2100 Isherwood Way
Fremont, CA 94536
Parking: $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle.
Buses: $25 per bus.
Dogs: $2 per dog. Guide/service dogs free
Boating: Boating, kayaking & sailing fees
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 6am-8pm
Day after Labor Day - Oct.: 6am-7pm
Apr.-Memorial Day: 6am-6pm
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 6am-7pm
Day after Labor Day-Oct.: 6am-6pm
Swim Hours & Fees
If parking and or swim capacity is reached, entrance gates may close for the day.
Swim Facilities Schedule
> Quarry Lakes Main Entrance
> Niles Beach
> Boat Launch
> ADA Fishing Pier
Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4552
> Trail Map
> Park Map [PDF]
> Google Map
The park is a beautiful water-oriented recreation area, which offers more intensive recreation such as picnicking, boating, swimming and fishing, but also has room for hiking and wildlife viewing.
History is everywhere in the area of Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont. Native Americans inhabited the region for millennia before the arrival of Europeans, notably in the sites that are now preserved at Coyote Hills Regional Park west of Quarry Lakes.
Quarry Lakes incorporates the historic boundaries of two Mexican ranchos and the former Mission San Jose lands. Alameda Creek was the original boundary between Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties. Alameda County was carved out of these two counties in 1853 and was named after the creek that drains it.
The quarries for which Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is named were established in the mid-19th century. Gravel taken from the banks of Alameda Creek was used in the construction of the transcontinental railroad's western section.
After quarrying came to an end, the lakes began to be used for groundwater recharge by the Alameda County Water District, which diverts water from Alameda Creek into the pits.
Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is the culmination of many years of planning and partnership between the Water District and the East Bay Regional Park District. The property that now comprises the park was acquired by the two agencies between 1975 and 1992 through purchase, donation and inter-agency agreements. Of the park's 471 acres, some 350 acres are the lakes.
The first phase of park construction began in 1997, when the Alameda County Water District used grading equipment to flatten the slopes of the quarry pit. This minimized erosion and sedimentation, while also creating land contours more suitable for parkland.
Then in August of 2000 the Park District began creating the recreational facilities at Quarry Lakes. These include turfgrass lawns, picnic areas, shade pavilions, a swim beach, a boat launch ramp, and a trail network.
Cost of the project's first phase was $5.8 million, of which $3.65 million was a grant from the City of Fremont Redevelopment Agency. The remainder came from Measure AA, the Park District's open space bond measure approved by voters in 1988.
The Quarry Lakes Recreation Unit includes Horseshoe Lake and Rainbow Lake and the turf, beach, swimming and picnic areas around those lakes. Visitors can swim in the designated beach, picnic, play volleyball, fish, and enjoy non-gasoline powered watercraft. Please note boats that are equipped with gasoline engines are not allowed to enter the park even if you don't plan on using the gas motor. The Natural Unit includes Willow Slough and Lago Los Osos and the surrounding areas, where visitors can hike, observe nature, walk dogs and ride bicycles. No water contact of any type is allowed in these two lakes. Dogs must always be kept on leash throughout the entire park.
The Quarry Lakes Natural Unit provides visitors excellent opportunities to hike and ride bicycles. The park's trail network connects to the Alameda Creek Regional Trail, which extends from Niles Canyon westward all the way to Coyote Hills and the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge on San Francisco Bay.
The swim complex, including the white sandy beach, restrooms, and lifeguard service, is open year round. There is a fee for entry into the swimming complex. No alcohol, glass containers, personal barbecues, dogs, bicycles, or scooters are allowed in the swim beach area, and fishing is not permitted. No diapers, including swim diapers, are allowed in the water. One beach wheelchair is available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on fees and lifeguard schedule, visit the Swim Facilities page.
Gated swim facility hours:
November 1 - January 31: 7am - 4pm
February 1 - March 31: 6am - 5pm
April 1 - May 31: 6am - 6pm
Memorial Day-Labor Day: 6am - 6pm
Day after Labor Day-October 31: 6am - 5pm
Fitness Swimmers Policy lifeguard season:
6:00 am to 9:30am -- Facility is open to Fitness Swimmers Only during these specified hours. No one will be admitted for Fitness Swimming after 9:30am. The facility will be closed to All Fitness Athletes between 6:00am and 11:00am on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day and on days when special events have been scheduled inside the facility.
During lifeguard season, no one will be allowed in the swim facility after 9:30am. The facility will be closed between 6:00am and 11:00am on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day and on days when special events have been scheduled inside the facility.
Swim Facilities Capacity Notice
Once the swim facility capacity is reached, there will be no new entries allowed for the remainder of the day (or at the discretion of the Park Supervisor), for the safety of the public. Please take this into consideration when planning your visit.
Fishing is permitted ONLY in the Recreational Unit of Quarry Lakes, which includes Horseshoe Lake and Rainbow Lake. A California Fishing License is required for all anglers aged 16 and above. An EBRPD Daily Fishing Access Permit is also required for all anglers age 16 and over. The Daily Fishing Access Permit may be purchased at the park entry kiosk. Daily Fishing Access Permit sales fund the planting of trout and catfish in Horseshoe Lake. For information on getting a Fishing Access Permit, see the Permits page. For fish planting schedule see the Angler's Edge Online. Note that daily bag limits apply at all fishing locations. Find that and other Park District fishing information at the Fishing section of our site.
Please note that the use of lead fishing weights is prohibited at Quarry Lakes .
In partnership with the Alameda County Water District, the Quarry Lakes Lead Fishing Tackle Awareness and Exchange Program was created to educate local anglers on the hazards of using lead fishing tackle and to provide the opportunity for a no-cost exchange of toxic lead split-shot weights and sinkers for lead-free split-shot weights and sinkers. The kiosk attendant will exchange weights at any time the kiosk is open, currently 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. They will exchange one-for-one of the following items, (maximum 15 items per visit): splitshot; egg weights, ¼, 3/8, ½, ¾, 1 oz.; bullet weights 1/8, and ¼ oz.
Picnic sites with tables and barbecues are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservable sites are also available. Reservable sites include Ensenada North and South, which are pavilion-shaded sites that accommodate up to 200 people each; Osprey and Lampert Knoll, which which accommodate 50 each and cannot be combined; and Niles (alcohol not allowed), which accommodates 35. For information or reservations call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2.
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in Quarry Lakes, except by permit within reservable picnic areas (excluding the Niles reservable site). Call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2, for more information or to obtain a picnic reservation and alcohol permit at least three business days in advance.
Sailboards/stand-up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, and boats with electric-powered motors may be launched into Horseshoe Lake from the boat launch. Since the lakes are used for groundwater recharge, gasoline-powered engines are not allowed to enter the park by regulation of the Alameda County Water District even if you don't plan on using the gas motor. For boat launch information and a schedule of fees, see our Boating and Sailing page. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launching.
Dogs are not allowed in the water anywhere in the park, and dogs are not allowed to pass the beach gates or be in the swim beach area. Please note that all dogs must remain on leash at all times while in the park (leashes may not exceed six feet in length). This regulation is necessary due to the recreational nature of the park and to protect the wildlife and ecosystems in the park's natural unit. Commercial dog walkers are required to obtain a commercial permit, regardless of how many dogs they walk at one time (limit of six). For information, call (510) 690-6508. Private individuals or families do not need a permit in order to walk up to three dogs at a time, but must still pay the dog fee. Those who wish to walk four to six dogs must obtain a permit to do so. For information on getting a Dog Permit, see the Permits page.
The gardens at Quarry Lakes were developed to provide public & private partnerships for provision of horticulture planting demonstration areas. In 2003, inspired by the long history of nurseries and flowering fruit trees in the area, Park Supervisor Jim Larrance and Park Gardener David Pellarin began developing the gardens. View the gardens while going on a scavenger hunt for subtropical, conifer, or rare fruit trees. Bring your GPS or smart phone to locate trees based on coordinates. An alternative way to play is by using your orienteering skills and a map. Maps are included in the scavenger hunt brochures as well as on Google Maps. Google Maps can be accessed from the links below or via the QR codes located at the park. How many listed plants can you find?
Visit this Google Map to see tree locations:
Quarry Lakes Scavenger Hunts are a work in progress. Any feedback on how to improve the scavenger hunts would be appreciated.
A beach wheelchair, intended to provide a means for wheelchair users to travel across the beach, is available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the swim complex. They require an assistant to push and are not intended to enter the water. To arrange for use of the beach wheelchair contact the Lifeguards at (510) 690-6629 or the Park Rangers at (510) 544-3133. Arrangements will be made to bring the chair out to the beach. It takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare the chair. Staff will give a brief orientation to the chair and arrange a time for the chair to be returned.
There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier at Horseshoe Lake. All the facilities at the Niles beach area, the Ensenada Pavilion area, and the Orchard picnic area are wheelchair accessible. The Rock picnic area has wheelchair accessible bathrooms and a drinking fountain but no parking.
From I-880 in Fremont, take the Decoto Road exit east and proceed to Paseo Padre Parkway. Turn right on Paseo Padre, then left on Isherwood Way. Proceed to the park entrance on the right. From Mission Blvd (Hwy. 238) in Fremont, turn south on Nursery Ave. (away from the hills) and right (west) on Niles Blvd. Turn left on Osprey Drive and left on Quarry Lakes Drive. Proceed to the park entrance on the left.
Maps are available at most of the bulletin boards at trailheads in the park, or you can print your own.
Click the map image below to see an enlarged version.
Arctostaphylos refugioensis-Refugio Manzanita