Many of the County of Santa Clara Parks have barrier-free parking, picnic areas, restrooms, drinking fountains, trails, fishing piers, campsites, visitor centers, and outdoor recreation programs.  We continually evaluate our facilities, programs, and services and strive toward inclusivity, not just accessibility.  We want to ensure that all citizens of the County can enjoy Parks for Life.



Vasona Lake County Park

In August 2023, Vasona Lake County Park unveiled a new ADA-accessible boat dock with an ADA-compliant kayak self-launching structure. There is an accessible route from the parking lot to the boat dock area.  This groundbreaking addition expands boat rentals and provides enhancements to the lake through services offered by Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation (LGSR). Online registration for the Adaptive Kayaking Program, offered in partnership with LGSR. 


Our family and group campgrounds offer ADA-accessible campsites or camp areas.  There are tent or RV hook-up sites, depending on the park you want to visit.  Designated ADA sites include special tables, drinking fountains, low-grade paths of travel, and access to accessible bathrooms and shower stalls (where showers are available).  Please visit our reservation site for more information about which sites in County Parks have been officially designated ADA campsites. 


Most day-use areas in County Parks are accessible.  We strive to place accessible picnic tables, benches, and drinking fountains in strategic, scenic, and high-use locations so all visitors can enjoy our most popular day-use areas.  If you need assistance being directed to an accessible area, feel free to contact us at [email protected].  We will gladly help point you to an area best suited for your recreational needs. 


The playgrounds at Ed R. Levin County Park and Hellyer County Park have been renovated and are barrier-free, wheelchair-accessible children's play areas.  The playground at Hellyer has a water-play feature!  Our third playground at Vasona County Park is not yet barrier-free.  Improvements have been slated for future budget cycles.  Stay tuned as we continue to make County Park play areas more accessible for our community’s disabled youth. 

Fishing Piers and Platforms 

Many shoreline fishing spots are accessible. The fishing pier at Vasona is accessible by wheelchair; however, all railing sections are currently at a standard design height for visitor safety.   The pier is being evaluated for possible future retrofits to comply with the 2010 design guidelines for fishing piers and platforms. 


The Field Sports Park County Park Trap and Skeet fields can be accessed by visitors using wheelchairs from the north end of the parking lot.  Once there, the grade from the north end is level.  All of our lower Trap and Skeet fields are accessible.  If you need assistance transporting your equipment, call ahead and let us know.  
The Rifle-Pistol side of our public shooting range is also accessible.  We have many shooting range firing positions suitable for mobility-impaired visitors. 


Both Santa Teresa Golf Course in Santa Teresa County Park and the Spring Valley Golf Course in Ed R. Levin County Park comply with the 2010 ADA Design Guidelines for golf courses.  Both of these golf courses are operated under concession.  If you need special assistance, please contact Santa Teresa or Spring Valley.  If, for any reason, you feel your needs have not been met, you can contact the County Parks ADA Coordinator at [email protected], who can evaluate the situation and help you secure a proper resolution. 


The Department offers a diversity of recreation and interpretive programs that cater to visitors needs, including those with disabilities.  The Department is committed to reasonably modifying its programs to accommodate special requests.  We will evaluate your request and work with you to include you or your family member in our programming when feasible. 


The Department attempts to follow U.S. Access Board ABA standards for all new paved and unpaved trail construction.  

Los Gatos Creek Trail and Coyote Creek Trail are paved and are generally barrier-free. Los Gatos Creek trail does have a steep grade near the dam face and along two sections that go under roadway overpasses.  The Martin Murphy paved trail in Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park is fully accessible.  

Many of our unpaved trails are also barrier-free.  Look for a review of various county parks from the viewpoint of Mobility Mark  - a volunteer pointing disabled visitors to accessible outdoor adventures in Santa Clara County Parks. 

Trail Accessibility Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in helping us to develop Trail Accessibility Reports?  If yes,  contact our Volunteer Program.  The goal of the Trail Accessibility Volunteer effort is to enlist visitors to help provide us with short descriptions of trail length, type, uses, cumulative elevation change, typical grade and surface, and any hazards or obstructions.  Trail users can then read the online reports and judge for themselves whether a particular trail is suitable to meet their mobility needs. As we develop this program, and these reports, we hope to add the information gathered to a Trail Accessibility Reports page. 


Most of our visitor centers are accessible. The Anderson Visitor Center is fully accessible, as is the Historic Almaden Quicksilver Museum and Bernal-Joice-Gulnac Ranch.   If you have any questions about whether one of our facilities is accessible, or if you need other assistance (i.e., assisted listening device or sign language interpreter), feel free to contact our ADA Coordinator [email protected].  Please give us three business days notice so we can assess your request and assist you. 



Public Meetings 

The Department is committed to ensuring all County residents can fully participate in the public process affecting County Park business.  We select meeting sites that are accessible and will accommodate special requests.  If you would like to attend a meeting and need an assisted listening device or other reasonable modification, contact our ADA Coordinator at [email protected]

Website Accessibility 

The County Parks Department is constantly working to improve its website and to make it accessible to all visitors, including those with visual, motor mobility, auditory, photo-epileptic, or cognitive impairments.  

Text and images are large or enlargeable, and the selected font style is easier to read. Attachmentslike park maps and recreation brochures, can be readily enlarged.  Links are underlined and differentiated by color to better identify routes to additional information. The colors and overall layout are less “busy” to improve readability.  Flashing strobes, lights, or blinking images have been minimized or eliminated to help those with photo-epileptic seizures navigate the site safely. Content is written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations where possible.  Photos and links are named meaningfully to help visually impaired readers who may be relying on screen reading software. 

The following resources are available to interested parties and visitors with vision impairments. 

 If you have visual, motor mobility, auditory, photo-epileptic, or cognitive impairment and have experienced difficulty using our website, please let us know [email protected].  We are here to help all visitors access Park information and the facilities, services, and programs we provide.  

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) 

 Park staff have been trained to accept incoming relay service calls.  If you have a communication barrier and need assistance making a phone call, feel free to contact us using your preferred relay service provider. For more information about Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) or a current list of TRS providers, visit the Federal Communications Commission website. 

You can also contact us by e-mail at [email protected]

Alternate Communications 

We have limited number assisted listening devices available at our interpretive centers and for public meetings.  We also have access to a sign language interpreter for larger groups and events.  Please contact us with at least three business days' notice if you need assistance with alternate communication. 



Service animals are essential in ensuring the independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, our policy is to welcome qualified service animals into County Parks and County Park facilities under the following conditions. 

  • Service animals are defined as dogs, or miniature horses, that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.  No other type of service animal is recognized under the ADA.  

  • Personal pets, whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support to their disabled handler, do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and will not be permitted in areas of County Parks where pets are normally not permitted. 

Control of Service Animal 

Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices. 

 Where no physical means of control are in use, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective control measures. 

Where effective control of the service animal is not maintained, park staff may ask that the service animal be removed from the area. 

Service Animal Must Be House-broken 

If a service animal is in a facility and is not properly house-broken, park staff may ask that the service animal be removed from the area. 

Miniature Horses May Not Be Permitted in Certain Facilities 

 While we strive to allow service animals, including miniature horses, in all areas where the general public is permitted, some park facilities may not be able to safely accommodate a miniature horse due to the horse’s type, size, and weight or legitimate safety concern for the safe operation of the facility.  If you have questions about whether your service animal will be permitted in a particular facility or area, feel free to contact our ADA Coordinator at [email protected]


Santa Clara County Parks Department is pleased to increase recreational opportunities for people with mobility disabilities by allowing the use of other power-driven mobility devices in areas where they can be operated safely, without posing risk of serious harm to natural and cultural resources, and in conformity with federal land management laws and regulations. 
This policy applies only to OPDMD (non-wheelchair) usage. In accordance with federal law, wheelchairs and manually powered mobility aids, such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces, and other similar devices are permitted anywhere in on County Parkland where pedestrian travel is allowed. 
In order to ensure that OPDMD operation does not pose significant safety risks nor fundamentally alter the nature of services, programs, and activities provided by the Department, all OPDMDs operated in regional parklands must meet the following standards. 

Permitted Size 

OPDMDs shall not be wider than 36” or longer than 48”, except for electric bicycles which may exceed 48” in length. 

Permitted Fuel Source 

In order to ensure zero emissions, only manually or battery/electricity operated devices are permitted. The use of gas powered mobility devices is prohibited. 

Speed Limit 

No person shall operate an OPDMD at a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour. Electric bicycles shall not be operated in excess of the posted speed limit or 15 miles per hour. 

Notwithstanding the above speed limits, no person shall operate an OPDMD at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for trail sight‐lines, the traffic on, and the surface and width of a trail, nor at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property. 

Areas of Authorized Use 

OPDMDs are authorized on/in the following areas: 

  • Regular Paths of Travel (e.g., sidewalks, streets, parking lots, ramps, and restrooms) 

  • Fishing Piers 

  • Observation Areas 

  • Paved Multi‐use Trails (e.g., Los Gatos Creek Trail, Coyote Creek Trail) 

  • Unpaved Multi‐use Trails (e.g., fire roads) 

Although OPDMDs are generally authorized in these areas, they may be restricted in specific circumstances due to design limitations or operational characteristics of the trail/facility. 

OPDMDs must stay on designated trails at all times, except when crossing a lawn or dirt area to access picnicking or camp sites. 

Closed / Restricted Areas 

OPDMDs are not permitted in areas that are closed or restricted to the general public due to safety concerns or for resource protection. 

Restricted Trails 

OPDMDs are not permitted on the following areas: 

  • Narrow single track trails (except for electric bicycles which are permitted under this policy anywhere bicycles are allowed). 

  • Trails where the width of the OPDMD exceeds half the trail width. 

Design Restrictions 

In addition, due to design characteristics, the Department may restrict OPDMDs in certain interpretive facilities, visitor centers, reservable group areas, and public buildings.   Individuals are encouraged to contact the Department prior to their site visit to determine if there are any restrictions or limitations that may apply. 

Public Safety Restrictions 

The Department reserves the right to further restrict the use of OPDMDs during special events or during periods of high volume pedestrian traffic in order to promote public safety. 

Unlicensed motorized devices may not be used on roads where only street legal vehicles may be operated.  However, where walking on the shoulder or edge of the road is permitted, an OPDMD may also be permitted if there is sufficient room to stay out of the lane of traffic. If you have any questions about whether your OPDMD will be permitted in a certain area, please contact our ADA Coordinator

Staff Inquiry Into Use of OPDMD

Department staff shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or OPDMD questions about the nature and extent of the individual’s disability. Department staff, however, may ask a person using an OPDMD to provide credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person’s disability.

Department staff may request presentation of a valid, state‐issued, disability parking placard or card, or other state‐issued proof of disability as a credible assurance that the use of the OPDMD is for the individual’s mobility disability. In lieu of presentation of 4 the above documents, the Department shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation from the user, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being used for a mobility disability.

Reporting an Exclusion

A staff member may take action to exclude an OPDMD based on the aforementioned criteria only after securing consent from a supervisor. The exclusion must be reported to the ADA Coordinator as soon as practicable, but no later than 24 hours after the exclusion.

Variance Procedure

Persons desiring to use an OPDMD which does not meet the standards for types of devices allowed, or who seeks to use an OPDMD in a location where OPDMDs are prohibited, may request a change of use by submitting the request in writing to the Department’s ADA Coordinator addressed as follows:

Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, Ca 95032
Attn: ADA Coordinator – Variance Request

The requested variance shall be evaluated and a decision shall be communicated to the person(s) requesting the variance within seven (7) business days.

OPDMD Use by Non-Disabled Persons

Generally, persons without mobility disabilities may not use OPDMDs in County Parks, except as provided by permit or under approved concession agreements. If a permit or concession agreement is granted, applicable aforementioned provisions of the policy will be included in the permit or concession language.

If you would like to use an OPDMD in County Park for recreational purposes, please submit a variance request. 


The Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department works continuously to develop accessible and inclusive facilities, programs, and services in compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (‘ADA”). The Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.   The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator at [email protected].  
If you have an ADA issue that has not been satisfactorily been resolved, please see our Grievance Policy and Grievance Procedure

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