The San Francisco Bay Area has so many beautiful trails, and with the Shelter-in-place order, we are discovering trails we hadn’t visited before.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have always visited the same group of trails in the Marin Headlands, and around Mt. Tam. Living in the South Bay, I have hiked a few trails close to my house, but hadn’t ventured too far to explore other parks. Now that hiking is one of the few activities we are allowed to do during this pandemic, we are exploring trails we have always said we wanted to check out, but hadn’t!
Almaden Quicksilver Park is located in South San Jose, in the Almaden area. It is a beautiful, well-kept county park with several trails. There are a few different areas to park, with several different trail-heads. To hike Hacienda Trail, we parked in a large parking lot on Mockingbird Hill Lane, which is right off Almaden Road in San Jose. It’s very easy to get to if you are coming from highway 85 like us!
Santa Clara County has done a really good job of posting large signs at trail-heads in order to ensure everyone is reminded to social distance while hiking on the trails. I would say about 90% of the hikers we encountered while on the trails were adhering to our county social distancing requirements. We did encounter one group of three families who obviously didn’t live together, hiking in regular clothing without masks. They took up the whole trail and were just standing there talking and not moving aside for hikers, runners, and walkers. Other than that group, everyone else we passed was in single file, and roughly 75% of the people we saw had a mask of some sort.
The first time we hiked during the pandemic, we wore dust masks we normally keep in the garage for when we are doing work projects in the garage. This time, we wore balaklavas; which we found to be ideal for hiking. With the balaklavas, we are able to wear them around our necks, and then lift them to cover our noses and mouths when there are other people around. They are comfortable and easy to use. My only complaint with them is that they are made for snow conditions, so our necks got a bit hot. haha, It was worth it for the comfort and ease of use!
The Hacienda Trail at Quicksilver Park is a steep trail, which takes you up and over 1000 feet in elevation. The reward is an absolutely gorgeous view of San Jose. I would call this an intermediate level trail. My kids complained a little bit, but they were able to handle it; and they really loved the view. Love that!
The trail itself is quite clean. The dirt has a sand-like look to it, and is very fine. Parts of the trail have several small rocks, so in a few areas we needed to make sure we didn’t slip on the rocks. These hiking boots were perfect for gripping the ground, and making me secure on the trail. Other than that, the trail is smooth and easy and safe.
The majority of people we encountered on the trail were friendly, and were hiking. There were a few people running, and we saw a couple people walking their dogs. It’s definitely a family friendly area, but I would caution trying this trail with small children. It is quite steep, and small children may not be able to handle it. I would say children ages ten and up can enjoy it, and handle the steep grade.
Have you been trying new trails during this shelter-in-place? If so, where have you gone? We are defintly going to continue checking out new trails!
Thanks for stopping by!