Vasona Lake County Park
Vasona Lake County Park is a park located in Los Gatos, California and part of Santa Clara County Parks. Vasona Lake County Park contains 45 acres of lawn that can be used for recreational games, such as frisbee tossing, softball or soccer. Several picnic areas are open on a first-come , first-served basis. Eight reserved community areas are situated in scenic locations within the park.
Land within the limits of the park is one of the most historic in Los Gatos. The “Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos” grantees, Jose Hernandez and Sebastian Peralta, built an adobe house on what is now one of the lawns of the park. It was the first building in the city.
The 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gage of the South Pacific Coast Railroad once crossed the western edge of the park on its way downtown and over the Santa Cruz Mountains to Felton and Monterey Bay at Santa Cruz Wharf. Subsequently, the Southern Pacific Railroad bought the South Pacific Coast Railroad and, after the turn of the century, turned the line into a regular gage. A farmer near Pollard Road, Albert August Vollmer, contacted the Southern Pacific Ocean asking for a flag stop to be set up to allow a more convenient place to board the train. Not only did the railroad agree, but it allowed him to name a stop. He chose the name “Vasona,” which was the name of his favorite pony in his youth. “Vasona Junction” was the point on the line where the tracks split from San Jose-Campbell-Los Gatos mainline to Vasona Branch through the hills of Cupertino to Palo Alto, enabling a more direct journey to San Francisco. The word “Vasona” has since reappeared locally, even in the name of the park. The dam was completed in 1934, and the railroad continued on the western side of the reservoir until 1959. The right-of – way railroad across the reservoir is now University Avenue.
After the death of Southern Pacific engineer Billy Jones in 1968, a volunteer movement secured part of the park’s southern end to the restored 18-inch (457 mm) Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, a miniature railroad that Jones ran around his prune orchard on Winchester Boulevard and Daves Avenue. Depot and engine house, concession and souvenir stand, and W.E. “Bill” Mason Carousel is all in Oak Meadow Park, a short walk from the adjacent Vasona Park. The railroad works on weekends during the year as well as on a regular basis during summer school holidays. Steam locomotive No. 2, 100 years old in 2005, once again became operational after being reboiled for a decade. The carousel building also houses a custom-built band organ that plays 150 rolls of Wurlitzer. The organ has been completely reconstructed and modified to include the MIDI interface in 2012.
Vasona Lake County Park contains 45 acres of lawn that can be used for recreational games, such as frisbee tossing, softball or soccer. Several picnic areas are open on a first-come , first-served basis. Eight reserved community areas are situated in scenic locations within the park.
Paddle boats and row boats are available for hire from early spring through early fall. Check out the Los Gatos Recreation section for more detail! The lake also provides black bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill fishing.
The Youth Science Institute, located on the north end of the park, provides programs and excursions that interpret science and encourage appreciation of the natural world. Visit the Youth Science Institute website. Behind YSI, visitors will find isolation when walking the Viola Anderson Native Plant Trail.
The city of Los Gatos’ Oak Meadow Park is adjacent to Vasona Lake County Park. Visitors can take a carousel, picnic, play casual sports, or enjoy the game park. Via the Vasona Lake County park, miniature train rides on Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad come from Oak Meadow. Visit Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad’s website for more information.
The Los Gatos Creek is a multi-use trail that goes from Lexington Reservoir to nearly 9,5 miles along the Los Gatos Creek towns, Los Gatos Creeking Park Vasona County Park, Los Gatos Creek County Park and San Jose towns and towns. Hiking, biking, cycling, skating, and sightseeing are also attractive. On the trail are call boxes. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Dogs should take droppings. The scoopers are free of charge.
At the middle of the trail is Los Gatos Creek County Park, a 110-acre urban park with six watersheds. For fishing, the northernmost pond. From November to April this pond is filled with rainbow trout. The pond is also caught with black bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and carp. Visitors will see a large variety of water oxen in the remaining ponds. It should be remembered that it is illegal to feed waterfowl. There are also casting ponds open daily from 8:00 a.m., open to the public. To fly and plug casting sunset. Objectives for precision practice are available. Inside the casting area no hooks or dogs are allowed. Look out for “back cast” area while walking.
This amazing town of Los Gatos, California prides itself to have many must-see landmarks you don’t want to miss:
- New Museum Los Gatos
- Los Gatos Creek Trail Urban
- Oak Meadow Park
- Testarossa Winery
- Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad
- Fantasy Of Lights
- St. Joseph’s Hill Preserve
- Venture Christian Church
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location located at 3880 South Bascom Avenue in San Jose, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!