Visiting Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park (Vacaville)
Since moving to California, Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park is the first park I spent much time in. I would argue it’s where I began to enjoy trail running.
You don’t have to run to enjoy Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park, and there is plenty to do even if you’re passing through!
Visiting Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park is easy because it’s located right off of the I-80 in Vacaville. If you are traveling through or want a place to stop and stretch your legs, it’s perfect. I believe the entrance is no more than a 1/4 of a mile from the highway exit. There are over 470 acres of land for running, hiking, and hiking.
Plus, there is a large dog park, archery, and disc golf. Needless to say, there is plenty to do. If I want to run over 10 miles of trails, it’s easy to do so.
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When I first ran this trail almost 2 weeks ago; I thought…wow I'm freaking terrible at running these California trails. It's over 1000 feet of climbing, with a mix of technical single track, some dirt roads, and a 34% grade in a section. I've been working at it. And dare say even enjoying it? After a few tries, I'm slightly less bad. Today I ran 30 seconds per mile faster than the first time I ran! Now I greet everyone with enjoy the trails so I guess that's just who I am now. In anything I do, I try and remember, everyone was a beginner at some point. Practice never makes perfect but it does make you better.
If you are running at Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park, there are plenty of options for what you want to do. If you want to stay flat and run around the Lagoon, there is about a 2-mile loop to do so. If you want to run a fire road to the top and get over 1000 feet of climbing, you can do so. Still, if you want to go super-advanced (LOL) and take the technical trails to the top, you can do that. I’ve done all three, depending on my mood.
There are several trails in Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park, including:
- Peña Adobe Hill (3.2 miles)
- Lagoon Valley Loop (3.3 miles)
- Lagoon Valley Mountain Bike Trail (7.1 miles)
- Thylenanti Trail to Malaka Trail (1.7 miles)
- Hume Grove Loop (1.4 miles)
If you want to see trail maps, you can do so here. It’s hard to get lost at Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park and it’s one of the most well-marked parks I’ve been too.
If you have the chance, I think the Peña Adobe Hill is a “must-do” at Lagoon Valley Park. It’s a roughly 3.2-mile trail out and back, which takes you to the top. It’s all on fire roads, so there isn’t anything technical, but it is challenging. You climb over 700 feet in 1.7 miles. I’ve actually thought about running a 5k up and down and seeing how fast I can run. My guess is at the hardest effort around 30-35 minutes (including the downhill).
I’m looking forward to visiting in the fall and winter when Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park is lush green. It’s hard to imagine the changes from when I went in the summer.
Whether you are looking to walk, hike, run, mountain bike, walk your dog, or just relax there is something for everyone.
You can see more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you been to Peña Adobe and Lagoon Valley Park?
Do you have a favorite local park to run trials?