Cooling Down in Gilroy, CA




As we head deeper into August, we are always looking for new ways to keep cool. Though we often head for the hiking trails, a day on a quiet beach seemed like an ideal way to spend this morning. After a quick search, I noticed that Coyote Lake had a picnic area called “Sandy Beach,” so we decided to give it a try. Though Sandy Beach is really more of a rocky beach and swimming and wading are not allowed, the boys still had a great time running around and playing with their sand toys and fishing poles on what felt like their own private beach.

The Drive into Coyote Lake on Coyote Reservoir Road

Driving in from the Coyote Lake Entrance

Every now and then, when visiting parks for the first time, I get the feeling that I’m on a road trip far outside of the Valley.  As we wound around the roads of the Gilroy foothills, the sign for the Coyote Lake entrance came into view. There was a deer standing next to the sign like a picture-perfect postcard. It was the first of many we would see over the next few hours, and set the tone for our morning at the park. 


JJ already finding ways to hold his fishing rod in place.

Fishing is a main draw at Coyote Lake, and JJ was happy to jump in with his new Paw Patrol fishing rod. The lake is known to have bluegill, black crappie, catfish, carp and bass, but we never saw any fish. After a few minutes staring into the water, JJ found a way to keep his line in the water while we went back to play with his brother and our sand toys. 

While the boys were excited to try their hand at fishing, one of the biggest drawbacks of the Sandy Beach area was the fishing line left on the shores. Make sure to scan for this difficult to see litter where your kiddos are playing.


Fun in the (Overcast) Sun

When we visited, we were the only people on the beach until around 11am, when a small group came to fish. Wild turkeys and quail emerged from and then disappeared back into the tall grasses at the edge of the beach area, and boaters passed by in both power boats and SUPs. 

The boys were in their goofy element, with Bug literally doing a happy dance. Nothing like a morning of open free play to start the day!

Picnic Table at Faultline Picnic Area, Coyote Lake

Exploring Coyote Reservoir road

Sandy Beach has a large group of picnic tables, which made me curious to explore the other lakeside amenities at Coyote Lake. In addition to campgrounds and a boat ramp, there were picnic areas dotted around the lake’s west shore. Faultline was my favorite. There were only a couple of tables, which made it a perfect quiet spot for one or two families to enjoy together. We’ll be back to enjoy this spot at some point in the hopefully not to distant future. 

As we were leaving, a family of deer with two fawns crossed the road in front of us. It was a magical end to a lovely morning with my boys, and I look forward to coming back to experience some of the other activities at this lovely quiet 4,595 acre park.


 We’ve been enjoying each of the 28 regional parks in Santa Clara County one by one. Check out some of our favorite parks below. 

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