Coyote Lake County Park was established on the west side of Coyote Lake Reservoir, east of the city of Gilroy in 1969. This park has successfully provided boating, fishing, and camping recreation to the citizens of Santa Clara County for many years. In 1998, the park grew to a size of 4,448 acres through the acquisition of the Harvey Bear, and the adjacent Mendoza Ranches, to become the second largest park in the Santa Clara County Parks system. The park is now called Coyote Lake–Harvey Bear Ranch County Park.
In January 2004, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a Master Plan for Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. The Master Plan is a 20-year blueprint for recreational development at this park. It strives to provide a diversity of recreation while retaining the park's spectacular character.
Phase I of the Master Plan will be implemented in the upcoming year. Construction of new trails will begin in the fall of 2004. It is anticipated that new areas of the park will be open to visitors in the spring of 2005.
View Maps for the Natural Resources Management Plan
Key Elements of the Approved Master Plan
Lakeside Area: Continuing emphasis is on boating, camping, and picnicking with new camping and picnic areas proposed, along with showers, water play area and small amphitheater for ranger talks.
Slopes and Ridges: Over 4,000 acres of passive open space will preserve the slopes and the hillsides overlooking the valley and the lake. Multi-use trails will traverse the area but most of it will remain as natural habitat. Opportunities for hang gliding and paragliding may be provided at key points along the ridge
Mendoza Ranch Area: An environmental education center emphasizing natural history, education, and outdoor skills for both youth and the general public is proposed for this scenic back roads area. Staging areas will provide trail access to regional trails in the area and link up to the rest of the park.
Western Flat Area: Historically cultivated in crops, hay, and pasture, the 300 acres located off San Martin and Foothill Avenues offer the most potential for a mix of recreation for local and regional needs. A 35 acre equestrian center is proposed with the versatility to serve many types of equestrian related activities. Along with picnicking, youth fishing pond, off-leash dog area, trails, and a regional staging area, a 6 acre Historic Site is included at the location of the historic Martin Murphy Ranch site. A golf course is proposed for about 150 acres. Between 80 and 90 acres of open grassland will serve as a buffer and visual screen between the local community and the proposed uses.
Maps for Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park Natural Resource Management Plan