Tilden Regional Park
Berkeley, CA 94708
Tilden Regional Park Photos
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Tilden Regional Park is arguably the Crown Jewel of the East Bay Regional Park District. It is renowned for its scenic views, its serenity, and its natural beauty. In addition, the park also has an abundance of recreational activities not found at other parks. From a merry-go-round ride and a picnic to a swim at Lake Anza and a stroll through the Botanic Garden, Tilden has variety to delight everyone.
Tilden is one of East Bay Regional Park District's three original parks. It opened in 1936 and was named for Major Charles Lee Tilden, first president of the Park District Board of Directors. Tilden's 2,079 acres shelter numerous kinds of wildlife such as deer, various nesting birds, rodents, an occasional bobcat or mountain lion, and even an endangered newt. Some of the more popular hiking trails include Nimitz Way Trail from Inspiration Point, Jewel Lake Trail in the Nature Area, Wildcat Gorge Trail, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail. There are miles and miles of trails within Tilden Park.
In addition to the popular hiking trails there are many popular attractions that generations of children have thoroughly enjoyed. The Hershell-Spillman merry-go-round is a beautifully restored antique merry-go-round with gorgeous wooden carousel animals. In fact, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is open from 11 am to 5 pm, weekends, holidays, and school vacations. The cost is about $3.00 per ride.
Just down Central Park Dr. from the merry-go-round is the Nature Area with the Environmental Education Center, Jewel Lake, and the Little Farm. The Environmental Education Center hosts many classes year round and has several interactive exhibits for children to learn about the Wildcat Creek watershed. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. The Little Farm is a true Tilden gem. The farm is open everyday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Kids can pet, listen to, watch, learn about, and FEED domesticated animals such as cows, goats, sheep, turkeys, pigs, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. Bring your own celery or lettuce.
Another gem is the Redwood Valley Railway that operates the scaled-down steam train. What a spectacular ride with beautiful redwood trees, a tunnel, and a gorgeous view along the scenic ridge. Train enthusiasts of all ages will love it! The trains operate weekends 11 am to 6 pm and summer weekdays from 11am to 5 pm. A ticket costs $2.00 or a five ride ticket can be purchased for $8.00.
Lake Anza is a great place to take kids. It offers swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. The lake is guarded during the summer. Its sandy beach is open to the sun and protected from the wind, so even on foggy Berkeley days, this is a great get-away. Entrance fees are $3.50 for ages 16-61 and $2.50 for ages 1-15. Lake Anza is open for swimming during the summer months from 11 am to 6 pm.
Tilden truly offers something for everyone. It is a wonderful place for kids to have their first or 1000th experience with nature. Something to note is that South Park Dr. in Tilden Regional Park is closed to autos from November 1 through March 31 to protect migrating newts.