Spanning over 1,500 acres, Ed Levin County Park is a paradise tucked away from the hustling Bay Area freeways, offering some of the most beautiful and accessible equestrian trails in the nation. The park was first dedicated back in 1969 and named after County Supervisor Ed R. Levin, a horse enthusiast himself who led a campaign to acquire the property.
Agua Caliente, Sierra Caliente and Monument Park
Spanning 6.2 miles, this out-and-back trail weaves through the heart of Ed R. Levin County Park. One of the great things about this trail is that it’s accessible throughout the year, in every season.
Starting from Sandy Wool Lake, the Agua Caliente Trail off Tularcitos is your first venture. The trail will guide you and your horse up switchbacks, across ridges, and to higher elevations with panoramic views. Gradually, this path becomes the Sierra Caliente trail, where the adventure unfolds.
At the intersection with the Calera Creek Trail, you have two exciting options. If you’re up for some more thrill, continue along the Agua Caliente trail towards Monument Peak. The trail will lead you all the way up to the Alameda/Santa Clara County line. If you’re ready to wind down, you can descend back into the main park from this intersection.
The Monument Peak Trail
Monument Peak trail is a challenging 14.8-km loop trail located near Milpitas, California, which typically takes around 5 hours and 3 minutes to complete. Despite its challenges, the scenic views along the way and at the peak are well worth the effort.
This trail takes you up to the summit of Monument Peak, a journey filled with awe-inspiring views and the chance to spot soaring hang gliders gracefully painting the sky. From the Agua Caliente trail, you’re led to the Monument Peak Trail. Here you ascend to the summit, enjoying beautiful views and perhaps sighting soaring hang gliders. Once you’ve reached the summit, your return journey via the Agua Caliente trail and the Calera Creek Trail begins.
Agua Caliente Trail
Nestled within the Ed R. Levin County Park, this trail promises not only an enjoyable ride, but an exploration of one of the region’s most scenic landscapes.
As you ascend on this path, you’ll be greeted by unparalleled views of the valley floor and the shimmering San Francisco Bay.
Beginning your journey, take the Tularcitos Trail, which will lead you towards the Agua Caliente. As you climb up the path, there’s a water trough that serves as a landmark along the trail. A brief rest stop here lets you take in the view while your horse quenches its thirst.
Once you’ve enjoyed the heights and vistas of the Agua Caliente, you can return via the diverse Calera Creek Trail.
Spring Valley Trail
Located in the heart of Milpitas, this circular trail stretches over a modest distance of 2.7 kilometers. Labeled as an easy route, the Spring Valley Trail is perfect for those newer to horseback riding or those who just want a calm, leisurely ride. A typical circuit takes around 47 minutes to complete. This trail is packed full of gentle surprises, including a variety of wildlife and plant species that are sure to catch your eye.
How to Get There
To get to the trails of Levin Park take the Calaveras Road exit off 680 or 880 in Milpitas. Follow Calaveras Road east up into the foothills. The road is paved but watch the speed limit. Milpitas police department is often out there writing tickets for speeders.
Keep to the left on Calaveras Road at the Downing Road intersection. Up Calaveras Road one will see the main Ranger Station on the right. (There’s a dedicated right turn lane to use.) Go into the Park, pay fee of $6 and then turn left. Follow park frontage road around to equestrian arena.
The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. Vehicle entry fees are collected year-round.