Lake Merritt (Lakeside Park)
Managed by Oakland Parks and Recreation, Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon located just east of downtown Oakland. The five bird islands on the lake serve as the oldest Wildlife Refuge in North America.
Managed by Oakland Parks and Recreation, Lake Merritt is a large tidal lagoon located just east of downtown Oakland. The five bird islands on the lake serve as the oldest Wildlife Refuge in North America. A popular 3.1 mile walking and jogging path and a lovely “Necklace of Lights” encircle the lake.
Park entrance: Grand Avenue & Bellevue Avenue, Oakland
Fees: No entrance fee; Parking inside Lakeside Park on Bellevue Avenue is $2.00 for two hours (or $10 for all day parking) on weekdays, and $5 on the weekend and holidays for all day parking until dusk.
Activities and amenities: Walking/Jogging path, Lakeside Park Garden Center, bonsai garden, demonstration gardens, Children’s Fairyland, Boating Center, Lawn Bowling, Rotary Nature Center, Junior Center of Arts and Sciences, Edoff Memorial Bandstand.
Fauna: Water birds that can be seen year-round include Canada Goose, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cormorant, American Coot, Western Gull, Mallard Duck and Pelican. Among the migratory birds visiting present during the winter months are Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup, Canvasback, Redhead, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye and Bufflehead.
Photo: Aran Johnson