You’ve probably passed by Lagoon Valley Regional Park in Vacaville while whizzing by on Interstate 80 heading for the Bay Area. It’s that series of looming hills with antennae on the top, cows grazing down below and a small body of water (the lagoon) shimmering in the sun.
But you haven’t stopped, now, have you?
It’s a fine place to hike or run, with some challenging uphills and many encounters with the resident cows, who are quite chill when it comes to sharing the trails. The view is nice from the peaks, especially looking east toward Fairfield. Be warned, it’s tends to be windy in the area, and there’s not much shade, so sunscreen is called for. Parking is $3.
Your Weekend Hike: Lagoon Valley Regional Park, Vacaville
Distance: Trail length is about 20 miles in all; choose your adventure
Elevation: 200 to 879 feet
Directions to the trailhead: From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 west heading toward the Bay Area. Take the Pena Adobe / Lagoon Valley exit. Go back under the freeway and follow the signs to Lagoon Valley. Make a left at the park entrance
Route: There are no trail maps or markers. But Carol Rewick of Fleet Feet Vacaville recommends: “A very popular route is to go through the gate past the restrooms and up the fire road (gravel road) and make the first right and follow the single track up to the upper tower and take the fireroad back down.”
Shorter route: Traverse a two-mile flat loop around the lagoon.
Challenging route: A popular trail race in Vacaville is the “10K Tower Challenge.” It starts with the two-mile loop of the lagoon, then a straight uphill on the gravel road leading to the TV tower at the top of the hill. That’s followed by a steep descent back to the parking lot. According to www.mapmyrun.com, you go from 254 feet at mile 2.8 to 874 feet at mile 4.8.
Call The Bee’s Sam McManis, (916) 321-1145. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcManis.