Lake Chabot Regional Park, located in Castro Valley on the on Lake Chabot Road, is a beautiful park well known for its reservoir surrounded by redwood trees, flowers, and wildlife.
The park features hiking trails, fishing, boating, biking, horseshoe pits, jogging, and places to eat. There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle, but street parking is also available (add 5-10 minutes for walking.) A cafe near the boating launch sells fishing bait and licenses, food, and drinks. Bathrooms are next to the cafe and on the West Side Trail.
My daughters and I have frequented this park for walking and hiking since they were born. It has always been an easy park to take strollers and walk the paved paths around the reservoir. The breathtaking views of the sunset are well worth the walk. I would recommend bringing a stroller for children under five, since the hilly trails can get steep and difficult for toddlers to keep up or continue walking.
The boats are the main attraction for my children. Rental boats can be found by the marina for up to 4 per family or same household. It can be somewhat costly at $27 – $30 per hour for kayaks, rowing boats, pedal boats, or the electric motor boats, but the children have so much fun looking for the freshwater bass, bluegill, and crappie among the ducks and geese. This area is very busy on the weekends, so I recommend planning for a weekday morning with less crowds. Guests must be 18 to operate a boat and all guests must sign a contract prior to getting on a boat. Under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present to sign for them. Minimum age in a double kayak with an adult is 5 years old.
Swimming is not permitted in the lake.
Plan your visit to Lake Chabot Regional Center
- $5 parking fee or street park for free!
- $2 dog fee (often not checked)
- Fishing and boating available. Check the website for current prices and information.
- Forgot food, no problem! Grab a snack, breakfast, or lunch at The Lake Chabot Marina and Cafe. Plenty of healthy snack options (i.e., fresh fruits and vegetables), bottled drinks, and warm drinks (i.e., coffee, hot chocolate).
What to bring to Lake Chabot
- Outdoor blankets for sitting or eating
- Water bottles
- Packed lunches
- Bikes, scooters, helmets
- Good walking shoes