We did this beautiful, peaceful paddle on Loch Lomond reservoir up in the Santa Cruz mountains. Easy to find, parking, boat ramp, eazy to paddle. Just a nice relaxing day on sunny and calm California day.
Once you are on the water, the temptation will be to head south over to the dam. However, I found it much more interesting at the northern end of the reservoir. We took the river feeding the reservoir about a 1/2 mile up stream til the water got too shallow. Then we continued exploring on foot for a ways. Very quiet. Nothing but nature. There is also a little island in the middle with picnic benches to have lunch at.
Notes: There's no swimming allowed in the reservoir, but there is fishing.
Bathrooms, snack shack, boat ramp.
You'll have to the pay the park ranger an entry fee and a 2 dollar fee to launch your boat.
To Loch Lomond Park, from San Jose, CA we took 17 South.
Turn Right onto Mt Hermon Rd for 3.6 mi). Turn LEFT onto Graham Hill Rd and go 0.3 mi. Turn LEFT onto E Zayante Rd for 2.6 mi and then Bear LEFT onto Lompico Rd for 1.7 mi. You'll start to see signs for the park. Lompico will wind up the hill (quite steep at times) and turn into West and then Sequoia.