East Bay Regional Parks
The East Bay Regional Park District, founded in 1934, includes 65,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. That early dedication to preserve the Bay Area's unique natural resources for future generations now allows us to enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, picnicking and quiet contemplation.
Tilden Park, comprising 2,078 acres, was named for Charles Lee Tilden, first president of the park district board. One can enter this park via Canon Drive, Shasta Road or South Park Drive, all off Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley. The Little Train offers a ride on a scaled-down steam train. There is an 18-hole Public Golf Course with driving range, pro shop and Tee Clubhouse coffee shop. The Botanical Garden includes an outstanding collection of California native plants. The Merry-Go-Round has a calliope and hand-carved animals. Children can ride a real pony at the nearby pony ride. Lake Anza offers swimming and fishing. The Brazil Building, constructed by Works Progress Administration crews, contains the interior from the Brazilian exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair. Jewel Lake has a self-guiding nature trail. Nearby is the Little Farm and the Environmental Education Center.
Wildcat Canyon Regional Park located next to Tilden Park, was acquired by the park district in 1966. Its 2,429 acres of gently rolling hills is a refuge for all kinds of birds and animals. This park is mostly undeveloped but there are many trails for bicyclists, hikers, and horseback riders. The park is reached from the east end of McBryde Avenue in Richmond.
Volcanoes in the East Bay?
Visit Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, named in honor of Robert Sibley, one of the founders of the park district. The Reserve's 386 acres offer a number of hiking and riding trails. Round Top is one of the highest peaks in the Berkeley Hills and is made up of lava and volcanic debris left over from a 10-million year old volcano. A self-guided tour contains information about this and other extinct volcanoes in the park. The park entrance is located on Skyline Boulevard, just south of the intersection with Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the Oakland hills.
Huckleberry Botanic Regional Perserve, a short distance south of Sibley, has a variety of beautiful and rare plants among its 235 acres. The self-guiding nature trail winds up and down through shady forests and open areas. Several varieties of manzanita along with coast huckleberry, Douglas fir, California hazelnut and pink-flowering currant are abundant.
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is a 2,147 acre parkland with biking, hiking and horseback riding trails leading across large meadows filled with wildflowers, eucalyptus woods and bluffs and beaches on San Pablo Bay. At the end of the trail is Point Pinole's 1,250 foot fishing pier. A state fishing license is required to fish from the pier. The land was once owned by the Atlas Powder Company, one of several local firms that manufactured gunpowder and dynamite for almost 100 years. It was opened to the public in 1973. It's easy to reach: drive west from San Pablo Avenue on Atlas Road, which turns left and becomes Giant Highway just before the park entrance. A shuttle bus is available for the mile and one-half trip from the parking lot to the main picnic area at the pier. Other picnic tables are tucked away in scenic spots.
If you have any questions about the above article please contact me at: Francine@FrancineDiPalma.com or 510-982-4421
Francine Di Palma
Direct Line: 510-982-4421
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