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Adventures Outside: Vasona Lake County Park

A lake at twilight

The Park

The Vasona Lake County park is a 152 acre park near the Los Gatos Creek County Park. With 45 acres of open meadows, the Vasona County Lake Park is the perfect park to play Frisbee, badminton, softball, football, or soccer. Picnic tables can be found throughout the park and are first come first served. For groups bigger than 20, picnic goers are encouraged to reserve picnic tables on the park website.

The Vasona Lake County Park offers paddle boat and row boat rentals from spring until fall. Vasona Lake is perfect for fishing crappie, catfish, bluegill, and blackbass. Leashed dogs are welcome at the park and there is a $6 daily parking fee collected upon entrance to the park. For more information on boating and fishing, take a look at the San Jose Public Library catalog for items like these:

The History

Man standing in front of stopped train
Locomotive parked outside of the Farmers Union, Bruce Stevens Papers. History San Jose

Once part of the Rancho Rinconada Los Gatos, the Vasona Lake County Park is one of the most historically known parks in Los Gatos. The first structure, an adobe house was built by Jose Hernandez and Sebastian Peralta where the park lawn is today.

The park acquired the name Vasona from Albert August Vollmer, a farmer who lived near Pollard road. Vollmer asked that the Southern Pacific Railroad stop in another location in the town to allow passengers to board. The railroad agreed and let Vollmer choose a name for the stop. Vollmer chose the name Vasona after a childhood horse. This stop on the Southern Pacific Railway line became known as the Vasona Junction. Since then, the name Vasona has been seen throughout the town’s history.

Discover more about the rich history of Los Gatos and the Vasona County park by checking out these materials at your local San Jose Public Library:

Things to Do

Holiday lights at night

The 21st annual Fantasy of Lights holiday light celebration comes to the Vasona Lake County Park in December. The 2019 holiday celebration features lights and décor sure to bring the feeling of wonder and joy to all. You can walk through the park on December 7-8, 2019 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm to see celebration lights. Holiday goers are encouraged to drive through the park to see the lights from December 10, 2019 to January 4, 2020 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. For more information on prices for event tickets or the event itself see the Santa Clara County website.

The Youth Science institute located at the north end of the Vasona Lake County Park offers science programs and outings to inspire appreciation of the natural environment. Visit their website for more information on upcoming programs.

Train crossing sign

Adjacent to the Vasona Lake County Park is one of my absolute favorite parks, the Oak Meadow Park. The Oak Meadow Park has a historical airplane, fire engine, railroad, carousel and cupola for the family to experience and enjoy together. Tickets to ride the train and carousel are only $3 each. For more information on the railroad or carousel take a look at the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad webpage.

Near the Vasona Lake County park is the Los Gatos Creek County Park. The Los Gatos Creek County Park is a 110 acre park with 6 percolation ponds. The most northern pond is available to fishers. This pond includes rainbow trout, black bass, catfish, bluegill and carp.

Blog Category
Adult Nonfiction
Local History

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