Page Contents:

Picnic Areas


West Shore Trail

Bass Cove Trail

East Shore Trail

Park Links:

East Bay Regional Parks District

Lake Chabot

Anthony Chabot Regional Park

History Walk

Park Maps

Boat Rentals

EBRP Fishing

EBRP Camping

Campsite Reservations

Equestrian Activities



Marksmanship Range

Nearby Parks and Trails:

Chabot Park

Redwood Regional Park

Roberts Recreation Area

Joaquin Miller Park

Leona Canyon

Huckleberry Botanic

Sibley Volcanic

Claremont Canyon


Wildcat Canyon

Cull Canyon

Don Castro

Oakland Zoo

Bay Area Ridge Trail

Ron Horii's Pages:

SF Bay Area Rec & Travel

Bay Area Back Pages

Bay Area Parks

Lake Chabot Trails and Facilities

by Ronald Horii

View of the marina from the cove to the southeast

Lake Chabot is a 315-acre lake, adjacent to 5067-acre Anthony Chabot Regional Park. The dam on San Leandro Creek which created the lake was built by pioneering California businessman and philanthropist Anthony Chabot in 1874-75. It was once a primary water source for the East Bay, but is now used only as an emergency water source and to irrigate the nearby golf course, so the lake stays at a high level year-round. It is run by the East Bay Regional Parks District. The lake is a very popular and productive fishing lake. It is heavily stocked with trout in the cooler months and catfish in the warmer months. Boat rentals are available at the marina. The park is also popular for picnicking, bicycling, and horseback riding. 20 miles of trail run through Lake Chabot Park. Another 70 miles of trail are in Anthony Chabot Park. 3.5 miles of trail along the west and east shores of the lake are paved. A bike trail runs around the lake for 12.4 miles (using the Live Oak Trail) or 14.4 miles (using the Honker Bay Trail). A hiking route around the lake runs for 8.5 miles. In a eucalyptus grove high on the hill overloooking the north shore of the lake is the Anthony Chabot Family Campground. It has tent and RV camping with hot showers. There are also 7 group camps on hills north of the family campground. Two golf courses adjoin the park. The Oakland Zoo is close to the park, as is Merritt College and the Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve.

The park is next to Castro Valley, San Leandro, and Oakland. There are several ways to reach the lake. The easiest way to reach the main entrance from the west is to take I-880 to I-238 east to I-580 north (towards Oakland). Exit at the Fairmont Drive exit. Take the first right, which is Fairmont Drive. Go up the hill past the county facilities. On the other side of the hill, the road intersects Lake Chabot Road. Continue to the right on Lake Chabot Road, then make the first left into the marina entrance.

Note: most of the pictures below were taken on 9/22/07. Others were taken on 12/3/05.

Lake Chabot Marina sign on Lake Chabot Road just east of Fairmont Drive

Park entrance. Parking fees are currently $5. If you want to fish, it's another $4. Gate hours are posted at the entrance. Curfew is 10 pm to 5 am. You can park on Lake Chabot Road outside the park and walk in, which is necessary if you intend to stay past the parking lot's closing hours.

Picnic Areas

There are several picnic areas near the park's main entrance. There are first-come, first-served tables. There are also 6 reservable group sites, which can accommodate 50-200 people, depending on he site: Turtle, Elderberry, Cove, Willow, Mallard, and Heron. The sites have BBQ's, running water, and nearby restrooms.

Bike path and the Turtle Picnic Area

Bike path, fish cleaning station (on the right), and picnic area.

Entrance to the picnic areas from the end of the parking lot.

Horseshoes and volleyball court.

Elderberry Picnic Area

Picnic tables west of the Cove Picnic Area

Lawn south of the boat dock and the Cove Picnic Area

Picnic tables surrounding the big lawn near the marina

Willow Picnic Area

Mallard and Heron Picnic Areas


Marina cafe and bait shop. Here you can get a lunch or snack, rent a boat, buy bait and tackle, pick up a park map, and get fishing tips.

Lake Chabot Marina, rental boats, and tour boat

Lake Chabot Marina, picnic tables, interpretive signs, and rental boats

Pictures of fish caught in the lake, posted in the bait shop

Marina and the hills behind

West Shore Trail

Start of the West Shore Trail and fishing pier. The paved trail runs for 1.8 miles to the dam.

Fishing pier on the West Shore

Restroom on the West Shore Trail, with path leading to the lake. There are 6 restrooms on the West Shore Trail.

West Shore Trail leading uphill

View of the lake and Live Oak Island from the West Shore Trail

Coot Landing fishing pier

Alder Point fishing pier

Shoreline access near the dam

Plaques on an elevated platform near the dam overlook, looking across at the Bass Cove Trail. The plaques talk about the construction of the dam.

Lake Chabot Dam

Trail over the Lake Chabot Dam

Dam spillway and outlet valve building

This is the paved West Shore Trail leading downhill to the City of San Leandro's Chabot Park at the end of Estudillo Drive.

Bass Cove Trail

There are several numbered posts near the dam. See the history walk brochure for an explanation of them. This is a control shaft for a water tunnel.

This marks the site of the dam construction superintendent's cottage. The hill in the background was once a quarry. Part of it is within the park boundaries. The Fairmont Ridge Trail, whose staging area is off Fairmont Drive, leads up this hill.

This is the start of the Bass Cove Trail, which branches off the West Shore Trail just past the dam. It is a wide dirt trail open to bikes, horses, and hikers.

View of the dam from the Bass Cove Trail

The Bass Cove Trail follows the lakeshore into Bass Cove. It is part of the 12.4-14.4-mile Lake Chabot Bicycle Loop.

East Shore Trail

This wooden boardwalk crosses the marsh behind the marina and leads to the East Shore Trail.

View of the marina from the East Shore Trail. You can see the types of boats for rent.

Steps leading down to a fishing pier. The West Shore Trail is on the opposite shore.

Fishermen carrying their catch on the East Shore (12/3/05)

Like the West Shore Trail, the East Shore Trail is paved. It has restrooms and benches along the way. It is a little less hilly than the West Shore Trail

Looking across at the Honker Bay Trail ascending the hill to the Family Campground (12/3/05)

Fishing pier on the east shore (12/3/05)

Boat below the eucalyptus-forested hills, which is the site of the Chabot Family Campground. (12/3/05)

Raccoon Point fishing pier (12/3/05)

View of Honker Bay from the East Shore Trail. At the end of Honker Bay, the bicycle trail crosses a narrow bridge, then forks into the Live Oak Trail and the Honker Bay Trail. The Live Oak Trail leads up the hills to the Towhee Trail near the Family Campground entry kiosk. The Honker Bay Trail continues along the shoreline, then climbs up to the end of the Family Campground road. In the hills north of the lake is a huge complex of trails in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. The Skyline National Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail run along the ridge through the park. Trails lead to adjacent 1831-acre Redwood Regional Park, 82-acre Roberts Recreation Area, and Oakland's 550-acre Joaquin Miller Park.

Sunset from the East Shore Trail

Created by Ronald Horii 9/22/07