Fitness


Almaden Quicksilver Park Mine Hill Trail

We are have having so much fun exploring the trails in Almaden Quicksilver Park! We decided to park at the Hacienda Trailhead in order to catch a trail from there. It was fun to see some historical mining equipment near the trailhead, and learn more about the quicksilver mining history in the area. Isn’t the equipment cool!

There are a few trailheads you can catch at the Hacienda entrance, and we decided to hike the Mine Hill Trail. It was a nice, uphill hike with views of Almaden Valley’s more rural areas. We could see historical homes, buildings, and rolling hills. It was really pretty. The trail was wide too, allowing for easy social distancing.

Mine Hill Trail in Almaden Quicksilver Park was slightly busy, but I believe it was due to the fact that hiking is one of the few things open right now.

This trail attracted more than just hikers. We encountered a lot of bike riders, and a few runners and dog walkers. The bikers rode pretty fast, and as a hiker, you had to be aware of them or you would get run over. Just a warning 🙂

Once again, I wore my balaclava as a mask. It’s easy to slip up and down when people are around. I would say 80% of the people on the trail were wearing masks. If you go, be ready to turn your head if someone comes by without a mask.

Shop my hiking gear:

This was a great trail for my kids to hike on. It wasn’t too steep, and they were able to keep up with only a couple of breaks. There was a mix of bright sun and shade during the hike. It was a comfortable hike, and it felt like medium intensity. We really enjoyed the Mine Hill Trail!

I hope you are getting out there and enjoying the nice weather! To find the Hacienda Trailhead in San Jose, take Almaden Expressway to Almaden Road. Continue all the way through the historical part of Almaden. Shortly after the museum, which you can’t miss, you will see the parking lot for the trailhead. There are several trails you can catch there. We will definitely go back!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Almaden Quicksilver Park Hacienda Trail

quicksilver park hacienda trail

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!

XOXO
Cathy


Home workout and PE ideas

home PE ideas

Outfit details from left: blue tee / black sweatpants / running shoes / boys green jersey / boys black shorts / red long sleeve tee / black and gold sweatpants / white sneakers /

Can you believe schools have been closed for a month already? Time flies! With three kids at home, I have to get creative in order to ensure they are doing their required P.E. time everyday for school.

My kids are required to combine strength, stretching, and cardio, into a thirty-minute workout, five days per week. They have to keep a log of what they do for exercise, and then turn it in to their P.E. teachers every Friday. If they aren’t logging their exercise daily, they will lose precious points on their grade!

In order to ensure they are keeping their P.E. grades up, and to also stay fit, we have devised a weekly at-home P.E. plan! This has turned into a great workout for myself, and my husband too! After all, we are all sheltering-in-place at home right now, so of course the gyms are closed. This makes working out at home even more important. We have no other place to go!

There are three important concepts my kids are required to incorporate into their daily P.E. routine. They need to incorporate stretching, strength, and cardio. We always start our workouts out with strength, then we incorporate cardio, and finish with stretching.

Here is a sample workout of what we do each day for P.E. This is a great workout for adults too! It has turned into my home workout routine.

This can be done in the backyard, or on the floor inside a home or apartment.

  • 10 jumping jacks
  • Basic stretch routine: stretch legs, back, and arms.
  • 25 squats with feet positioned directly below shoulders, toes pointing straight ahead.
  • 25 squats with feet wide, and toes pointed 45 degrees outward.
  • Walking lunges: you can go around your yard, back and forth inside a room, or save these for an outside walk.
  • 10 push-ups
  • Plank: on elbows or raised on hands for 30 seconds.
  • 10 traditional sit-ups
  • 20 crunches
  • 60 seconds of ab work, your choice.
  • Gently stretch legs, core, and arms.
  • Go out your front door for a thirty minute walk. You can incorporate walking lunges! To mix things up, we run in a circle around any cul-de-sac we see. If you are in an urban setting without cul-de-sacs, try doing a sprint down the block after ten minutes of walking. Then repeat after twenty minutes of walking.
  • You can also substitute jogging, bike riding, riding a scooter, or roller skating for walking. It’s good to alternate your cardio each day.
  • When you return home, do a ten minute stretch routine starting with your legs, followed by arms, and ending with your core.

That’s it! This workout never seems to get boring since we do it as a family, and we mix up the cardio segment of the routine. I’m so thankful we have our fabulous adidas gear for these workouts. They look and feel amazing, so we can continue working out everyday with ease! Love that!

What have you been doing for your home fitness routines during this time? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

*thank you to addias for sponsoring this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.