Quarry Park discovery in Saratoga

Quarry Park is a mile outside Saratoga on Hwy 9.

Quarry Park is a mile outside Saratoga on Hwy 9.


There’s a welcome addition on Hwy 9 just one mile outside Saratoga, Quarry Park, which opened last October. I hadn’t noticed it until a week ago, so I decided to check it out.

Starting around the 1870s this site has been host to a copper mine, lime and rock quarry. Santa Clara County operated the site as a rock quarry from 1921 to 1967. However, they kept using the location as a place for private picnics and parties.

The city of Saratoga purchased the land in 2011 with the intention of turning it into a park, working with Santa Clara County and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Trucks drove inside here to load up on gravel.

Trucks drove inside here to load up on gravel.

Here's what the quarry looked like when in operation. Hiking trails above here now.

Here’s what the quarry looked like when in operation. Hiking trails above here now.

Cyclists will enjoy it for its modern bathrooms with running water and flush toilets.

But I had other designs, to ride down John Nicholas Trail starting on Skyline Boulevard. Fortunately Hwy 9 and Skyline had only a thin veneer of wetness in isolated locations, not enough to slow me down.

Nice view from higher up on the trail.

Nice view from higher up on the trail.


I entered the trail from the Sunnyvale Mountain parking area, about 4.5 miles south of Saratoga Gap, Hwy 9 and Skyline. It’s only 0.2 miles on the Skyline Trial to reach John Nicholas. I was the only person using the trail.

I stopped to take a photo at the scenic overlook before plunging down through the redwoods following the man-made trail that keeps a steady grade all the way down to Lake Ranch Road. It’s a popular trail on weekends.

I rode to Black Road, skirting the shores of McKenzie Reservoir, which looks like it’s less than one-third full. I’m not sure why it’s so low after a decent winter’s rains.

Upon reaching Los Gatos Creek Trail at Lexington Dam I was surprised to see a sign that said the trail was closed due to down power lines from a car wreck on Hwy 17. I suspected that the trail was open and someone forgot to remove the sign but I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I hoofed it up and over St. Joseph’s Trail.

That trail has an ugly climb of about 0.3 miles but then it’s easy going back to downtown Los Gatos on a rocky road.

No name creek bridge near where the trail meets Lake Ranch Road.

No name creek bridge near where the trail meets Lake Ranch Road.

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