My Wave Magazine coworker Mitchell Alan Parker and I took a half day break from cubicle-land to “research” one of the locations in our upcoming Sports & Adventure hiking story. If you drive south down Almaden Expressway, it turns into about three different versions of Almaden roads before you finally get to “New Almaden” – which is actually a really old Almaden, the most famous current business being the excellent french restaurant La Foret.
Just past New Almaden on the right is a big parking lot, the “Hacienda” trailhead for Almaden Quicksilver County Park. The park itself is expansive; there are many miles of trails, most of which appear to be fairly well maintained fire roads. The park is named for its mining namesake Mercury, the metal that is in liquid state at room temerature (a la, “quick silver”).
Our intent was to find the old mining area and get some cool photos. Unfortunately we neglected to grab one of the free maps at the base so we basically ended up wandering around for a few hours. We did find “Englishtown” which was a base camp of sorts back when the mine was in full-operation (see: when Abe Lincoln was commander-in-chief), the only current residents being the alleged Hanta-infested rodents (if you are to believe the ubiquitous signage at every historical site).
The weather was overcast, cool, but not rainy – although it had been raining for several days. The result was a ton of new growth – lots of fresh green grass and lush plant life. Mitchell and I had a great time enjoying the beautiful wilderness, so close to silicon valley – we were even rewarded with some great views of the valley once we hiked for an hour or so. Here’s a few pics from the adventure. All the pics are here.