locked gate. The park covers a total of 4,152 acres with over 34 miles of hiking trails, some of which are shared with equestrians and bicycles.  Wildflowers are abundant in the park in early spring. There is drinkable water at the Hacienda and Mockingbird Hill entrances.

Almaden Quicksilver Park Trip (San Jose)

Please click on GET FULL REVIEW to view photos and learn more about the Bay Area Older Adults Almaden Quicksilver County Park trip attended by BAO members.

Alum Rock Regional Park (San Jose)

This is one of the oldest city of San Jose parks and hosts covers 13 miles of trails open to hikers including six miles of horse trails and three miles of dirt bicycle trails.  The park is located within Alum Rock Canyon and covers both shaded trails and trails more open to the sun.  Plant and animal life include holly leaf cherry tree, sagebrush, sycamore, maple, white alder, red willow, different types of oak trees, Madrone, California buckeye, toyon, wild rose, sticky monkey flower, wild blackberries, black tailed deer, brush rabbits, quail, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, Stellar jays and bobcats.  There is water and restrooms throughout the park including trail entrances (but not along the trails).

Alviso Marina County Park (Alviso)

This bayside park is 18.9 acres and is part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  It is home to many birds so it is perfect for birdwatching.  The trails are available to hikers and mountain bikers.

Anderson Lake County Park (Morgan Hill)

This is a 3,144 acre park is the site of Santa Clara County's largest reservoir. The park has a multiple use relatively flat paved trail that follows Coyote Creek north for fifteen miles to Coyote Hellyer County Park. This trail is open to hikers, bicyclists, skaters and equestrians. There is also a one mile self-guided nature trail located along Coyote Creek that is rich with a riparian habitat that is home to abundant regional wildlife.

Arastradero Preserve (Palo Alto)

Arastradero Preserve has 10 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding in rolling hills of savanna grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest.  Elevation spans from 275 feet to 775 feet. There is plenty of wildlife including deer, bobcats, coyotes, and many varieties of birds. There is a lake in the park called Arastradero Lake that is a twenty minute hike from the parking lot.

Baylands Preserve (Palo Alto)

The park encompasses 1,940 acres that are the largest tract of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay.  There are 15 miles of paved and dirt hiking and biking trails that access both salt and fresh water habitats.  There are three sloughs, three ponds and two creeks in the area.  The preserve has a large resident population of birds and is a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway.

Bear Creek Redwoods (Los Gatos)

Bear Creek Redwoods is a 1,345 acre park with 10.3 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding.  There are restrooms available near the parking lot.

Blackberry Farm Park (Cupertino)

The park has a creek, picnic area, pedestrian/bike trail, two pools, and volleyball nets.  There is a large parking area by the park.

Calero County Park (San Jose)

This is a 3,493 acre park hosting California oak woodland, chapparal and riparian plant life and wildlife as well as a reservoir. There are 18.6 miles of trails that are available to hikers and equestrians with elevation changes from 500 to 1500 feet. There are restrooms.

Coyote Creek Parkway (San Jose)

There is a paved multi-use trail moves along Coyote Creek for 15 miles. It is used by hikers, bicyclists and rollerbladers.

Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park (Gilroy)

Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park is a 4,595-acre park with a 635-acre lake. It has 22 miles of multi-use trails for hikers, horses and bicycles.  The Bear and Mendoza Ranch sections of the park have over 15 miles of trails that pass through oak studded canyons, grassy ridgelines, and views of Santa Clara Valley. There are restrooms available.

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve (Morgan Hill)

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve is located at the western edge of the Coyote Valley, which provides a greenbelt between San Jose and Morgan Hill. There is a four-mile loop multi-use trail for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.  The Arrowhead Loop Trail leads to a ridgetop with views of Mount Hamilton, Mount Umunhum, and the entire Coyote Valley. There are picnic tables at the north end of the ridge. The preserve includes a paved parking lot, ADA accessible restroom, picnic tables near the parking lot, and space for horse trailers.

Deer Hollow Farm (Cupertino)

Deer Hollow Farm is an educational farm located in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.  There is a one mile paved and alternate dirt paths leading to the farm that is flat, partly exposed with some shaded areas.   In the Spring and Summer, there are farm tours where baby farm animals can be seen.  There is also a nature center and vegetable and herb garden.

Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge (San Jose)

The Wildlife refuge hosts over 280 species of shorebirds and waterfowl as well as other wildlife.  It covers 30,000 acres and a variety of habitats including open bay, salt pond, salt marsh, mudflat, upland and vernal pool.  There many miles of dirt trails throughout the refuge.  Trails are open to hikers and bicycles.  There is a visitor center with educational exhibits.

Ed Levin County Park (Milpitas)

This 1,541 acre park is a great place for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, picnicking and hang gliding. It has a 19 mile trail system that is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail alignment.

El Sereno Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos)

This preserve is over 1400 acres with over seven miles of dirt trails that are open to hikers, bicycles and horses but not dogs.  The land is primarily chaparral with some wooded areas near the creeks.  Wildlife includes deer, coyote, and brush rabbits.

Fremont Older Open Space (Cupertino)

This preserve is over 730 acres with over 14 miles of dirt trails that are open to hikers, bicycles and horses and dogs that must be on leash. At the top of the trails, there are views of the Santa Clara Valley.

Fremont Older Open Space Preserve (Saratoga)

This preserve is over 730 acres with over 14 miles of dirt trails that are open to hikers, bicycles and horses and dogs that must be on leash.  At the top of the trails, there are views of the Santa Clara Valley.  Preserves are open one half hour before sunrise until one half hour after sunset.  There is a dirt parking for about 15 cars. Park as far as you can from the golf course fence.

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park (San Jose)

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is a 62 acre city of San Jose park and one of the last remaining large tracts of deciduous oak savanna and oak woodland in the Santa Clara Valley. You will see blue, coast live and valley oak trees along about two miles of mostly flat, dirt trails. There are a couple of small loops that take you uphill for views of the oak trees.  This is a great place for birding because the oaks and nestboxes are home to cavity nesters like Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Oak Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Bushtits, Lesser Goldfinches, Anna's Hummingbirds and more. There are many Acorn Woodpecker granaries here as well. At the main park entrance, there are restrooms and picnic tables.

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens (San Jose)

Guadalupe River Park is a three mile ribbon of park land that runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River in the heart of downtown San Jose.

Hellyer County Park Coyote Creek Parkway (San Jose)

Hellyer County Park is 354 acres with Coyote Creek running through the middle of the park. The visitor center has natural history displays. The creek channel is home to many different species of wildlife. There is also a one mile self guided nature trail located along the Coyote Creek that offers information about the local flora, fauna and wildlife. There are multiple restrooms throughout the park. Water is not available so please bring your own.

Henry Coe State Park (Morgan Hill)

Henry W. Coe is the largest state park in northern California, with more than 80,000 acres of open space with scenic hills and mountain ridges in the Diablo Mountain Range. The terrain is rugged, and varied, making the park ideal for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park has three entrances - the main entrance that has a visitor center, Hunting Hollow in Gilroy and Dowdy Ranch entrance in Hollister.

Joseph D Grant Watershed Walk (South Bay Region)

On this virtual tour, we travel along trails past three lakes and see the wildlife in Joseph D. Grant County Park. Along the way, we learn about the San Felipe Restoration Project managed by Valley Water and its importance as a habitat for endangered and other wildlife. This program is in partnership with Valley Water.  Photo by Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Joseph D. Grant County Park (San Jose)

Joseph D. Grant County Park, is a  9,560 acre park with 52 miles of trails for hikers and equestrians. Mountain bikes are permitted on about half of the park's trails as designated. The trails cover the east foothills of the Santa Clara Valley with grasslands and oak trees.  There are multiple restroom facilities.

Lexington Reservoir County Park (Los Gatos)

Lexington Reservoir County Park is 914 acres and includes a 475 acre man made reservoir  There are many multi-use trails alongside the reservoir.  Portable toilets are available.

Los Gatos Creek County Park (Campbell)

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters and non-motorized scooters. The trail runs alongside the creek that is home to plants and wildlife.  Drinking water and restrooms are available.

Los Gatos Creek Trail (San Jose)

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters and non-motorized scooters.

Los Gatos Creek Trail (Campbell)

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters and non-motorized scooters.

Los Gatos Creek Trail (Los Gatos)

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters and non-motorized scooters.

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve (Los Altos)

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve is a 274 acre area located in the Santa Cruz Mountains at an elevation of about 2000 feet. It has about 5 miles of mainly shaded, dirt trails for hikers and equestrians. The terrain is rolling grassland, oak woodland and shaded forest. Learn about earthquake geology on the self-guided San Andreas Fault trail.  Restroom facilities are available at the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve parking area, located directly across Page Mill Road.  There is no drinking water.

Martial Cottle County Park (San Jose)

Martial Cottle Park has been agricultural land since 1864 and represents Santa Clara Valleys agricultural heritage and how the tradition of farming and sharing food continues to shape our landscape, people and history. There is about four miles of paved, flat trails open to pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, non-motorized scooters, equestrians, dogs on a 6-foot leash and roller bladers.

McClellan Ranch Park (Cupertino)

This is an 18 acre historical preserve with 1930s ranch house, milk and livestock barn, Baer's Blacksmith Shop and old water tower on site. The park hosts a nature museum and community garden. There are trails for hiking and viewing deer, coyote, bobcats and more than 100 species of birds.

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve (Los Altos)

This is an approximately 3,100 acre preserve that has a rich diversity of wildlife such as bobcats, deer and rabbits and plant life within a canyon, along streams, grassland, including wildflowers in season.  There are about 15 miles of dirt trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians that cover shady and exposed areas and views of Santa Clara Valley and over to the Mt. Hamilton range. The Stevens Creek Nature InterpretiveTrail is a self guided 3 mile loop that descends into the forested canyon, continues along the creek, and heads back up through grasslands. Parking is available for 45 cars. Additional parking is available at the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve parking area, located directly across Page Mill Road.  Restrooms are available but no drinking water.

Mt Umunhum Open Space Preserve (San Jose)

Mount Umunhum is one of the highest peaks in the Santa Cruz mountain range at 3,486 feet.  From its summit, visitors can experience 360-degree views from the Pacific to the Sierra Nevada.  There is a 3.7-mile gradual uphill (1100 foot climb, 7.4 miles roundtrip) to the summit from the lower parking lot or you can park in the upper parking lot for a shorter but steep walk to the summit. The last 0.2 miles to the summit is a set of steep stairs. The trail has views along the way and some shade from the tree canopy. There are exhibits at the summit shelter and viewpoint around the historic radar tower and below. There is a Native American ceremonial space with exhibits explaining the significance of the mountain to the Native Americans. There are restrooms at the summit. There is no drinking water so please bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Parker Ranch Trail (Saratoga)

This is a four mile relatively easy loop on a wide dirt trail that is used by hikers and equestrians.  The only parking is on the road (it is free) and the trail head is at a bridge.  The trail goes uphill toward Fremont Older so there are views.  Peak elevation is about 700 feet.  The trail winds through the open spaces between the houses of the neighborhoods.

Penitencia Creek County Park (San Jose)

Penitencia Creek County Park is a 78 acre park with a four-mile trail that follows Penitencia Creek The trails are used by hikers, bikers and equestrians. There is a pond that is a stop on the migratory flyway.  There are multiple restrooms along the trail.

Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve (Cupertino)

This 308 acre preserve is located above the Stevens Creek Reservoir.  It about four miles of dirt trails with sunny exposed orchards on the hill and shady wooded areas.. The trails are open to hikers and equestrians. The historic site is home to the Picchetti Winery and the surrounding farm. Restrooms are available near Picchetti Winery.

Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve (Morgan Hill)

This is a 3900 acre preserve that has over 8 miles of multi-use trails with spectacular views of the Diablo Range and Mt. Hamilton.  The trails cover native grasslands, live and valley oak woodlands, sage-chaparral scrub, and creekside habitats. There is no potable water for human consumption.

Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space (Cupertino)

This is a 165 acre County Park with mainly dirt trails a few of which are shared with equestrians and the rest are limited to hikers.  The park also has paved trails that are shared between hikers and cyclists.  There are about twenty three miles of trails.  At the north end of the park, there are restrooms and water fountains.  At the south end of the park, there is a water fountain.

Rancho San Vicente County Park (San Jose)

This is park of Calero County Park, and is an additional 996 acres with four main trails including longer routes that go to Calero Reservoir and beyond as well as shorter loop trails. One trail we recommend is the Lisa Killough trail to the commemorative site for a picnic lunch. There is very little shade on most of the trails so bring lots of water and protect yourself from the sun. Cattle graze in this park. There are restrooms by the parking lot.

Sanborn County Park (Saratoga)

Sanborn County Park is within Santa Cruz mountains and has over 3,688 highly forested acres. At the Sanborn Road main entrance, there is a one mile nature trail that offers examples of the flora and fauna diversity in the park. There are over 15 miles of trails for hikers. There is another entrance at the Lake Ranch Trailhead off of Bear Creek Road that offers a shaded, easy, flat hike to Ranch Lake.  There are multiple restrooms available at the main entrance but none at Lake Ranch.

Santa Teresa County Park (San Jose)

Santa Teresa County Park offers over 18 miles of unpaved trails for equestrian, hiking and bicycle use. Wildflowers are abundant from March through June on the Stile Ranch and other trails.  At the Bernal Road entrance, there is a restroom facility and drinkable water near the picnic area. The other entrance is at the Fortini trailhead off of McKean Rd.

Shoreline Park (Mountain View)

Shoreline Park is a 750 acres wildlife and recreation area with more than eight miles of paved and dirt trails for bicycles, rollerbladers and pedestrians. The area contains two tidal marshes, two sloughs, two creeks and a seasonal marsh so is perfect for birdwatching.  There are restrooms and drinking fountains near the lake as well as two places to eat snacks or a meal.

Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos)

The entire preserve covers 24 miles of trails.  The Mt. Umunhum Area hosts twelve thousand acre areas that are home to abundant wildlife including mountain lions, deer, bobcats, coyotes, and and fauna includes serpentine grasslands, chaparral, bay trees and oak woodland forests. Mt. Umunhum is a 3,486-foot mountain that is not accessible by trails.  Instead, the 6.2-mile Woods Trail that starts at the Jaques Ridge parking area, takes you to the 3,000-foot Mt. El Sombroso.  There are restrooms but no water availability so bring water and sun protection with you.

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve (San Jose)

This is a 1700 acre park containing a diversity of flora including grasslands, oak woodlands and oak savannas. There is only one trail, the three mile, multi-use Boccardo Loop Trail that is open to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. This trail is a 1100 foot steep climb and can only be reached through Alum Rock Park via the North Rim and then Todd Quick trails or from Sierra Road. There is no potable water available.

St. Josephs Hill Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos)

This preserve is 270 acres and has about four miles of multi-use wide dirt trails for equestrians, hikers and bicyclists. Most trails are exposed and elevation ranges from about 600 to 1200 feet. The top of St Josephs Hill is 1250 feet and offers a panoramic views of Santa Clara Valley, Lexington Reservoir and the Sierra Azul mountain range. There are portable toilets in parking lot.

Stevens Creek County Park (Cupertino)

Stevens Creek County Park is 1,077 acres with a 92 acre reservoir. There are multi-use and hiker only trails that span up to six miles.  This park is one of the most popular birding parks in the Bay Area where over 125 species have been sighted. There are multiple restrooms available in the park.

Sunnyvale Baylands County Park (Sunnyvale)

The park is 105 acres of protected seasonal wetlands with dirt trails along the marshes for hiking. At the east end of the park, the road is closed to vehicles and the road continues for biking and walking.  If you walk far enough, you will see a dirt path that leads to more wetland and many more miles of dirt trails that take you by the bay.  There are many parking lots and restrooms throughout the park. There are two huge pond complexes around Moffett channel that are perfect for birdwatching.

Tidepools, Seals & Chocolate Adventure Day Trip (South Bay Region)

Join us for a day on the coast exploring tidepools, beaches and cliffs to see sea stars, anemones, harbor seals, shorebirds and colorful foliage with a picnic lunch by an historic ranch. We end the day with hand-crafted hot chocolate and some time to stroll in downtown Santa Cruz.  Photo by Grey3K - Own Work, CC BY 3.0

Ulistac Nature Area (Santa Clara)

Ulistac Natural Area is the only dedicated natural open space in the City of Santa Clara.  It's 40 acres showcases seven distinctive natural habitats. Birds are plentiful along Guadalupe River and butterflies enjoy the native wildflowers and other plants. There are no restrooms, drinking water or picnic tables within Ulistac, but they can be found across the street at Lick Mill Park.

Upper Stevens Creek County Park (Los Gatos)

Upper Stevens Creek Park is 1,276 acres of douglas fir and redwoods that provide shaded trails.  Hikers share the 11 miles of trails with mountain bicyclists and horses. The trails can be steep.

Uvas Canyon County Park (Morgan Hill)

Uvas Canyon County Park is 1,133 acres of wooded land that is home to two reservoirs, Uvas and Chesbro. The park has six miles of hiking only trails including a one mile Waterfall Loop that travels along Swanson Creek past many  waterfalls.  You can get a self-guided interpretive trail brochure that highlights the flora in the canyon at the trailhead or ranger's office.  There are two restroom facilities.

Vasona Lake County Park (Los Gatos)

Vasona Park is 150 acres and includes the Viola Anderson Native Plant Trail. The flat paved trail around the lake is used by pedestrians, bicyclists, and roller skaters.  The trail runs for about 14 miles through the Town of Los Gatos, Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos Creek County Park, and the cities. There are multiple restroom facilities. 

Villa Montalvo County Park (Saratoga)

Villa Montalvo County Park is 137 acres that features an arboretum and gardens.  There are a few miles of hiking trails within the park grounds that take you through the shady redwoods and past art installations. You can walk to the top for a view of the valley.