Holiday Fun – Ornament Tree Hike & More Family Activities!


The holidays are a great opportunity to spend quality time with family! Here are some of our favorite holiday activities found locally at the Lafayette Reservoir or doable from your home! 

Outdoor Holiday Activities


Lafayette Reservoir Ornament Tree

Come see the beautiful Ornament Tree at the Lafayette Reservoir!  This local tradition happening for over 2 decades encourages visitors to bring an ornament to the reservoir (Find bird friendly ideas in our Crafts section below). Then to add it to the tree as they walk the 2.7 mile Reservoir trail! If facing the reservoir in the parking lot take the path that leads up to the left towards the playground and picnic areas. You’ll find one small ornament tree near the large picnic area as the path begins. If you keep walking around Capt’n Rough’s Cove about 0.7 miles along the path you’ll come to the main Ornament tree! You can also continue walking and enjoy the beautiful 600 acres of wide open space studded with oak trees, bay trees, and oak grass, with a lake in the center of the park. Check out the Lafayette Reservoir’s website for updated COVID-19 restrictions including required masks and closures to the playground, boating, and picnic tables.


Lafayette Reservoir Park Info


Roughing It Tips for Hiking 

  • Dress for the weather and in layers, wear sturdy shoes
  • Wear a hat and put on sunscreen before getting started
  • Use the bathroom before you hike (most bathrooms are closed on the trails)
  • Bring water and a backpack with a snack
  • Keep your dog on a leach and bring their water bottle (Gus’ Tip  & he  also suggests bringing a doggy snack)
  • Stay together as a group.  Walk or jog together.
  • Take rest stops as needed to keep everyone happy & refuel with water/snack
  • Wear masks and socially distance from the public
  • Pick a Trail Hike that is not too long/steep and is easy for everyone to do. 
  •  The Ornament Tree Hike is easiest, shortest hike)
  •  You can even show your parents you secret fort!
  • Have Fun!  

Outdoor Hikes at the Lafayette Reservoir:

The Lafayette Reservoir is a beautiful spot for winter walks and hikes for the whole family! Check out some of our favorite trails available at the Reservoir:


Lower Lake Trail: (about 1 hr)

A 2.75-mile loop along the lake with lots of trees, scenic views, wildlife, and resting spots. On the way, you can take a short detour and go on a nature hike down to the docks along the waterfront — Great for beginners!

Rim Trail: (2.5 – 3 hrs; go early in am and bring plenty of water/snack and wear hat/sunscreen)

If you’re up for more of an adventure, try the upper Rim Trail! It is a 6.78-mile hike with lots of steep hills to climb, and awesome views of Mt. Diablo and the reservoir. Trek through the fields and see all the great wildlife!

Sunset Trail: (~30 minutes)

The sunset trail is a short, steep hike that makes a small loop up towards the Rim Trail on the East side of the reservoir. Once it connects to the Rim trail it circles back down to give you a nice shaded hike! Start just past the playground from where Roughing It Day Camp has its opening/closing circle area and head up the hill. At the top you have reached the Rim Trail. The road will fork and going right will lead to the long hike on the rim trail but going left (and uphill) will lead you around the Sunset Trail! If you stop at the fork, you can look back to see a full view of Roughing Its areas and landmarks such as the Crafts Tree and Capt’n Rough’s Cove! Taking the road left from the fork and head uphill then soon begin a shaded downhill trail. Take it all the way to the bottom and you’ll end up in a wooded grove where camper groups love to make lizard huts.  Follow the trail as it turns and goes above the parking lot to the wooden stairs.  Go down the stairs and go west towards the entry gate and you will make your way back to the beginning of the path and the parking lot.

Holiday Activities at Home!


Here are some of our favorite activities, crafts, and delicious recipes that can be found on Camper Caboodle and are lots of fun for everyone. The password is the famous Roughing It camp fish at the Lafayette Reservoir – or email us to get it!

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