Bikes, Birds, and Beautiful Blossoms

Bike Los Gatos Creek Trail from Vasona County Park in the South Bay

This 8-mile out-and-back bike ride or walk on the Los Gatos Creek Trail offers the best highlights of the season; wildflowers, busy birds, and sunny picnic spots. We recommend dusting off the bikes (you’ll want tires that can handle both pavement and gravel) and pedaling the path!

From Vasona Lake County Park, head south on the bike path as it winds along the edge of Vasona Reservoir. Coots, ducks, and Canada geese are common sights among the lupine and lavender on the water’s edge.

Cross over the railroad tracks to enter Oak Meadow Park, home to the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad and the W. E. Mason Carousel. (Rides available on weekends 10:30 to 4:30.) This is a great stop for families since it has a large picnic area and playground.

Continue along the trail and keep an eye out for seasonal wildflowers like the bright yellow buttercups or pink and white wild radish. At the intersection with the colorful Forbes Mill Footbridge, turn right to exit the trail and venture into downtown Los Gatos for a refreshing treat: gelato from Dolce Spazio.

Return to the footbridge and ride across to begin the gravel portion of the route. As the trail dips below Main Street, take a moment to appreciate the massive mural depicting traditional Ohlone life in the Bay Area.

Follow the trail past long stretches of bright yellow and violet blossoms. Brake and smell the roses as the route ascends toward Lexington Reservoir. The final half-mile is a steep uphill push, but the views of the reservoir are well worth it! Birders can spot grebes, herons, and swans in the water, while golden eagles and red-tailed hawks fly overhead. Soak up the relaxing sights, then return the way you came.

BLOOM BLONUS: Want to keep pedaling? Continue north along the trail for another 2 miles. This stretch between Vasona Lake County Park and Los Gatos Creek County Park is lined with bright orange poppies.

Vasona Lake County Park is located at 333 Blossom Hill Rd. in Los Gatos. Here's a map to the park. Park hours are 8 a.m. to sunset. A $6 fee will be collected at the gate. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Heather Werner, @heath.wer.ner

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Bike the Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail

    To the Lighthouse

    The Monterey Recreation Trail is one of America's most beautiful coastal experiences, accessible to bikers, strollers, rollers, and walkers. This 8-mile (round-trip) bike ride follows premier parts of the trail before detouring to Pacific Grove's storied Point Pinos Lighthouse.

  2. Sponsored

    The Unexpected Wonders of Monterey

    One of the world’s best teachers? Mother Nature. And one of the best destinations to learn from her? The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Spend a few hours at the Aquarium, then take your pick of self-guided walks...

  3. Tombstones and Tarantulas

    Forget black cats; a randy tarantula crossing your path can really get your heart racing. So can spirits in a cemetery! Visit Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and learn about these misunderstood spiders, plus pay a visit to the Rose Hill Cemetery, where ghosts are said to exist.  

  4. London Calling

    The writer Jack London was known for his adventure stories, and an autumn hike at his namesake state park in Sonoma Valley illuminates more than his career. Eucalyptus, oaks, sprawling vineyards, and brilliant redwoods are part of the autumn magic amid the rich history of the park.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. woman hiking Elkhorn Slough Reserve in Monterey

    Hike Elkhorn Slough Reserve

    Elkhorn Slough Reserve is one of California’s few remaining coastal wetlands. Go on a hike and marvel at one of the state's largest coastal salt marshes, a valued habitat for birds, plant life, sea otters, and marine mammals.

  2. Red Rocks in California

    Colorful badlands, towering buttes, and scenic desert cliffs form a hikers paradise. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a lightly visited desert wonderland where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso range.

  3. Woman hiking up to views from Desolation Canyon in Death Valley National Park

    Canyons Calling

    Canyon hikes come in all shapes and sizes in Death Valley, and we’ve got two gems. One requires more rigorous scrambling and navigation, and leads to a dryfall; the other takes you up to a brilliant vista.

  4. Hiking Cobb Estate Haunted Forest

    Welcome to Mr. Cobb's Haunted Forest

    The ruins can be explored on an easy 1.5-mile (round-trip) loop trail. Hike it close to dusk for maximum creepiness (just make sure you're out by dusk, when the park closes).