Lake Chabot is a calm, peaceful reservoir in the Bay area hills, just above San Leandro. It is a state park that includes biking and walking/jogging trails around the perimeter.
It took me about 2 hours to paddle the perimeter at an easy pace, taking in the scenery, checking out all the nooks and crannies, and enjoying the wildlife. Wildlife includes, mama deer w/ baby, eagles, geese,ducks, fish jumping just in front of the kayak, and a swan back in the reed portion of the lake.
Plenty of places to pull on shore and use the restrooms up on the trail if need be. Go early in the morning for better parking and a cool paddle. Things heat up around midday.
Once parked you have to carry your kayak down to the dock, approx. 200 yds, to launch after an inspection for mussels. This is a drinking water reservoir and they don't want the bay mussels to take over the reservoir. No problem, dry out all the hatches and cockpit of your kayak or canoe.
There are no motor boats allowed on this lake. Only rented rowboats, whitewater kayaks or pontoons, all with electric motors. NO WAKES at all. Very pleasant!
Get there early on the weekends (ie. 8 AM) and forget about holidays, very limited parking.
Bait shop, food, restrooms and beautiful picnic areas w/ tables.
$7.00 with your own kayak. $5 for parking and $2 for your boat. Fill out the form for areas you were in with your boat recently and take it to the bait shop/coffeshop and the lady will inspect your boat.
I-580 west, 2nd exit past the 238 split. Exit 150th Ave/Fairmont. Turn right, up the hill, down the hill on your left. Do not turn at the first left however, ie. Lake Chabot Road. Keep on another 1/4 mile or so to the park entrance.