Description - The clear blue waters of the Don Castro swim lagoon are a favorite with central Alameda County residents. The lagoon and adjacent lake were created in 1964 when the Alameda Flood Control and Water Conservation District dammed San Lorenzo Creek.
Copyright: - East Bay Regional Park District
Wetlands at Don Castro
Today the lagoon is supplied with water from EBMUD, and a large shallow area is roped off especially for children. The adjacent lake is closed to boating and swimming, but hikers along the shore will discover a surprising wilderness in miniature, where turtles and frogs splash in the water, ducks rest in the reeds and raccoons and deer come down to drink at sunset.
- Swimming ($) in the lagoon is the park's main attraction from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Swim hours are from 11 AM to 6 PM, and only when lifeguards are on duty. There is a bathhouse, a vending machine, a sandy beach and large lawn areas. Dogs are not allowed in the swim complex.
Picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although some reservable group sites are available ($).
Anglers along the lake may catch trout, bass, catfish and bluegill. The lake is stocked regularly with trout and catfish. A California state fishing license is required for anglers age 16 or older. In addition, a Park District daily fishing permit is required and may be purchased through a self-registration process located at the swim complex entrance - exact change required. State fish and game regulations apply.
Trails are open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
Don Castro park is open 8 AM to 10 PM; 8 AM to 8 PM in winter months. Parking and dog fee collected weekends and holidays.
Recreation - Multi-use trails, swimming lagoon, picnic areas, and a fishing lake with ADA pier access attract large crowds.
Climate - Climate in the San Francisco Bay area varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
Located in Castro Valley south of 580, there is public transit access from Hayward BART. Take AC Transit Bus Number 95 to Kelly Street and Woodroe Avenue (10-minute walk up Woodroe to the park). Buses run hourly on weekdays (every half-hour during commute hours) and hourly on weekends.