General Description: The Oak Valley Trail trailhead is located at Hope Lake (Nell's Rock Reservoir) on Nell's Rock Road, and there are several good spots along the trail to picnic or fish. If you turn right onto Dominick Trail you can walk around the back side of Hope Lake to the dam. Or, stay on Oak Valley Trail to complete a two-mile loop.
Level of Difficulty: Easy. Level terrain, but there are plenty of rocks and roots to twist an ankle along the shore of Hope Lake, and other sections may be muddy in the spring.
About Hope Lake (aka "Nell's Rock Reservoir") This is a very popular local fishing spot, stocked with trout. There are also large mouth bass and sunfish. The City owns all the property around the reservoir, and there are picnic tables at the trailhead (but no restroom facilities).
The best place to take young children is "the Point", 0.2 miles from the trailhead, with shallow water and interesting features. Children can fish, wade, pick highbush blueberry, and catch bullfrogs here. The biggest hazard is garbage left by fisherman, especially during the spring.
There are three reservoirs in the area originally constructed for drinking water. The reservoir on Shelton Avenue (Pine Lake) is one other, and the third (Silent Waters) was partly emptied after its dam collapsed. This is the reason the region is called "Shelton Lakes."