If you want a little bit of Zen in an East Bay autumn getaway, try paddling a canoe on the secluded waters of Lake Chabot. Set in the golden rolling hills east of San Leandro, the 318-acre, tree-ringed lake is surprisingly tranquil because noisy motorboats aren't allowed. The lake has a small island in the center, plenty of hidden mini-coves, and lots of skipping rocks at hand. Paddle around at your own pace and nose your boat up to shore for a picnic break. Chances are good you'll spot a great blue heron, a great egret, and—especially in the fall—loads of ducks. The laid-back lake is also great for first-time fishermen; you can cast for bluegill, crappie, bass, and trout. Want to get the heart pumping? Bring a mountain bike and ride the nearly fifteen-mile trail which circles the lake. There are also paved walking paths for simple strolls. Dogs are welcome, too—even on the canoe! Dogs paddle, right?
For directions, maps, park hours, rental rates, and more general information, click here. Kayaks and rowboats are also available for rent.