dogs on leash
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is in the southern end of San Jose, California, in the hills overlooking Silicon Valley. The park occupies the site of a former quicksilver (aka mercury) mine that at one time was among the largest of its kind in the world. Relics of the mine still stand at the park. The park includes over 34.2 miles of hiking trails, including 23 miles of equestrian trails and 10 miles of bike trails.
This is truly one of my favorite trails in the South Bay. Gorgeous oak trees with dappled shade grow up to the trail with little streams that cross the path in the winter. We did the trail after a huge storm had passed a few days earlier, so there was lots of water, erosion in the path, and broken limbs/felled trees. Due to the climate in this area, there was very little mud since the path is constantly exposed to the sun. Definitely a must-do in the winter, but only early in the day in the summer. There's some cool ruins of the old Buena Vista foundation on Randol Trail where they mined for cinnabar and mercury ore. Lots of baby plants/new growth line the trail in the undergrowth right now thanks to all the rains, and a few wildflowers were spotted as well! (did this trail in the middle of January).
Enjoy, keep it clean, and drink plenty of water!
Hiked counter-clockwise it is a moderate trail with a mostly gradual incline. The opposite direction might be considered difficult for the somewhat steep early incline up to Mine Hill via the Deep Gulch trail. Plenty of shade as well as some exposed parts make it a nice mix. Truly enjoyed this hike on a cool winter day