|Address:||2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Orinda, CA 94563, USA|
|Working:||5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM 5AM–10PM|
What a peaceful and pleasant way to spend a day. Tilden Regional Park is huge, I had absolutely no idea it was so large. I made time to visit the botanical gardens on Saturday and took the free guided tour by the docent guide, Irene. The botanical garden area spans 10 acres, there wasnt any way I was going to experience all of the grounds in the one hour tour, I am definitely looking forward to a return visit. This park is another must/see/experience place. There are different sections to this huge park, and a variety of activities. I didnt catch all the activities, but there is anything from hiking, to swimming, picnicking, camping, resting/relaxing, taking it all in, etc. In fact, on my walk through the gardens, I chose to see the redwood forests, the shadier part of the gardens. It was absolutely beautiful. There were several people in the redwood forest area of the botanical gardens just sitting and relaxing, one couple had brought a picnic basket and a blanket. It was extremely peaceful and Introverts dream. A writers exploration, a thinkers adventure. I cant wait to have more time to explore and experience this beautiful park. While the road to Tilden Park is quite beautiful and peaceful, there seemed to be a lot of bikers the time of day I went, be careful as the road is quite windy. Also, dont drive too fast, as parking areas and turnouts come up quick.
This place offers so much to so many that its no wonder some consider it sacred. The hikes it offers range from challenging to meditative. The views are stunning. The peace and quiet offered by its Redwood dells and slow brooks are second only to places like Muir Woods or Yosemite. But beware the errant mountain biker. There are some in this strata who believe that the park only exists for their speed and irreverent destruction of the peace and quiet this place offers. When they annoy the trails at more than the prescribed (and insane) 15MPH they cannot possibly stop fast enough to avoid a collision. If you cannot hear well enough to get out of their way they may run you down. If you have dogs they may run the dogs down; Ive experienced too many near tragedies for this to be excused as a trivial complaint. There are mountain bikers who respect the trails and are willing to safely share them with the horses, dogs and their humans who enjoy them as well, but there are others who are not. Please take care. Otherwise this place is a mecca for those of us who revere and respect nature. Please report any errant behavior so that this place may remain the haven its been for decades.
Tilden park is awesome. So much so that we drive all the way out to Berkeley from the peninsula to go here. With little farm, the playgrounds, the fields, and the steam train, basically we can spend all day here with the kids. There are some other things we havent done (go to the lake, golfing, and other things), but well probably get to it at some point. Its way up the hill, so its a way away from berkeley if thats where youre coming from and the park is really big, so things are a bit spread apart. Generally parking is tight but you always seem to find something without having to wait too long because people come and go regularly. The trains can get quite crowded as well, so you may end up waiting a while to get a ride (ive seen days where you have to wait 30min+ to get a ride on the train). Its pretty worth it though...and you can go down to the model railroad line as well and ride one of the really small trains too, which is super fun. Feeding the animals at little farm is a treat too, and we almost always end up there first. Lots of picknic tables and some barbeques spread around are nice too if you are going to set up camp there for a while.
Tilden is a gem for Berkeley. What an amazing park. We have already hiked here twice and look forward to hike again and try new trails. So far we have done the Meadows trail which offered beautiful terrain and scenic views, Seaview Trail which had gorgeous views of Mount Diablo - Golden Gate bridge and San Pablo Reservoir, Lupine trail which was cute and narrow -spotted a cute rabbit here, Grizley trail and ended with a breathtaking sunset view at Canyon Road. Another hike included Wildcat Peak trail which had breathtaking views of SF skyline & Golden Gate - San Pablo Reservoir, Nimitz way, Wildcat George trail which was along a small creek so it was shaded and misty, Lake Anza loop which had interesting terrain and beautiful reflections of the trees into the lake and ended it with Selby trail that brings you back to the little farm campsite. Gorgeous. Cant wait to explore more trails in beautiful Tilden! Bring a snack and plenty of water - many points where to refill your water bottle and access bathrooms which are very well maintained :)
To be honest, I think its our fault that we didnt have a 5 star hike. Im sure its great especially when I see other peoples pictures, but I think its because we were looking for a restroom half the time and the other half we were on the road because we somehow got off trail and and we just wanted to get back to the car because we were all starving. From what we hiked, it was kind of nice. It was pretty tree-sy. Unfortunately we didnt see any water, but we came across a field with a few colorful flowers. Overall, we didnt see anything super unique or amazing, but like I said, Im sure it was our fault. I will give this park another chance one day.
I asked my friend, a grad student at Berkeley and avid outdoorsman, to take me to his favorite places to hike, and he took me here. I can see why, as the terrain ranges from shaded forests with little streams to wide, rollicking meadows with cows nearby. We hiked his favorite loop (unfortunately, its been 5 months so I cant tell you what it was called), which offered a few hours of nice easy hiking with a lot to see. Maybe not the best views on the Pacific Coast, but great if you want to stay close to Berkeley. Theres even a petting zoo at the front of the park with some cows, sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits. A totally unexpected joy.
I recently took my 3 year old daughter there, and had a great time, first we hiked on the nature trail around jewel lake, (got a close up look at a deer through the bushes) then we entered the visitor center where there is a small museum, shop and a discovery play area. next we walked to the little farm and fed the cows and the goats (bring celery and/or lettuce). Then a small drive away we enjoyed getting on the tilden Carrousel, ate a snack then headed to lake Anza where we splashed around in the water and played in the sand. From there we drove to the tilden steam train, and thats where we ended our day. There is plenty to do here.
Very nice park in general. Excellent views of SF, Golden Gate, & Bay Bridges. Go all the way to the top for views of the Carquinez Straights too. The park is big so people tend to spread out to some extent. Parking can be a bit of a struggle on the nicest days when there are lots of visitors. Lots of trails to hike but only a few really nice ones. Too hot in the summer and trails can get muddy when it rains. I have not hiked too many of the trails yet. My favorite to date is up Wildcat Peak and back down Laurel Canyon to Pine Tree trail. Steam Train is always a great little pleasure especially for the young ones.