Location: 17930 Lake Chabot Rd. Castro Valley, CA 94546
Pricing: $5 parking fee, $2 dog fee (or you can park for free on the side road)
Hours: 6am- 6/7/8/9pm (varies by month and season, check website)
Description: This is one of my family's favorite spots to take our dog and kids on a walk on the weekend. The views of the lake are beautiful! There are several paths you can take depending on how adventurous you are. Since we currently have a stroller we stick to the cement path that runs the exterior of the lake. Since it is paved it is also a great opportunity for children and adults to bring their wheels and get some rolling action in. My daughter has an EZ Roller and loves bringing it along. We get the dog to pull her for some parts and they both have so much fun. There are many off road trails for more adventurous hikers- about 20 miles of hiking. Many people go fishing at the lake. The Boat house has rental boats that you can use for the day and spend some time out in the middle of the lake. Near the boat house is a little work out area with machines- kids love to play on these and are still getting exercise as they play on them- we always stop there after we've had our full walk. The grounds surrounding the lake are equipped with picnic benches and BBQ pits for a nice day out in the park. The only unfortunate thing is that you can see firsthand how the drought is affecting the lake. Even from when I went paddle boating there with my daughter and friends when she was 3 until now (she is 6) I can tell how dramatically lower the lake is. Pretty soon they will have to move the docks in to deeper water just to get the boats to shove off. But other than that depressing note, the lake and surrounding grounds are gorgeous.
Highlights: Although I enjoy more challenging workouts in terms of hiking- I do really appreciate that there is a paved path that allows us to roll the stroller as well as allowing for my older daughter to roll around on her wheels. The setting is so beautiful! Makes for a lot of nice pictures (as you can tell from my post).
Tips: Bring food, water and a picnic blanket and make a day out of it, if the weather is good. If you don't wanna pay the parking fee you can easily park on the road and walk in, but if you are like us and have a lot of gear than parking in the lot is way more convenient.