Where? : Almaden Quicksilver is a large park stretches over the mountain range just south of San Jose.
What? : The park with his forest at the south and relatively open landscape along the ridge and north section provide long hiking options and south-bay viewpoints. The south section of the park had mining activities and even large settlement so you can explore this section during your visit.
When? : Year round park but it is better to visit it during winter and spring where all is green.
Due note 1: Most of the park hikes are on wide dirt road trails, in many there is only limited shade.
Due note 2: Excellent park for mountain biking.
My thoughts: I really like this close-by park, A lot to explore, can have very long hikes, bike friendly + nice viewpoints on the south bay.
The visit:The park has main 4 entrances, because the park is on a ridge the four entrances are in relatively low places and the paths usually start uphill (which can be steep).
There are numerous hiking options or combinations of circular routes I will give my preferred options.
From this main & large parking lot, the trail ascend towards the old miners' town and the English Camp labor camp.
I recommend going up the Deep Gulch Trail, the entrance to this trail is quite hidden, you enter the inner parking lot (on the lawn) and the entrance to the path is on the left side of the fenced mining presentation.
The ascent is quite steep along 1.2 miles, but it is in the shade and when you reach English Camp Trail turned left (up), by now we did most of the ascent.
After about additional 0.3 mile you reach the old mining camp. There are number of old structures and it is nice to walk around and explore the place.
From here you can return to the parking lot (go down on English Camp Trail) or continue left on the Yellow Kid Trail towards Spanish Town, there is not much left to see here.
A recommended detour (additional of 2 miles) is taking the Castillero Trail.
After the junction with the Mine Hill Trail (coming from your right) it is recommended to continue a few hundred feet on Castillero turn right to the beautiful lookout point in the Catherine Tunnel.
Once done with the south bay viewing return to the junction turn left and descend the Mine Hill Trail, it is recommended to see the entrance to an abandoned mine (San Cristobal Mine) on your right.
In this area there are few other old mines, it is recommended to do the April Loop trail, or you can continue on the main trail back to English Camp.
Pay attention and at point 19 (in the pdf map) turn right to English Camp and not continuing down the Mine Hill Trail).
Another longer extension option is at point 66 take the very nice Grate Eastern Trail all the way down to Randol Trail, turn left and once connecting to Mine Hill trail keep going all the way back to the parking lot.
Mockingbird Hill Entrance:
From this parking lot you can ascend (steep ascent) to the ridge line via the Virl O. Norton Trail and return to the car park through the steep descent of the Hacienda Trail (it is highly recommended to hike Hacienda Trail only downward on your way back).
You can continue the Capehorn Trail and turn right into Randol Trail and then descend back on the Buena Vista Trail. Turn right towards the parking lot on (this addition is about 2 miles, a total of 4.5 miles).
Once you are at point 56 you can keep ascending and extend your hike.
Entrance Mine Hill Trailhead:
Walk the Senador Mine Trail towards the remains of the Sandor mines, not anything special, few large concrete structures.
Continue after the mine with a slight ascent until reaching trail junction, if you turn left you will return the starting point (a total of 2.3 miles). You can continue into Guadalupe Trail to the lake, this exposed to the sun trail.
Webb Canyon Trailhead:
Another small entrance to the park, the trail will connect you to the long and nice new Almaden Trail. You can turn left or right and do the loop over Randol trail.
Wood Road Entrance:
This parking lot is located at the far side of the park (on the way to Mount Umunhum).
The trail start with 1.3 miles climb, when you get to the top and see the ruins of the quarry you make the turn of the Castillero Trail and descend to English Camp and then back up and descend to the parking lot. (see previous sections explanations).