BLOSSOM HILL PARK 16300 Blossom Hill Rd | (408) 399-5770
Blossom Hill Park is the classic suburban playground, a big slice of Americana fragrant with the scent of cut grass and alive with kids’ laughter. Acres of lawn beg for an impromptu round of Frisbee or a kickball game, while at the north end of the park, the click of baseball meeting bat pierces the din of summer crowds enjoying treats from the snack bar while rooting on the home team at Baggerly Field, named for a beloved Los Gatos newspaperman and historian. This park also has lighted tennis courts.
EL SERENO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE End of Montevina Rd | (650) 691-1200
Mt. El Sereno (“The Watchman”), west of Highway 17, stands sentinel over Los Gatos, but it’s a bit mysterious. Get to know it by exploring its 1400 acres of oak forest and chaparral, where you can hike, mountain bike and go horseback riding while enjoying stunning views of Lexington Reservoir and the Sierra Azul range of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
LOS GATOS CREEK TRAIL Los Gatos Creek from Lexington Dam to San Jose | (408) 355-2200
An 11-mile biking and walking parkway leading from Lexington Reservoir to downtown San Jose, the Los Gatos Creek Trail serves as an important green transportation corridor for the Valley. It’s also the unofficial town promenade for Los Gatos. Here you’ll eventually see everyone, or so it seems on a spring or summer evening. New moms pushing strollers talk on the phone or walk side-by-side, comparing notes. Couples stroll hand-in-hand while mountain bikers pedal their way toward a big climb above the reservoir and lean marathoners flash by logging training miles.
OAK MEADOW PARK 233 Blossom Hill Rd | (408) 399-5770
Corkscrew slides, playhouses of different sizes, a scaled-down fire engine, a real (decommissioned) Air Force jet to clamber upon: this is just the start of the many playground attractions at 12-acre Oak Meadow Park. The one-third-scale Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad offers rides ($2) on its steam-engine locomotives on weekends year-round and during the week in summer, while the W.E. “Bill” Mason Carousel ($2) follows a similar schedule. There are also many places to picnic and barbecue.
ST. JOSEPH’S HILL Alma Bridge Rd | (650) 691-1200
Consisting of 270 acres of mountain chaparral leading up to a commanding view of the Santa Clara Valley, St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve just might be the favorite park of Los Gatans seeking a workout with a great payoff. Every time of day seems to find hikers, dog walkers, joggers and mountain bikers heading up the wide, gracious trails toward the Hilltop Vista (1250 ft.). Gnarled manzanita, ceanothus, oak trees and a smattering of redwoods make for nice scenery on the way up, and the spring wildflowers can be quite plentiful in wet years. The views at the top are excellent, and it’s fun to look down at Los Gatos and find streets and familiar landmarks. The official parking lot and entrance lie on Alma Bridge Road, just east of the Lexington Dam.
VASONA LAKE COUNTY PARK 333 Blossom Hill Rd | (408) 355-2200
Within Vasona’s 150 glorious acres are 45 acres of lawn, a couple miles of bike path, numerous picnicking areas with barbecue grills at the ready and a beautiful lake (a reservoir, actually, created by Los Gatos Creek) that draws ducks, geese, herons and flocks of other interesting waterfowl. It also offers water sports. Sailboats, kayaks, paddleboats and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent at modest prices ($15-25 per hour) on spring and summer weekends.
MORE LOCAL PARKS & ATTRACTIONS...
500 Bachman Ave
HOWES PLAY LOT
Thomas Dr & Howes Dr
LEXINGTON RESERVOIR COUNTY PARK
17770 Alma Bridge Rd
LA RINCONADA PARK
51 Granada Way
Trailhead on Jones Rd
BILLY JONES WILDCAT RAILROAD
233 Blossom Hill Rd
LIVE OAK MANOR PARK
210 Carlton Ave
OAK HILL PLAY LOT
Corner Oak Park Dr and Garden Ln
BONNIE VIEW PARK
14685 Oka Rd
LOS GATOS CREEK PARK
110 E. Main St
CREEKSIDE TURF SPORTS PARK
930 University Ave
LOS GATOS MEMORIAL PARK
2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd
SIERRA AZUL OPEN SPACE PRESERVE
17770 Alma Bridge Rd
LOS GATOS TOWN PLAZA PARK
S. Santa Cruz Ave and Main St
66 E. Main St
HEINTZ OPEN SPACE