Located high in the hills of North Berkeley lies Tilden Park, popularly considered “the Jewel of the East Bay.” Hiking trails with names like Seaview or Skyline wind past creeks, mineral springs, and green meadows, up to the sweeping panorama offered at Inspiration Point. The numerous vistas in Tilden Park inspire and delight and provide respite from the busy city life below.
Encompassing the Tilden Nature Area, most of the park’s 2,077 acres serve as tranquil shelters for native plants and wildlife. Rangers here are serious about preserving this magnificent habitat—they even close South Park Drive to automobile traffic to protect migrating California newts who make their annual trip from dry land to streams and ponds to breed, from the end of October to the end March each year. The attention to preservation results in an abundance of natural beauty. Local residents and visitors alike enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities, including steam trains, a golf course, and an antique merry-go-round.
In an effort that started during the Great Depression, the park is part of a 100,000 acre park system with 1,100 miles of trails, preserved for and by the residents of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Many of the roads, buildings, trails and dam were created by the CCC and WPA in the 1930’s and add a historic aspect to this beautiful park.
We recently went on a short hike through Tilden Park to see the flowing waterfall from the runoff from Anza Lake. On the way to the waterfall, we passed under majestic Coastal Redwoods and saw many trees still with vibrant fall foliage. The sound of cascading water coming down the stream in the quiet morning belies the fact that we were only a few miles from the homes and businesses in the area.
Learn more about Tilden Park and the expanse of the East Bay regional park system, the largest in the USA, by watching this insightful and educational video created by the East Bay Regional Park District.
Do you enjoy biking, hiking, rollerblading, walking and running? Here is a link to all the interpark regional trails.
One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is bring our children and friends to Tilden Park to ride the Herschell Spillman Merry Go Round which has been in the park for 60 years. It boasts four rows of hand hewn horses, cats, dogs, chariots and more! The merry go round is located at the intersection of Central Park Drive and Lake Anza Road. During the holidays, the Merry Go Round is decorated with festive lights , Santa greets children and refreshments are available. The Merry Go Round is open each night until 8:30 through the holidays.
If you are ready to explore and discover the park and all the trails, take part in the 2017 Trails Challenge. To complete the challenge, hike five of the trails – or 26.2 miles of trails – by December 1st, and submit a trail log to receive a commemorative pin, while supplies last. As in past challenges, the honor system applies. Beginning Tuesday, January 3 you can obtain a free Trails Challenge t-shirt and/or a printed copy of the Guidebook, while supplies last, at select Visitor Centers.
Tilden Park and the entire East Bay park system are treasures to our area. If you are considering a move to this area, we highly suggest you visit! And if you would like information about the neighborhoods and homes for sale in the area, please contact us directly, we would be glad to share our knowledge! Happy Holidays!