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Los Gatos Creek Trail south of downtown

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is a 9.7-mile (15.6 km) pedestrian and bicycle trail that runs through western Santa Clara County in California, from Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos, California through Campbell, California to Meridian Avenue in San Jose, California alongside Los Gatos Creek. The trail is heavily used.

Contents

The Route

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Lexington to Los Gatos

Below Lexington Reservoir, the trail runs alongside the highway, electrical lines, a water pipe from the Reservoir, and the concrete culvert containing the creek, while still providing a walk in the woods.

There are two trails between Lexington Reservoir and downtown Los Gatos. The portion of the trail on the west side of the creek is the Los Gatos Creek Trail proper and is a smooth wide trail on an old railway bed. The portion on the east side is the Jones Trail near the reservoir which connects to the Flume Trail. The north portion of this trail is for pedestrians only as it's windy and goes down to the stream level in several places. Jones Road is an alternative for cyclists. The Jones and Flume trail connect with Novitiate Park and the St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve. There is a limited amount of parking available in Novitate Park and at the end of Jones Road.

Mileage marker on the trail

There are mile markers on the Los Gatos Creek trail, with the mile zero marker being located about 100 feet (30 m) north of the trailhead from Alma Bridge Road. The first half mile offers a significant drop in elevation.

Downtown Los Gatos

As the trail reaches downtown Los Gatos, the first access point is at the Main Street bridge. The trail then passes the 1854 Forbes Mill, which houses a history museum. It then crosses from the east to the west of highway 17 via a dedicated bridge. Next, there is an access point immediately behind the Old Town shopping area. 250 yards to the North, there is an access point and a parking lot with a few spaces meant for the trail next to a small park north of Old Town that can be reached via Miles Avenue.

Vasona Lake County Park

The trail next runs through Vasona Park. There are many attractions in the Park including the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad and a T33 airplane that kids can crawl on.

Los Gatos Creek County Park

The trail next enters Los Gatos Creek County Park.

Downtown Campbell access

Downtown Campbell is only a three block walk from the trail via Campbell Avenue.

The Pruneyard

The trail next passes by the back of the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell. The access point is near the northwest corner of the Pruneyard. The Pruneyard has offices, shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.

Willow Glen

The trail next heads through San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, ending at Meridian Avenue. But prior to that, access is available at Blackford Elementary School near the intersection of Leigh Avenue and Willow Street. On-street bike lanes permit trail users to access the northern downtown reach of the trail system.

Downtown

On 10/20/2007, the section of trail connecting Lonus St. and Auzerais Avenue, including an underpass of Interstate 280, was opened. This added section provides a key link for the trail as a whole, connecting Willow Glen and Downtown and removing the previous surface-street crossing of 280.

North of Auzerais Avenue, the trail has been extended between Auzerais Avenue and West San Carlos Street along the edge of the Monte Vista development. The trail currently ends at Dupont Avenue; a set of stairs allows access to the bridge that carries West San Carlos Street over the creek and the CalTrain lines.

Connecting to the Guadalupe River Trail

The City of San Jose is preparing a master plan to define the final reach of the Los Gatos Creek Trail from West San Carlos Street to the Guadalupe River Trail. The plan is expected to adopted by the City Council in June 2008.

This reach of the trail system is complicated by constrained roadways, active rail traffic, and existing developments along the creek. The master plan will determine the preferred means of traveling beneath the West San Carlos Street and railway bridge.

With completion of the master plan and available funding, design and construction work could proceed. With completion of this trail reach, the Los Gatos Creek Trail would link to the existing Guadalupe River Trail.

Light Rail access to the trail

  • Bascom Station - walk 250 yards Southwest from the station along Southwest Expressway and then South on Bascom Avenue
  • Hamilton Station - walk 400 yards South from the station on Creekside drive.
  • Campbell Station - walk 400 yards East from the station on Campbell Avenue.
  • Winchester Station - walk 900 yards South from the station on Winchester Blvd and Camden Avenue

Mileage

0.0 - Alma Bridge Road
1.5 - Main Street
1.9 - Miles Road
2.0 - Saratoga-Los Gatos Road (Highway 9)
2.7 - Roberts Road
4.0 - Vasona Dam
4.5 - Lark Avenue
5.6 - Los Gatos Creek County Park
6.3 - Camden Avenue / San Tomas Expressway
7.5 - Campbell Avenue
7.7 - Highway 17
8.1 - Hamilton Avenue
8.3 - Bascom Avenue
8.8 - Leigh Avenue
9.7 - Meridian Avenue

External links


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