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Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Published on: 9/16/2014 11:07 AM
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Park Info

Plan Your Trip to Almaden Quicksilver

Hours of Operation

Open year round
8:00 AM – Sunset

Activities

Weather

Contact Info

Almaden Quicksilver
21785 Almaden Rd.
San Jose, CA 95120

(408) 268-3883

parkinfo@prk.sccgov.org

Senior Park Ranger: Bill Burr 408.355.3452
Senior Park Maintenance Worker: Dan Hill 408.355.3738

almaden park

Welcome to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, spectacular in natural diversity and a landmark of California history. The park is the site of over 135 years of mining activities and former home to more than 1,800 miners and their families. The park encompasses 4,152 acres, occupying a majority of Capitancillos Ridge. During early spring, the park offers one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in the region. Remnants of the mining era also offer an exciting look into the mining operations of the latter part of the 19th century.

How to Get There

Almaden Quicksilver County Park is located in south San Jose, in the town of New Almaden. You can reach the park office at (408) 268-3883. You can reach the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum at (408) 323-1107.

The park may be accessed from three areas. The Mockingbird Hill entrance is accessed off Mockingbird Hill Lane. This entrance is accessible to all users, including bicyclists. From Highway 85, take the Almaden Expressway exit south 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Proceed .5 miles on Almaden Road to Mockingbird Hill Lane, turn right and continue .4 miles to the parking area.

The Wood Road entrance is accessed off Wood Road. From Hwy. 85 take the Camden Avenue exit south. Turn right on Hicks Road and follow for 6 miles. At the intersection of Wood Road and Hicks Road, turn left into the staging area.

The Hacienda entrance is located at the south end of New Almaden. This entrance is accessible to all users, including bicyclists. From Almaden Expressway, proceed 3 miles along Almaden Road through the town of New Almaden to the unpaved staging area on the right.

Activities

The park includes over 34.2 miles of hiking trails, including 23 miles of equestrian trails and 10 miles of bike trails. All trails in the park are also open to pet owners to walk their dogs on leash. A number of picnic tables are scattered throughout the park adjacent to the trails and horse water troughs are available in a few locations. No potable water is available within the park except at the Hacienda and Mockingbird Hill entrances. There are also remnants of mining structures throughout the park. All mines and adits have been sealed. However, the San Cristobal mine may be viewed from behind a locked gate. For your safety, please do not climb on any structures. Ranger guided nature and history walks are available upon request. Call 268-3883 for more information.

Weddings can be held in the historic Casa Grande, located in this park. View more information regarding hosting a wedding here or call (408) 355-2201.

CATCH AND RELEASE... PLEASE DON'T EAT THE FISH

Mercury has been found to accumulate in Guadalupe and Almaden Reservoirs at levels that make the fish from those reservoirs unsafe to eat. Almaden Quicksilver County Park was once the site of extensive quicksilver (mercury) mining. Sediments that contain mercury have been deposited in some of the local reservoirs and streams. Over time, the mercury in the sediment may have been converted to methyl mercury by naturally occurring bacteria. Methyl mercury is absorbed by aquatic plants and fish, and subsequently by humans who may eat the contaminated fish. If you have any questions regarding mercury and its effects, please contact the County's Environmental Health Services at 918-3400.

If you have any questions regarding the above information, please call (408) 355-2215 or email Tamara Clark, Public Information Officer at tamara.clark@prk.sccgov.org.

Hours and Fees

The park is open year round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Park trails are subject to closure due to poor conditions, typically after heavy rains. No fees are required at any entrances.

Accessibility

In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (‘ADA'),the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities. The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator.

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