An urban park plus a longer trail
Almaden Lake Park and Los Alamitos Creek Trail
Neil Wiley

Are you looking for easy? Only thirty minutes from the mountains, Almaden Lake Park is just a short drive down Almaden Expressway. The trail around the pretty lake is flat, short, smooth, and hard-surfaced. As a bonus, it connects with Loma Alamitos Creek Trail, another flat, but somewhat longer, hard-surfaced trail along a creek. Both trails are suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

It isn’t wilderness, but if you look over the urban development, you can see some hills, including our Mt. Umunhum. Also, there is more wildlife than you might expect. The lake attracts Canada geese, egrets, and other birds. You can see them up close, but watch where you step. The lake area is also home to many curious, relatively unafraid ground squirrels.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Almaden Lake offers a sandy beach and pedal boats for rent. The 32-acre lake is too small for power boats. Although the lake is pretty, recreational swimming is not allowed due to blooms of blue-green algae. Picnic areas with barbecues circle the lake for large groups and families. A concession stand offers beverages and snacks on summer weekends. The park is closed on Mondays.

If you want more exercise, you can walk the 4.7-mile Los Alamitos Creek Trail from the south end of the lake all the way to Calero Creek Trail and Santa Teresa County Park. Although the trail is paved, some sections offer an alternative dirt path preferred by many walkers. Bicyclists, horses, and dogs are allowed on this trail, but animals are limited to the east side of Almaden Lake Park.

On a cool spring day, the lake-area parking lot was empty, but the Los Alamitos Trail was busy with hikers, bikers, and dog walkers. On summer weekends, you can expect large crowds and limited parking. A $6 parking fee may be charged.

To visit Almaden Lake Park, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Plaza Way, turn right on Almaden Expressway, make a U-turn at McAbee Road/Winfield, travel about 489 feet to a slight right into the parking area of Almaden Lake Park. For GPS directions, you can use the address of 15652 Almaden Expressway. For more information, visit San Jose’s Almaden Lake Park page.