Lafayette Reservoir: Lakeside Nature Trail

Saturday, December 6, 2014

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“Lafayette Reservoir is the backyard fishing hole and recreation area for folks in Lafayette and Orinda. It should be on the map for anybody in the Bay Area for its beauty, good fishing and picnic sites. The 126-acre lake is the centerpiece of a 925-acre recreation area, tucked in a valley surrounded by pretty foothills. A multi-use trail circles the lake.”

“The Lakeside Nature Trail is a 2.7-mile route that is mostly flat, paved and circles the lake, with occasional views of the lake through the vegetation. Locals use the route for short walks, easy bike trips with kids, a jogging route, even strollers with infants. It links to the more ambitious Rim Trail.” 


My friend Ron and I begin our walk from Village Center off Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Parking is free and it’s a short walk up along the Shore Trail to the parking lot at Lafayette Reservoir.

Views of Lafayette Reservoir:

Gorgeous autumn colors at the start of the clockwise loop along the Lakeside Nature Trail:

Gentle terrain with occasional glimpse of the lake:

Walk through the woods towards the Visitor Center:

Fishing pier and boat launch area:

Reverse direction along trail:

Spectacular views of Happy Valley, Lafayette Ridge and Briones Hills:


On Mt Diablo Blvd with view of Lafayette Creek:

View of Mt Diablo from Lafayette:


This a beautiful easy walk around the reservoir with wonderful views of the lake. Water fountains and restrooms are scattered through out the 2.7 mile trail making it very doable for everyone! We did a double loop; beginning clockwise and going in the reverse direction back to the parking lot area-it’s a very enjoyable walk in both directions and a low-key alternative to riding a bike on wet roads.

6.7 miles with ~425′ of elevation gain
Time: 2 hours

Weather: Partly cloudy skies with some sun. Temps ranged from the low to mid 60’s with mild NE winds.

Parking: Fee-water & restrooms
Hike: Easy
Dog Friendly

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Lafayette Reservoir


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