This hike from Almaden Quicksilver County Park in southern San Jose tours the rusting remains of what once was one of the largest mercury-mining operations in the world.
The Mine Hill region of the park includes English Camp, San Cristobal mine, a short section of mineshaft and the hulk of a large processing plant.
Starting from the park's Mockingbird Hill entrance, the hike takes in these trails: Hacienda > Mine Hill > Day Tunnel> Great Eastern > April > Mine Hill > Castillero > Mine Hill > Hacienda.
At nearly 7 miles with substantial elevation gain, this is a rugged but satisfying hike into the history of the South Bay before it became famous as Silicon Valley.
Contact the park: 408-268-3883
Park hours: 8 a.m. to sunset.
Driving directions: From Highway 85 in San Jose, take the Almaden Expressway exit south 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Go 0.5 miles on Almaden Road to Mockingbird Hill Lane, turn right and go 0.4 miles to the parking area.