County Parks in Almaden Valley
by AVCA Past Director, John Redding
January 2000; updated August 2006

To imitate the game show, "Who Want to Be a Millionaire?," What is the name of a county park in our community (there are three in all)? A. Almaden Quicksilver,  B. Lake Almaden,  C. Oakridge Mall,  or D. Los Alamitos Trail Park.

Santa Clara County has 28 parks that comprise nearly 50,000 acres and over 200 miles of trails.  We are fortunate to have three of those within a few minutes of home.  In case you aren't able to name them all, they are:  Almaden Quicksilver, Calero, and Santa Teresa.

County parks are regional parks that offer a variety of uses, the most prevalent being hiking, jogging, biking, and horseback riding on the trails.  City parks are mostly neighborhood parks, Lake Almaden being the exception.

There are a number of trails in Quicksilver Park, and the old mining area is accessible to the public via the Hacienda entrance in New Almaden.  It makes for a nice hike, and some of the trails are open to bikes.  You can learn more and get a map by going to: Santa Clara County Parks, click at the left on "Find a Park," and then click on "Almaden Quicksilver".  Scroll down and find the link for a map.  Increasing the "Zoom" to 100% or more will make the notations on the map more easily read.

Calero is really two parks in one.  The reservoir, of course, is used for boating and water skiing.  What may not be appreciated is that the Park has a large "back country" area that offers spectacular views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and southern Santa Clara County.  Make a point of visiting Calero in the spring when the wildflower display is at its height.  More information can be found at: Santa Clara County Parks, click at the left on "Find a Park," and then click on "Calero".

Santa Teresa Park is accessible to Almaden residents via a trail that enters the park from a trailhead located 500 feet from Fortini Road on San Vincente.  Santa Teresa has a rich cultural history, and projects continue to maintain that legacy.  These are accessible from the Blossom Valley side of the park, but would be worth a drive or a long bike ride to see.  To see more information on Santa Teresa Park, go to: Santa Clara County Parks, click on "Find a Park," and then click on "Santa Teresa".

We encourage you to use and enjoy all of the County's 28 parks.  They are close to home, and yet offer an opportunity to get away from it all, to feel like you are in another world.  You can obtain a Venture Pass to all parks using your credit card by calling 355-2201 between 8:30 and 3:30 on weekdays.  Buying a Venture Pass helps us keep our parks in good condition.  To learn more about buying a Venture Pass or an Annual Pass, use the link to:  Santa Clara County Parks and then click under "Quick Links" at the right on "Annual Passes".

by John Redding, an AVCA Past Board Member, who is also a past member of the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Commission