Today I did a dry run of my route to Vasona Lake that I’ll take to go kayaking. I confirmed it is just under three hours round trip, so I can only do this on days when I can devote about five hours to allow time on the water. The good news is it is a pleasant and safe route. I already knew how to get from my house to Almaden Lake Park in South San Jose on a nice route. It is a little trickier to get from there to Vasona Lake in Los Gatos without going on busy streets that don’t have bike lanes. I mapped out the route using ridewithGPS, and I cross-referenced it with the Vta Santa Clara bikeways map. When in doubt I used google street view to make sure any main roads I was using had bike lanes.
It is a bit over six miles further to go from Almaden Lake to Vasona Lake. I good chunk of it is on the Guadalupe creek path, which was a nice discovery. I’ve ridden on the Guadalupe trail that runs mostly north-south. You can take it from Almaden Lake park many miles north to Alviso on San Francisco bay (with some interruptions on local roads). What I didn’t know is that there is another branch running Westward towards Los Gatos. It turns out to be unpaved but smooth with packed gravel. My bike’s fatter tires made for a smooth ride on this pleasant section. After that trail ends there is some weaving mostly on quieter streets, with a couple of stretches on busier roads with bike lanes like Los Gatos Almaden Road. A very nice urban adventure! This confirms it is well worth the time it takes to map out a safe route in an area you’re not used to riding in.
The Guadalupe creek trail runs for about two miles past Santa Clara Valley Water District’s percolation ponds along Guadalupe creek. It makes for a pretty oasis in a busy urban area