Contents:

About NAQCPA

Donate to NAQCPA

Almaden Quicksilver Park Info

Mining Museum

Gift Shop

Museum Archives

Outdoor Museum

Pioneer Days

New Almaden Days

News, Media, Articles, and Links

Pictures, Special Reports

Almaden Quicksilver Park Events

Events in Other Parks

_____________

Links:


New Almaden and Almaden Quicksilver:

New Almaden Self-Guided Walking Tour

Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

Mining Museum Archives

Directions to Almaden Quicksilver

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Trail Map

Open Road TV show on Almaden Quicksilver


Santa Clara County Parks:


Santa Clara County Parks Homepage

Calendar of County Parks Activities

Play Here! Activities Guide

Park Here! Guide to the County Parks

County Parks Volunteer Information

Volunteer Calendar

County Parks Healthy Trails Program

Parks for Life Challenge

Santa Clara County Parks on Facebook

Ron Horii's Pictures of the Santa Clara County Parks

Ron Horii's Pictures of County Park Volunteer Activities


Parks and Community:

Ron Horii's SF Bay Rec & Travel

Friends of Santa Teresa Park

Friends of Los Alamitos Watershed

New Almaden Community Club (webpage under construction)


Webmaster Contact
 

New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association

Welcome to the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association (NAQCPA) website. Our purpose is to promote the educational and interpretive activities of the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, particularly in Almaden Quicksilver County Park. See below for information about NAQCPA, our past and present activities, and how you can join or help with the park. Also below is information about Almaden Quicksilver County Park, maps, trail descriptions, and park events. See the links on the side for related websites.


  News:


Note: See here for archived news from 2015. The following is news from 2016:

Anza Expedition Hike, 3/26/16
On March 26, 2016, there was a hike on the Mine Hill and English Camp Trails. It was led by National Park Service Ranger Daniel Sanchez, accompanied by County Parks Interpreter Chris Carson Seals and docent Ron Horii. Daniel has been leading hikes to talk about the Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail and the Anza Expedition of 1775-1776, which brought the first European colonists to settle San Francisco. Here are pictures from the hike.

Lisa Killough Memorial
On April 30, 2016, a memorial service was held at the Casa Grande for Lisa Killough, former director of the Santa Clara County Parks Dept. She spent 25 years with the department and became director in 2002. The passed away on February 22, 2016. Here is her obituary. Here are pictures of Lisa taken by Ron Horii from 2002 to 2011 at park events. One of the last events she attended at Almaden Quicksilver was Pioneer Day in 2011, when she returned temporarily at interim park director.

V-O-Cal work on the New Almaden Trail
On May 20-22, V-O-Cal, the Volunteers for Outdoor California, held a multi-trail trail construction event at Almaden Quicksilver and the Rancho San Vicente addition to Calero. They camped out at the Mockingbird Lane Staging Area. They worked all day on Saturday and half a day on Sunday. There were about 80 people there on Saturday, less on Sunday. The largest crew worked on this section of the New Almaden Trail shown above just past the Buena Vista Trail junction. They removed a worn-out bridge, built a rock crossing, and re-routed the trail to the new crossing. Other crews worked farther along the trail near the Prospect #3 Trail junction, widening the trail and improving the drainage. See here for pictures of the event.

Yes On Parks logo
The Park Charter Fund was up for renewal on the June 7 ballot as Measure A. The County Parks are funded by the Park Charter Fund, which is not a tax, but is a fixed percentage of the County's budget. Measure A increases that slightly, but more importantly, it re-balances the expenditures between land acquisition and park development, changing it from the current 15%:5% to 10%:10%, respectively. See the Yesonparks website for more information. The measure has passed with over 78% yes. It only needed a majority vote.

Mt. Umunhum Radar Tower
On May 10, 2016, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, in a motion introduced by Supervisor Mike Wasserman, voted unanimously to list the radar tower on Mt. Umunhum in the County's Heritage Resource Inventory. On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, the board of the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District voted on and approved a recommendation by their General Manager to preserve and seal the tower. The Umunhum Conservancy, which worked to raise private donations to preserve the tower, plans to meet with MidPen to discuss their role in the future.

Open Road TV episode on the Parks for Life Challenge
The Casa Grande was shown on an episode of NBC Bay Area's Open Road TV show, hosted by Doug McConnell. The episode featured the County Parks' Parks for Life Challenge.

Robb Courtney being interviewed by Doug McConnell
As part of this episode, County Parks Director Robb Courtney was interviewed by Doug McConnell at the Casa Grande.

Panning for treasures at "Play Like a Miner"
Visitors got to act like 49'ers and pan for hidden treasures during "Play Like a Miner" at the Casa Grande on 6/18/16. Activities for visitors were arranged in and around the Casa Grande.

Ron Horii being interviewed by Doug McConnell for the "Open Road" TV show.
Ron Horii was interviewed by Doug McConnell for Doug's "Open Road" TV show on NBC Bay Area. They showed Ron's pictures of County Parks, including Almaden Quicksilver, Open Space preserves, and his photo classes.

Trail closure sign, 6/30/16
Signs like this have been posted at the trail entrances to Almaden Quicksilver. Here is the announcement: "Due to construction of restoration improvements in the Senador Mine Watershed area the Senador Mine trail will be closed from July 11 through October during restoration improvements.  Entrance from McAbee Road will direct hikers, bicyclists and equestrian riders to Mine Hill Trail, Guadalupe Trail, and New Almaden Trail.  Detour signs will be posted at key locations along these trails.  In addition, Mine Hill Trail will be closed on designated weekdays during truck hauling operations. Please call the trail hotline for the most current information regarding closures at 408-355-2200." Here is the trail closure map.

Chuck Ferrier at Living History Day, 7/2/16
Blacksmith Chuck Ferrier demonstrates a tool for setting metal rim tires on wooden wagon wheels at "Living History Day" at the Casa Grande on 7/2/16.

Ringing the Hacienda bell on the 4th of July
Visitors to the New Almaden 4th of July 2016 celebration got to ring the bell at the Hacienda Area. Because of the risk of disturbing wildlife, the bell can only be rung a few times a year at special occasions. This was one of them.

4th of July 2016 picnic at the New Amaden Community Center
A potluck community picnic was held on July 4, 2016 at the New Almaden Community Center.

New stone pathway at the Casa Grande
There is a new stone pathway at the Casa Grande, providing pedestrian access in the middle of the fence on Almaden Road. It was built by NAQCPA volunteers with leftover paving stones from the Casa Grande construction. Pioneer Day will be held on Oct. 8 at the Casa Grande, celebrating the construction of the pathway.

Senador Mine Trail Closure, 8/1/16
The Senador Mine Trail was closed due to construction on 8/1/16. This gate was near the New Almaden Trail junction.

Senador Mine site construction
Construction crews and equipment at the Senador Mine site, 8/1/16.

Closure of the Upper end of the Senador Mine Trail, 8/1/16
This was the closure of the upper end of the Senador Mine Trail at the Guadalupe Trail junction on 8/1/16.

Replacement Sign at the Mine Hill/Senador Mine Trail junction
The interpretive sign at the Mine Hill/Senador Mine Trail junction was faded and unreadable. It's been replaced.

Water Tower at the Casa Grande
NAQCPA will be working with the County Parks to restore the water tank on top of the water tower in the backyard of the Casa Grande.

Supervisor Mike Wasserman and Assemblymember Mark Stone at the Casa Grande
On 8/27/16, State Assemblymember Mark Stone and Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman hosted a free breakfast and tour at the Casa Grande. Afterwards, docent Mike Boulland gave a walking tour of New Almaden, while park Interpretive Programs supervisor Julie Lee gave a tour of the Casa Grande.

Volunteer Recognition BBQ 8/27/16
On 8/27/16, the County Parks' Volunteer Recognition Barbecue luncheon was held at Martial Cottle Park. Here are Almaden Quicksilver docents (left to right) John Atwood, Mary Moran, Kathy Kessler, John Drew, and Jim Beseau. Behind Jim is Susan Wicks.

Pierce Ridge has been sold
Taken on 9/6/16: the For Sale sign for Pierce Ridge at the McAbee Road entrance to the park indicates the property has been sold. Unfortunately, it was not sold to the County Parks, so it won't be added to Almaden Quicksilver, at least not in the near future.

Dump truck on the Senador Mine Trail
9/6/16: Construction and clean-up efforts are still going on at the Senador Mine site. The Senador Mine Trail is closed during construction between the New Almaden Trail and the Guadalupe Trail. Trucks have been moving contaminated dirt out and clean dirt in. Construction will continue until October. This is what's happening: "Senador Mine: County Parks has completed design plans to reduce erosion of mercury mining wastes at Senador Mine. This project is funded by U.S. EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund. The project will restore a headcut and other targeted features in a creek channel, remediate several small calcine piles (piles of roasted mercury ores), and reduce erosion of mercury mining wastes. Nearly 300 pounds of mercury will be removed or stabilized. Construction is expected to be undertaken and completed in the 2016 dry season."

Piano at the Casa Grande
Bach to Nature III: For the 3rd consecutive year, 5 pianos have been placed in County Parks for people to play from 9/5 through 10/5/16. This one is on the patio deck behind the Casa Grande. Others are at Vasona, Grant, Uvas Canyon, and Coyote Lake. Anyone can drop by and play the pianos, but they may be reserved for performances by calling 408-355-2201. The pianos are the result of a partnership with Sunset Piano and DC Pianos of Berkeley. There will be a free community concert headlined by Sunset Piano at Vasona on 10/2 from 4 to 6 pm.

New Almaden Jump-In Parade, 9/10/16
The annual New Almaden Day and Jump-In Parade was held on 9/10/16. Floats, decorated vehicles, bicyclists, and walkers jumped in and paraded around New Almaden, starting and ending at the New Almaden Community Center. Afterwards, there was a carnival and BBQ lunch at the Community Center with games and entertainment.

Pathway dedication on Pioneer Day 10/8/16
Pioneer Day was held on 10/8/16 at the Casa Grande. The theme was the dedication of this brick pathway leading from Almaden Road to the Casa Grande parking lot.

Patricia Johnson Memorial Bench 10/8/16
Patricia Johnson's family poses at the bench in front of the Casa Grande dedicated to her memory.

Senador Mine site after restoration
This was taken on 11/5/16. The restoration at the Senador Mine site has been completed. What remains are temporary and permanent erosion control, such as hay spread on bare ground, wattles on hillsides, and rock drains. Here are more pictures.

Senador Mine site restoration
This shows new plantings of coyote brush and netting on the hillside to control erosion at the Senador Mine site.

About NAQCPA

Pioneer Day 2013, Dedication of the Hacienda Outdoor Mining Exhibit

NAQCPA was originally incorporated in 1984 and is the oldest and largest Santa Clara County Park friends organization. If you are interested in finding out more about Almaden Quicksilver County Park or want to help with our projects, you are invited to join NAQCPA. You will receive our newsletters and invitations to our events, such as Pioneer Day. Dues are used to pay for the newsletter and our projects. Print out and mail this form for sending in membership dues and donations, which are tax-deductible. See below for more information about donations, including donating online.

NAQCPA Newsletter Winter 2015-2015
NAQCPA President's Message from the Spring 2015 Newsletter
NAQCPA President's Message from the Summer 2015 Newsletter

NAQCPA Officers:
  • President: Kitty Monahan
  • Secretary: Shari Sullivan
  • Treasurer: Bob Meyer, Marv Tanner
NAQCPA is a 501c3 nonprofit public benefit corporation: Articles of Incorporation


Donate to NAQCPA

NAQCPA accepts donations of time, effort, artifacts and money. At NAQCPA, our most valuable resources are the time and effort of volunteers to help with various projects. Since NAQCPA is a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation recognized by the state of California and the IRS, donations may qualify to be tax-deductible depending on your circumstances.    

DONATE TIME AND EFFORT

To donate time as a museum docent, to walk students around the community, as an archives recorder, to clean up trails etc., call Kitty Monahan at 408-268-6541 or the park interpreters at the New Almaden Mining Museum, 408-323-1107.  

DONATE ARTIFACTS

If you have photos, books, magazine articles or other artifacts from or about New Almaden that you want preserved for future generations, please consider donating them to NAQCPA for use in the archives and in the museum. You will receive a receipt that identifies its value for IRS Tax deductibility purposes. To donate these items, call Kitty Monahan at 408-268-6541 or the Santa Clara County park interpreters at the New Almaden Mining Museum, 408-323-1107, or bring them to the museum during visiting hours.

DONATE MONEY WITH A CHECK

Funds are important to purchase books and other artifacts that become available on the market, for special projects, such as the blacksmith shop restoration, preserving the map table, building new exhibits for the museum, improving the Archives computer and software, preserving artifacts, and for many other projects. To donate money, please write a check and mail it to:  

    NAQCPA
    P.O. Box 124

    New Almaden, CA 95042
 


Almaden Quicksilver County Park Information

Mine Hill Rotary Furnace and the Hanging Tree

Click here for visitor information about Almaden Quicksilver County Park These pages, created by Ron Horii, have park pictures, trail descriptions, information about the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum, and related links.

If you live in or near the Santa Clara Valley or Silicon Valley in Northern California or are planning a trip to the area, you may enjoy a visit to the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Come and see our beautiful park and learn about its wildlife, and many historic photographs, writings, relics, and landmarks. You can reach the park office at (408) 268-3883.


Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

Casa Grande, Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

The Casa Grande and the Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum were closed for renovation starting in 2009. The Grand Re-Opening ceremony was held on Pioneer Day, November 13, 2010. It re-opened on January 14, 2011. The museum is open-year round Fridays through Tuesdays except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The museum is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can reach the museum at (408) 323-1107. It is located at 21350 Almaden Road in New Almaden. These are the hours:


Mondays  12pm - 4pm
Tuesdays 12pm - 4pm
Wednesdays Closed
Thursdays Closed
Fridays 12pm - 4pm
Saturdays 10am - 4pm
Sundays 10am - 4pm

Many NAQCPA members serve as docents in the museum, giving guided tours. There are frequent events at the Casa Grande, such as Living History Days, Play Like a Miner, a yuletide bazaar, and historical talks. See the events calendar below. The grounds are also available for rent for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, and company picnics.

Period room in the Casa Grande
One of the period rooms in the Casa Grande

Mining exhibits in the Mining Museum
Mining exhibits in the Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

See Ron Horii's picture and description of the Casa Grande for the Visual San Jose 2015 Photo Contest.


Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum Gift Shop

The Casa Grande has a bookstore and gift shop. It is decorated with historic portraits. For sale are books on history, minerals, flowers, wildlife, and children's activities. They also have maps, nature guides, colorful rocks, jewelry, educational toys, and artwork. Some of the publications available in the store were written by NAQCPA members.

Gift shop portraits
These portraits of the New Almaden Mine managers were painted by local artist Gilian Altieri







The painting of the Casa Grande above the fireplace was painted by Gilian Altieri




Mining Museum Archives

The Archives of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum are now online.
NAQCPA members have been helping to scan in thousands of historical documents and pictures into the archive. The archives are available for searching and viewing. You can search for specific topics using keywords or just display random images to get a sample of the collection. You can order high-resolution images without watermarks. Here is an example of an historic photo from the archives:
Historical picture of the Hacienda Reduction Works from the archive
This yard, at the former site of the Hacienda Reduction Works, contains a collection of equipment from the New Almaden Mine and the Guadalupe mine. One item of particular interest is an old wooden Cornish pump from an English design which was used to pump water out of the mine shafts. Another unusual item, a cylindrical piece of machinery, was a small rotary furnace used for extracting Mercury from crushed cinnabar ore.

Club Almaden, 1952
This is a more recent picture from the archives, taken in 1952. The Casa Grande and its grounds were used for a resort called Club Almaden. There was a swimming pool in back.


Hacienda Mining Display Outdoor Museum

Outdoor mining museum displays
Displays at the Hacienda Outdoor Museum

Mining equipment 3/9/08
For years, there was an unorganized collection of rusting mining equipment sitting behind a fence in the Hacienda area of Almaden Quicksilver near the Deep Gulch Trail entrance. Above is how it looked in 2008.

Bruce Bartlett at the outdoor museum dedication
NAQCPA members, led by Bruce Bartlett (above), organized, repaired, and re-arranged the equipment and added other mining equipment. They had interpretive signs made, paid for the fencing, and created life-size figures.

Pioneer Days

Kitty Monahan welcoming guests to Pioneer Day 2014
Pioneer Day 2014, Rossi Retort Dedication

For over 32 years, NAQCPA has held their annual Pioneer Day celebration in Almaden Quicksilver County Park, in partnership with the County Parks Department. The original purpose of Pioneer Day was to be a get-together to share stories with former New Almaden miners and people who remembered the mines. While that is still the case, it has also been associated with the dedication of historic sites, interpretive signs, or projects in the park. Most of these were NAQCPA projects, or NAQCPA members were involved with them. Pioneer Day for 2015 will be held on October 10 at 11:00 am at the Hacienda entrance to the park and will dedicate the bell tower (see above).

New Almaden Days

New Almaden Jump-In Parade, 9/13/14
The Santa clara County Horsemen's Association at the Jump-In Parade, 9/13/14

For more than 34 years, the community of New Almaden has held their New Almaden Day community celebration, kicked off by the Jump-In parade. It's an informal parade around the town, where anyone can jump in and join. Afterwards, there is a carnival held at the New Almaden Community Center, featuring games, prizes, food, and entertainment. This year's New Almaden Day and Jump-In Parade will be held on Saturday September 10, 2016, starting at 11:00 am at the New Almaden Community Center.

News, Media, Articles, and Links

Recipients of Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Service Award
Recipients of the Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Service Award (L to R): Art Boudreault, Roy Ichinaga, Ron Horii, Mike Boulland, Ranger John Heenan accepting for Richard and Margaret Brunner, Kitty Monahan, Jaime Day

Pictures and Special Reports

View from Hidalgo Mine Trail
View of Almaden Reservoir from the Hidalgo Cemetery Trail

2015-2016 Almaden Quicksilver events


Living History Day, Casa Grande, 2/14/15
Living History Day, Casa Grande, 2/14/15, left to right: Mike Boulland, Mary Moran, Elaine Hill, Bridgett Orcutt, Doug Bergtholdt


The County Parks' Fall-Winter-2016 Play Here Guide is available.
  • January 2016:
    • Saturday, January 9, Lichen: A Closer Look, 9:00 am - 1:30 pm. This easy 1.5-mile out-and-back nature walk is the first in a series that will explore habitats where lichen communities thrive. Learn to identify some of the most common forest lichen and discover ways these fascinating organisms benefit both wildlife and the environment. Meet at the Wood Road Trail parking lot. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
  • February 2016:
    • Saturday, February 13, Living History Day,  11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Casa Grande. Visit Casa Grande, once the magnificent home of New Almaden mine managers. Costumed Docents and staff will guide you through Victorian period rooms and museum exhibits. Children may participate in a seasonal craft activity to take home. (408) 323 -1107.
    • Sunday, February 21, History ​of ​Almaden ​Air ​Force ​Station, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Casa Grande, Almaden Quicksilver. Learn about the history of this fascinating site, see key artifacts, and enjoy a slide show of amazing historic photos of the radar station when it was in operation between 1958 and 1980. Presented by Basim Jaber (Historian/Archivist and founder of the USAF 682nd Radar Squadron Veterans Association). For reservations call (408) 533-8107 or email info@almadenafs.org.
    • Thursday February 11, 10 am and Saturday, February 13 at 10 am, Story Time With a Ranger, Casa Grande. An hour of songs and stories led by a park ranger, for toddlers and kids 1 to 6. Pepe Le Pew, Where are you? Come discover interesting facts about our nighttime smelly friend, the skunk. Questions: (408) 268-3883
  • March 2016:
    • Saturday, March 5, 19th Century in a Bottle, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Casa Grande. Almaden author and antique bottle collector Tobin Gilman will provide an historical view of daily life and commerce in San Jose in the 1800’s, told through the prism of historic glass bottles from the area. Go back to the earliest days of San Jose as California’s first state capitol. Questions? (408) 918-7771 Questions? (408) 918-7774.
    • Saturday, March 13, Living History Day,  11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Casa Grande. See Feb. 13, 2016. 
    • Saturday, March 26, Guided 4-mile hike along the Anza Trail, 10:30-1pm. Meet at the Hacienda entrance. In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, join Santa Clara County Parks and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail for guided hikes to hear the story of the Anza Expedition. Learn about the first non-Native families to travel overland into California and how Anza brought hundreds of people safely across the desert to colonize the Bay Area in 1776. Families welcome. Wear good shoes and sunblock. Please bring water and a light lunch/snack. Contact:
      Daniel Sanchez, Juan Bautista de Anza NHT 415-623-2351 or daniel_s_sanchez@nps.gov.
  • April 2016:
    • Saturday, April 9, Wildflower Scavenger Hunt, Almaden Quicksilver, 12pm-3pm. Join Friends of the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association on a wildflower scavenger hunt through various stations along the Wood Road Trail. Meet at the Wood Road Parking lot. Questions? (408) 355-2240.
    • Saturday, April 9, Mountain Lions and Bobcats on the Prowl, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Casa ​Grande, Almaden Quicksilver. Learn about the lifestyles and characteristics of these two magnificent animals living in and around our rural communities. Leave with a better understanding of why it’s important to be able to co-exist with these two felines in the natural environment. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Saturday, April 23, Stop and Sniff Around, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. ​Bring your canine friend on a hike to sniff out evidence of the abundant wildlife on Deep Gulch Trail. Explore the various animal tracks and scat along the trail while getting some moderate exercise. Meet at the Hacienda parking lot. Questions? (408) 268-3883.
  • May 2016:
    • Saturday, May 7, Living History Day • Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 11am-3pm. Visit Casa Grande, once the magnificent home of New Almaden mine managers. Costumed docents and staff will guide you through Victorian period rooms and museum exhibits. Children may participate in a seasonal craft activity to take home. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
    • Saturday, May 7, What’s In a Ranger’s Truck? • Almaden Quicksilver • 5pm-7pm. Have you ever wanted to see the inside of a Park Ranger’s patrol truck? This is your chance to interact with the variety of equipment used for search and rescue, firefighting and lifesaving duties. Meet at the Mockingbird Hill entrance. Questions? (408) 268-5240.
    • Sunday, May 8, Cougar Country • Almaden Quicksilver • 10am-11am. Learn about the mountain lions that call County Parks their home. Understand what makes them important to the local environment and how to keep you and your family safe. Meet at the Mockingbird Hill entrance. Questions? (408) 268-3883.
    • Sunday, May 15, Mountain Lions and Bobcats on the Prowl, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. Learn about the lifestyles and characteristics of these two magnificent animals. Leave with a better understanding of why it’s important to be able to co-exist with these two felines in their natural environment. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Friday, May 20 to Sunday May 22, Volunteers for Outdoor California trail work day at Almaden Quicksilver and Rancho San Vicente (Calero). See here for details and to register.
    • Sunday, May 22, History Van Tour • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1:30pm. Step back in time and experience what life was like back in the mining heyday. Ride by van to various historic sites and enjoy your brown-bag lunch in the park. $15 per person. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4’ 9” tall. Meet at the Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum with a bag lunch. Register online or call (408) 355-2201
  • June 2016:
    • Saturday, June 4, 19th Century San Jose in a Bottle, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-2:30pm. Almaden author Tobin Gilman provides a view of daily life and commerce in 1800s San Jose, told through the prism of antique bottles. See how San Jose’s glass packaging of the nineteenth century is spilling over with fascinating insights about the city’s past. Free antique bottle appraisal. Register online or call (408) 355-2201. 
    • Saturday, June 4, What’s In a Ranger’s Truck? • Almaden Quicksilver • 6pm-8pm. Have you ever wanted to see the inside of a Park Ranger’s patrol truck? This is your chance to interact with the variety of equipment used for search and rescue, firefighting and lifesaving duties. Meet at the Mockingbird Hill entrance. Questions? (408) 268-5240.
    • Saturday, June 11, Mountain Lions and Bobcats on the Prowl, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. Learn about the lifestyles and characteristics of these two magnificent animals. Leave with a better understanding of why it’s important to be able to co-exist with these two felines in their natural environment. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Sunday, June 12, History of Almaden Air Force Station, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. Learn about the history of this fascinating site, see key artifacts, and enjoy a slide show of amazing historic photos of the radar station when it was in operation between 1958 and 1980. Presented by Basim Jaber (Founder of the USAF 682nd Radar Squadron Veterans Association). To register call (408) 533-8107 or email info@almadenafs.org.
    • Saturday, June 18, Play like a Miner • Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 11am-3pm. Join in for a fun day of learning what it was like to be a miner long ago. There will be games, demonstrations and crafts as well as an opportunity to try your hand at panning for gold and precious gems. A fun event for the whole family. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
  • July 2016
    • Saturday, July 2, Living History Day • Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 11am-3pm. Visit Casa Grande, once the magnificent home of New Almaden mine managers. Costumed docents and staff will guide you through Victorian period rooms and museum exhibits. Children may participate in a seasonal craft activity to take home. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
    • Tuesday, July 5, Healthy Trails Hike • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1pm. Challenge yourself on a 5.2-mile strenuous hike through diverse habitats. Enjoy remnants of the historic mining camps of New Almaden. Meet at the Hacienda park entrance with water and a bag lunch. Questions? (408) 918-7772.
    • Saturday, July 9, What’s In a Ranger’s Truck? • Almaden Quicksilver • 6pm-8pm. Have you ever wanted to see the inside of a Park Ranger’s patrol truck? This is your chance to interact with the variety of equipment used for search and rescue, firefighting and lifesaving duties. Meet at the Mockingbird Hill entrance. Questions? (408) 268-5240. 
    • Saturday, July 16, History Van Tour • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1:30pm. Step back in time and experience what life was like back in the mining heyday. Ride by van to various historic sites and enjoy your brown-bag lunch in the park. $15 per person. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4’ 9” tall. Meet at the Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum with a bag lunch. Register online or call (408) 355-2201. 
    • Saturday, July 23, History Van Tour • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1:30pm. (for event discription see July 16 on page 25) Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
  • August 2016:
    • Sunday, August 7, History of Almaden Air Force Station, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. Learn about the history of this fascinating site, see key artifacts, and enjoy a slide show of amazing historic photos of the radar station when it was in operation between 1958 and 1980. Presented by Basim Jaber (Founder of the USAF 682nd Radar Squadron Veterans Association). To register call (408) 533-8107 or email info@almadenafs.org. 
    • Sunday, August 21, History Van Tour • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1:30pm. Step back in time and experience what life was like back in the mining heyday. Ride by van to various historic sites and enjoy your brown-bag lunch in the park. $15 per person. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4’ 9” tall. Meet at the Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum with a bag lunch. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • From Assemblymember Mark Stone:
      Did you know that Santa Clara County Parks is celebrating turning 60 this year? You are invited to join me and Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman in spending the day enjoying and celebrating a local favorite, the Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Join us for breakfast and conversation, and then stay to attend fun-filled guided tours of Casa Grande and the town of New Almaden. Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Parking located at Casa Grande Museum: 21350 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120.
      10  – 11 a.m.  Breakfast with Assemblymember Stone and Supervisor Wasserman at Casa Grande
      11 a.m. – Noon Walking tour of the Town of New Almaden
      Noon – 1 p.m. Tour of Casa Grande
      This event is FREE, but RSVPs are encouraged due to limited space. Please let us know if you have any special needs.  For more information and to RSVP, please call my office at (831) 425-1503 or email angela.gile@asm.ca.gov.
    • Wednesday, August 31, Healthy Trails Hike • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1pm. Challenge yourself on a 5.2-mile strenuous hike through diverse habitats. Enjoy remnants of the historic mining camps of New Almaden. Meet at the Hacienda park entrance with water and a bag lunch. Questions? (408) 918-7772.
  • September 2016:
    • Saturday, September 10, The annual New Almaden Community Day and Jump-In Parade will start at 11 am at the New Almaden Community Center. The parade will start at the Community Center, will head down Bertram Road, will return on Almaden Road, and will end at the Community Center, where there will be a carnival and barbecue lunch. Everyone is invited.
    • Saturday, September 17, Mountain Lions and Bobcats on the Prowl, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. See June 11.
  • October 2016:
    • Sunday, October 2, History of Almaden Air Force Station, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. See June 12.
    • Saturday, October 8, Introduction ​to ​Geocaching, 8:45 am - 12:00 pm. Hicks ​Rd ​at ​the ​Wood ​Rd ​park ​entrance ​at ​Almaden ​Quicksilver. Take a beginner’s geocaching adventure to find 6-7 hidden caches in the park. Meet at the Wood Rd. entrance off Hicks Rd. Bring sun protection, water, snacks and sturdy hiking shoes. GPS units provided. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Saturday, October 8, Pioneer Day at the Casa Grande, celebrating the new entry path will start at 11 am. There will be food for purchase (Cornish pasties), music, historical talks, walking tours, and raffle prizes. See here for pictures of last year's Pioneer Day.
    • Saturday, October 15, History Van Tour • Almaden Quicksilver • 9am-1:30pm. See July 16.
  • November 2016:
    • Saturday, November 19, Holiday Yuletide Boutique, Casa Grande, 10am-4pm. Come visit Casa Grande in New Almaden to check out local crafts & holiday goodies for sale. You will be sure to walk away with some great gifts for family and friends! Casa Grande will also be decorated for the holidays and costumed docents & staff will further enhance the holiday spirits. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
  • December 2016:
    • Sunday, December 11, History of Almaden Air Force Station, Casa Grande/Quicksilver Mining Museum • 1pm-3pm. See June 12.

2015-2016 Events at Other Parks


Rancho San Vicente, 3/28/15
From the Rancho San Vicente Hike, 3/28/15

These events are mostly at neighboring parks, like Santa Teresa, Calero, and Hellyer:
  • January 2016:
    • Saturday, January 16, 2016, Martin Luther King Jr. Service Trail day, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Join the Santa Clara County Park staff in a day of service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers will work closely with expert park staff and learn the art and science behind trail maintenance as they make improvements to the Rocky Ridge Trail. Volunteers will meet park staff at 9:00 a.m. at the Pueblo Area Corral parking lot in Santa Teresa County Park, 260 Bernal Road, San Jose, CA. 95119. Pre-registration is required. No special skills are required, but the work may be moderately strenuous. Please wear long pants and hiking boots and bring a long-sleeved shirt, sun or rain protection and a water bottle and snack. All necessary tools and work gloves are provided. All registered volunteers will receive a confirmation notice prior to the event, including a map and final details. For more information, please email volunteer@prk.sccgov.org or call 408.918.4930.​​​​
  • February 2016:
    • Saturday, February 13, Lichen: ​A ​Closer ​Look Santa ​Teresa ​-​ ​Fortini ​Trail ​Head, 9:00 am-1:30 pm. Enjoy a moderate 2.8-mile loop hike with a park docent to discover numerous brightly colored lichen varieties that thrive in serpentine grasslands and learn ways these organisms benefit both wildlife and the environment. Meet at the Stile Ranch Trail parking lot at the end of Fortini Road. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
  • March 2016:
    • Sunday, March 13, Spring Forward Nature Walk, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Calero. Enjoy early spring wildflowers that thrive in the Park’s serpentine grasslands on a 1.5-mile leisurely walk. Along the way observe a variety of endangered species found only in this unique environment. Meet at the Calero Park office off McKean Rd. (south of reservoir), then carpool to the trailhead. This is a guided walk in an area not yet open for public access; group stays together; no restrooms except at meeting location. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
    • Saturday, March 19, guided 4-mile hike along the Anza Trail, 10:30 am - 1 pm, Santa Teresa County Park. Meet at the Pueblo Day Use Area. See Almaden Quicksilver, March 26, 2016.
  • April 2016:
    • Sunday, April 3, 10, 17, and 24, Spring Wildflowers Nature Walk, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Calero. See March 13, 2016, Calero.
    • Saturday April 16, History and Wildflower Hike, Santa Teresa's Historic Bernal Ranch, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. ​Learn the history of the area with a tour of the Bernal Ranch and Santa Teresa Spring. Then join Friends of Santa Teresa Park docents on a hike up to view the spectacular wildflowers on Bernal Hill. Bring water and hiking shoes and optional camera. Ranch is located at Camino Verde and Manila Drive.
    • Friday April 22, Find Balance- Yoga Hike Meditate,  Santa Teresa's Historic Bernal Ranch 5:30 pm - 07:30 pm. ​Find Balance. Refresh your mind, body and spirit with Mother Nature. Join Chris and Parisa Shelton of Morning Crane as they lead a special two hour yoga + hike + meditation excursion in the beautiful Santa Teresa (South San Jose) hills. Participants will start with a gentle yoga stretch at the base of Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, then hike about a mile up the hill.  Once at the peak enjoy basic Qigong and yoga movements and guided meditation. Students will learn simple and effective methods for cultivating greater health, self-healing and energy enhancement by practicing gentle postures, breathing and mind intentions. The two hour class is suitable for people with average to above-average physical capabilities. Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended. Yoga mat or blanket nice to have but not required.  Suitable for ages 13+. Pricing: $20 first time, repeat client $15, $65 for five classes.
    • Saturday, April 30, Pre-Mother's Day Wildflower Hike, Santa Teresa Park, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. ​Bring your mom and the whole family out to enjoy a 2.6-mile docent-led wildflower hike. Explore the park’s geology and history along the Fortini, Mine, and Stile Ranch Trails. Meet at the Stile entrance at Fortini Rd. and San Vicente Ave with water and hiking shoes. Questions? (408) 355-2240.
  • May 2016:
    • Saturday, May 7, Outdoor Photography Class and Hike, Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch • 10am-2:30pm. Take a 3.7-mile hike on the spectacular Mummy Mountain Trail. Learn outdoor photography techniques and take pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Bring a camera or smartphone, lunch, water and sun protection. Meet at theMendoza Ranch entrance. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Saturday, May 14, Night of the Amphibians, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 7:30pm-10:30pm. Join aquarium experts and herpetologists to learn about local salamanders, frogs, and toads. Pet one if you dare! After the program stay for popcorn, lemonade, and the campy horror classic “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” To register call (408) 226-5453.
    • Friday, May 20, Find Balance: Yoga, Hike, Meditate, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 5:30pm-7:30pm. Refresh your mind, body, and spirit with Morning Crane docents in the Santa Teresa hills. Begin with gentle yoga, then a 1-mile hike uphill. Finish with yoga and guided meditation at the peak. Suitable for ages 13+ in good physical condition. Meet at the Joice trailhead with comfortable clothes and yoga mat or blanket. Register online or call (408) 391-2846.
    • Saturday, May 21, National River Cleanup Day, multiple parks. See the Volunteer events calendar.
    • Sunday, May 15 and 22, Native Plant Discovery Nature Walk, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Calero. See March 13, 2016, Calero.
  • June 2016:
    • Saturday, June 4, Festival in the Park • Hellyer • 11am-3pm. Join us for a day of family fun, health and recreation opportunities, and multicultural entertainment! Participate in CPR and nutrition classes, learn about community resources, and enjoy children’s activities and demonstrations for all ages. Free admission and parking. Food available for purchase. Questions? (408) 355-2255.
    • Saturday, June 11, 2016, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, 550 Palm Ave., Morgan Hill. Join nature photographer Ron Horii for this fascinating and engaging learning experience. Bring your own camera, phone, tablet or whatever you like to take pictures with and Ron will take you on a walk to observe nature as a photographer would. Learn how to take more engaging pictures from someone who is a passionate nature and community photographer. This is a dry park so please do bring water to drink and a light snack if you will need one. Sorry, no pets please.
    • Thursday, June 23, Find Balance: Yoga, Hike, Meditate, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 6pm-8pm. Refresh your mind, body and spirit with Morning Crane docents in the Santa Teresa hills. Begin with gentle yoga, then a 1-mile hike uphill. Finish with yoga and guided meditation at the peak. Suitable for ages 13+ in good physical condition. Meet at the Joice trailhead with comfortable clothes and yoga mat or blanket. Register online or call (408) 391-2846.
    • Saturday, June 25, In the Park after Dark Movie Night • Santa Teresa • 8:30pm-11:30pm. Enjoy a night under the stars with family and friends. Come early to learn about your local County Parks and watch a FREE movie on a big screen. Meet at the Corral Parking Lot with flashlights, lawn chairs and blankets. Questions? Call (408) 225-0225.
  • July 2016
    • Saturday, July 9, Night of the Meat-Eating Plants, Santa Teresa Park’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 7:30pm-10pm. Join carnivorous plant experts to learn about both local and exotic meat-eating plants. Take one home if you win the drawing. Stay afterward for popcorn, lemonade, and the campy horror film “Day of the Triffids.” To register call (408) 226-5453.
    • Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, Bats over Calero • Calero • 6pm-9:30pm. Take a ride to the Bat Inn - where you can visit but cannot stay. Discover why these creatures are so important and watch as thousands of bats emerge from a good day’s sleep. Meet at the park office with a small chair or blanket, closedtoe shoes, bug spray, layered clothing and flashlight. Cost is $15 per person. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4’ 9” tall.
      Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Thursday, July 21, Find Balance: Yoga, Hike, Meditate, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 6:30pm-8:30pm. Refresh your mind, body and spirit with Morning Crane docents in the Santa Teresa hills. Begin with gentle yoga, then a 1-mile hike uphill. Finish with yoga and guided meditation at the peak. Suitable for ages 13+ in good physical condition. Meet at the Joice trailhead with comfortable clothes and yoga mat or blanket. Register online or call (408) 391-2846.
    • Friday, July 22, Healthy Trails Hike • Calero • 9am-11am. Hike through diverse habitats and enjoy breathtaking views of Calero Reservoir on a 3.5-mile hike on the Los Cerritos and Pena Trails. Meet at the park office (south of the reservoir) with water and snacks. Questions? (408) 918-7772.
    • Saturday, July 23, 2016, Nature Photography for Beginners, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. See June 11, 2016 above.
    • Saturday, July 23,  Calling Coyotes Night Hike • Santa Teresa • 7:30pm-9:30pm. The odds are high that you will hear and Maybe even see coyotes that live in the area! You will get a chance to call them out and see if they respond. Meet at the Corral Lot with warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Questions? (408) 225-0225.
    • Sunday, July 31, A Taste of Archery • Santa Teresa • 8:30am & 10:30am. Join the Black Mountain Bowmen to learn how to shoot a compound or recurve bow, fletch arrows and make a bow string. Ages 6 and up with parent. A mandatory safety class and equipment are provided by Predator’s Archery. Meet at the archery range on Avenida Espana. Choose from the 8:30-10am or 10:30-12pm class. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
  • August 2016:
    • Saturday, August 6 thru 7, Movie, Night Hike, and Campout • Santa Teresa • 8pm-8am. Enjoy a sunset hike, outdoor movie and overnight campout in the park! Bring your own tents or recreational vehicle. Cost is $15/camping family and $6/vehicle. Restrooms available but no electricity or showers provided. Limited space available. To register call (408) 225-0225.
    • Thursday, August 11, Find Balance: Yoga, Hike, Meditate, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 6pm-8pm. Refresh your mind, body and spirit with Morning Crane docents in the Santa Teresa hills. Begin with gentle yoga, then a 1-mile hike uphill. Finish with yoga and guided meditation at the peak. Suitable for ages 13+ in good physical condition. Meet at the Joice trailhead with comfortable clothes and yoga mat or blanket. Register online or call (408) 391-2846.
    • Saturday, August 13, Family Fandango • Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 5pm-8pm. Celebrate the history of early California and its ties to the Anza Expedition and the Bernal family. The evening’s focus is family fun through song, dance, demonstrations, and activities that highlight the many contributions of our early communities. Location is Camino Verde at Manila Drive. Food available for purchase. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
    • Tuesday, August 16, Moonlight Paddle • Calero Reservoir • 7:30pm-10pm. Discover the natural and cultural history of the local area on a paddle tour of the reservoir. Experienced paddlers only -no instruction or equipment is provided. $4 inspection fee per vessel. Meet at the launch ramp with your kayak/canoe, life jackets and 2 glow sticks per person. To register call (408) 846-5622.
    • Saturday, August 20, Old Fashioned Games and Wash Days, Santa Teresa’s Historic Bernal Ranch • 12pm-3pm. Play old-fashioned games from the past. Learn how clothes were washed with scrub boards and lye soap. Try your hand at roping a saw-horse and making an animation wheel from 100 years ago. The ranch is located at the corner of Camino Verde and Manila Dr. in San Jose. Questions? (408) 226-5453.
    • Saturday, August 20, 2016, Nature Photography for Beginners, Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Join nature photographer Ron Horii for this fascinating and engaging learning experience. Bring your own camera, phone, tablet or whatever you like to take pictures with and Ron will give a lecture about the basics of photography followed by a walk to observe nature as a photographer would. Learn how to take more engaging pictures from someone who is a passionate nature and community photographer. Please meet at the south entrance.
    • The Volunteer Recognition Banquet for Santa Clara County Park volunteers will be held on Saturday August 27 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at Martial Cottle Park. "Volunteers who have recorded at least 5 hours of service in the last year will be invited to attend. Please submit any outstanding hours either online or to volunteer@prk.sccgov.org by June 30, 2016 to ensure we fully recognize you for your achievements! NOTE: If you would like to check how many hours you have recorded, in order to confirm your invitation, please  contact the Volunteer Program by email volunteer@prk.sccgov.org or by calling at 408-918-4930."
  • September 2016:
    • Saturday, September 10, Coyote Valley Family Harvest Feast, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, 11 am - 3 pm. Free admission, music and entertainment from around the world, kids crafts, home gardening workshops and more! 
    • Saturday, September 10, Micro ​Zoology ​Movie ​Night, 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM, Bernal-​Gulnac-​Joice ​Ranch ​(Manila ​Drive). Join experts for a show and tell about microscopic creatures. Look at life under a drop of water. Afterward, munch on popcorn while watching the old-time classic “Fantastic Voyage”. To register call (408) 226-5453.
    • Sunday, September 24, A ​Taste ​of ​Archery, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM, Santa ​Teresa ​-​ ​Archery ​Range. ​Join the Black Mountain Bowmen to learn how to shoot a compound or recurve bow, fletch arrows and make a bow string. Ages 6 and up with parent. A mandatory safety class and equipment are provided by Predator's Archery. Meet at the archery range on Avenida Espana Drive. Choose from the 8:30-10am or 10:30-12pm class. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
    • Saturday September 24, Chitactac ​Family ​Day, 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM, Chitactac-​Adams. Come celebrate with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of the Ohlone Nation. Discover the heritage of the people who once lived at this ancient village site. Participate in hands on activities, learn to make traditional crafts and watch unique demonstrations. Food available for purchase. Questions? (408) 918-7770.
  • October 2016:
    • Saturday October 1, Harvest ​Festival, 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM, Martial ​Cottle ​Park. ​Come celebrate the legacy and significance of our valley’s rich agricultural heritage at this fun day on the farm! Family friendly activities, healthy food and fresh produce for sale, music and much more. Volunteers needed, check parkhere.org/volunteers for more details. Questions? (408) 535-4060.
    • Saturday, October 9, Day ​on ​the ​Bay, 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM, Alviso ​Marina County Park. Celebrate our community’s diversity and health with fun activities, food, music and a resource fair – all for free!  Special to this year’s event is Bike to the Bay, a community bike ride along the Guadalupe River Trail from downtown to Day on the Bay. Registration is now open at www.sccgov.org/dayonthebay. 
    • Saturday, October 15, Explore ​the ​Outer ​Limits: ​Stargazing 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Santa Teresa Park's Bernal-​Gulnac-​Joice ​Ranch ​(Manila ​Drive). ​Explore the cosmos with professional star gazers and their equipment. Watch old episodes of the Outer Limits while munching on popcorn and drinking lemonade. To register call (408) 226-5453.
  • November 2016:
    • Saturday, November 12, Introduction ​to ​Outdoor ​Photography, 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM, Bernal-​Gulnac-​Joice ​Ranch ​(Manila ​Drive). ​Join a docent for a FREE outdoor photography workshop. Learn how to choose and use a camera, how to take better outdoor pictures and about photo composition. Workshop begins with an indoor slideshow, followed by demonstrations and a walk around the historic area to take pictures. Meet at the ranch house with your camera. Register online or call (408) 355-2201.
See here for past events at Almaden Quicksilver and other parks.
Copyright New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association 

For more information, contact our webmaster, Ron Horii. Updated 11/7/16.