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“Wonderful park; respite from busy urban area” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tilden Regional Park

Tilden Regional Park
entrances at Wildcat Canyon Rd & Grizzly Peak Blvd, Berkeley, CA
510 562 7275
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Ranked #3 of 40 Attractions in Berkeley
Type: Parks, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tilden is one of Berkeley's oldest and most popular parks that offers a variety of family-fun activities like pony rides and carousels.
Berkeley, California
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful park; respite from busy urban area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Tilden Park is a large park, one segment of an even larger East Bay Regional Parks network stretching along the East Bay Hills behind Berkeley, Oakland and other cities. Features include: excellent hiking (with maps and marked trails); the Little Farm (kids get close to farm animals); a vintage merry-go-round (with other animals not just horses); scenic views of San Francisco Bay; a marvelous miniature train ride (2+ miles through the wooded hillside, and a scale reproduction of interest to adult train fans not just kids); small lake for swimming; pony ride; a botanical garden; and a public golf course. For bus access check AC Transit. Adjoining Tilden Park is the Lawrence Hall of Science (part of UC Berkeley, with interactive science exhibits and programs, mostly designed for kids) and the UC Botanical Garden. Halfway up the hill going to the Park is Berkeley's well known Rose Garden (Euclid Ave. and on bus route 65, which also goes to Tilden and the Lawrence Hall of Science).

Watch out for: poison oak, and the weather. It almost never rains from April through October, but especially in the summer there can be serious low cloud cover and cool winds off the nearby Bay. This pattern is associated with various fog patterns - low clouds hanging right over Berkeley and (not quite so often) over Tilden Park (east of Berkeley and over the hills). Spring and fall bring more consistent sunshine to this micro-climate.

Visited July 2013
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194 reviews from our community

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English first
Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“Like a second home to residents of the East Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Tilden Park has a variety of features that beckon residents of the East Bay for repeated visits. In this respect, and in my experience, Tilden Park is like a second home. But first, there is a little hurdle, namely how to find Tilden Park. One can start at the legendary very first Peet's coffeeshop, located in Walnut Square in north Berkeley. From there, it is easy to find a sign that points you in the correct direction. Alternatively, but with more difficulty, one can go to the rear of the U.C. Berkeley stadium, and take the narrow road that leads to the top, and from the top one can go "over the hump" and directly into Tilden Park, or one can turn right (to the south), and arrive at THE LITTLE TRAIN. For those living in the east side of the Berkeley hills, there is a little winding road that can be taken, which brings you to INSPIRATION POINT within Tilden Park. As an alternative to driving, one can take a bicycle or one can walk from the flatlands of Berkeley into Tilden Park. I have walked from the flatlands, e.g., from the UC campus, to Tilden Park, on at least fifty occasions.

The attractions in Tilden Park are as follows:
(1) The LIttle Farm features cows, goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. The facility is modern. The LIttle Farm is usually crowded with graduate students and their children. Be sure to bring a few stalks of celery to feed the cows.
(2) Near the Little Farm is a wide grassy slope that is used almost every day for birthday parties for little kids.
(3) The carrousel is a majestic sight to behold. In December every year, the carrousel housing is crowded with arts and crafts on display. Also, in December, the tall pine trees near the carrousel are strung with lights, and on the nearby lawn, there is a display of Santa's elf houses.
(4) The LIttle Train is one of the great assets of the East Bay. Actually, there are two little trains. One is little, and the other is very little. Both run on gasoline. The Little Train is fine for families, but is also suitable for a "first date," providing that the potential boyfriend or potential girlfriend is not the stodgy type.
(5) And then, there are the hiking trails. The trails are fascinating, in that they wind around little hills, and cross over little streams with the aid of small wooden bridges. If you hike to the eastern areas of Tilden Park, you can see the reservoir below. This is a fine sight, because there are not any housing developments within view. If you hike to the highest points, you can see distant mountains in Napa Valley area. Although I am not a "botanical type," the hiker will undoubtedly be pleased by the variety of trees, ferns, mosses, mushrooms, and by the occasional banana slug that is encountered. Another good feature of hiking, that is, in the areas directly to the east of the Little Farm, directly to the west of the Little Farm, and in the vast expanse to the north of the Little Farm, is that you cannot get lost (providing that you are 16 years of age or older).
(6) Jewel Lake and Lake Anza are popular spots. Jewel Lake is a small lake with a boardwalk and marshland. There are benches, where you can watch the ducks and turtles. Lake Anza is a full-fledged recreation area, with snack stand and swimming area, and nearby hiking trails that go around the lake, and that branch off.
(7) Botanical garden. This is a full-fledged botanical garden, with a small building where the public can hear lectures about plants.

Tilden Park is a good destination to take visitors from out of the state, because you can bring them to the Inspiration Point area, and point out the mountains in Sonoma County, and then the next day you can bring them to Sonoma Country, e.g., to the historic City of Sonoma with its Mission, or to nearby Napa Valley. Also, the Little Train is an astonishing machine to behold. Your out-of-state visitors, who might prefer world-class tourist attractions such as a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, or a visit to the redwoods in Armstrong Woods (superior to Muir Woods in my opinion), or a visit to Chinatown to soak in its intrigue, will not be disappointed if they are dragged up the Berkeley hill for an hour on the Little Train.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Over the rivers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Tilden park is high above the hubbub of the city and filled with miles of hiking trails and many other attractions. With the kids you can enjoy stream trains, merry-go-rounds, play grounds, the little farm,Lake Anza and more. There are also botanical gardens, vistas, bike trails and more for the exercise lover.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, California
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Tilden Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Wonderful for young families: The Little Farm, the Jewel Lake boardwalk, the trains, the carousel. A great place to picnic.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

well maintained, great trails with beautiful vistas, easy to get to, parking free and easy, dog and horse friendly, contains Little Farm for kids and Regional Parks Garden

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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