With our gorgeous fall weather upon us this is a great time to walk on the trails and be part of nature. I am so excited to be sharing these photos of a hike I went on earlier in the year with my friend Padmini to the beautiful Almaden Quicksilver Mines Park.
Residents of Almaden Valley in South San Jose are very familiar with Almaden Quicksilver County Park as it’s right in their backyard. Miles and miles of open space with spectacular views of the hills and mountains and patches of ponds and lakes make this hike truly a wonderful experience.
What makes this hike so unique is that you come across old mining equipment that were used to mine for mercury and dwellings of the miners who lived here over 100 years ago!
One can go for as little or as long a hike as you want, from 1-hour long to 4-hour hikes depending on your mood. Here is a a look at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Enjoy!
On the road to our hike
Hitting the trail
Hiking past the mercury furnace
These mercury mines were highly important during the California Gold Rush, since mercury was used to extract gold from ore. By the time Santa Clara County bought the mines in 1976 the area was cleared and converted into a county park for visitors.
Remnants of the old mining settlement called Spanish Town can still be found on the trail
Spanish Town was established in 1845 as a development for native Indians, Californios and immigrants from Peru, Argentina and Mexico who lived in these homes while working on the mines. As Spanish Town grew, the Catholic Church, general store and boarding houses opened up and occupied the top of the hill in the development.
All buildings were company owned though many families enhanced their modest cottages with white fences, vegetable and flower gardens. Some yards that had more space even had chickens, cows and mules.
The town was abandoned in 1912 when the Quicksilver Mining Company went bankrupt. The Army Corps of Engineers later removed most of the mining equipment and cleaned the area of contaminants that had polluted the area over the period of the mining era.
Spectacular views on the hike
Heading back from our hike
A very special shout out to my friend Padmini for showing me the beauty of the South Bay trails and this very special county park.
For more information on Almaden Quicksilver County Park take a look at this link. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/pages/almadenpark.aspx