Where? : The park is located in the foothills of Diablo Range east of the Santa Clara Valley.
What? : Ed R. Levin County Park is the largest park in Milpitas, large open grassland valleys, large lakes and hills that climb to the mountain range east of the valley.
When? : Preferred at spring when all is green and blooming; Not recommended during hot summer days (no shade) or at rainy winter day, no place to hide from the rain or blowing wind at the exposed mountain slopes hikes.
My thoughts: the north section is highly recommended for a nice winter or spring weekend hike, all is green and nice, at hilltop you have nice view on the east valley.
The south section is smaller and with some trees and shade but has less high viewpoints.
Sandy Wool Entrance:
This is the more crowded and more recommended section of the park mainly because the open grassland and high viewpoints.
The northern part of the park has several hiking options including something that can fit small children or strollers (the lake area and the paved roads leading to Minnis Ranch).
A nice 3 miles loop (Purple trail):Park your car at the first parking lot near the lake on the right.
Crossed the dam and keep going straight up the narrow path, pass the eucalyptus tree, and get to Tularcitos Trail.
Keep going up on the Agua Caliente Trail towards the first observation point (300 ft high altitude ski jump point) near the large water tank. At this point turn right up the path to the second observation point (600 feet high) with a short and steep ascent, a beautiful view of the entire valley.
From the high viewing point go down to the water tanks and keep going on the road that is leading to Minnis Ranch; turn left on the road and go back to the lake.
Extension option (Orange trail): From the point of the water tank you can continue walking on Agua Caliente Trail for another 1 mile and then descend back left towards the Clara Creek trail. Another 1.2 miles will bring you back near the lake section.
A very long option is to continue north and up to all the way to Mission Peak.
Spring Valley Entrance:
This is the “less recommended” section of the park although it is nice to visit here, smaller lake (more like a big pound) and fewer hiking options.
You will park near the lake and can enjoy the easy paved trail that surrounding it.
There are two main trails:
Spring Valley Trail: a relatively short 1-mile loop that climb over the hill west of the lake.
Los Coches Ridge Trail:
A longer 2.2 miles hike, start at the Spring Valley Trail but this time go down at the foothill until you reach the private road, cross it and turn left.From this point you will climb and reach the open landscape hilltop after 0.4 mile.