Joaquin Miller Park is a large open-air park in the Oakland Hills owned and operated by the City of Oakland, California. It is named after the early California writer and poet Joaquin Miller, who bought the land in the 1880s, named it "The Hights", and lived in a house preserved as the Joaquin Miller House.
The 500-acre park (2.0 km2) is heavily forested with coast redwoods, coast live oaks and pines. Many of the trees had originally been planted by Miller himself. The Oakland Hills location offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay area. Park features include miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, an out-of-the-box dog area, an amphitheater and a picnic area.
Joaquin Miller Park features the 2,000-seater Woodminster Amphitheater and Cascade, an outdoor amphitheater regularly used to stage amateur and professional musicals and plays. For many years, the Oakland Recreation Department has been producing popular musical comedies there, three per summer, mostly with amateur performers. Beginning in 1967, the production of the summer musicals was taken over by the current management.
The Cascade is a waterfall amphitheater, built-in 1941 and dedicated to California writers, still with running water. It was designed by Howard Gilkey, who also designed the Cleveland Cascade at Merritt Lake (now dry).
Redwoods in Joaquin Miller Park is considered to be one of the few Redwood forests to thrive in urban settings today. Most notably, native coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) grow throughout the park. Many are in second or third growth after major logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when redwoods were used to help build Oakland, San Francisco, and other booming cities of the time. Of the thousands of trees planted under the leadership of Joaquin Miller, many still stand today.
The park includes a variety of representative central coastal habitats, hot open hillsides, cool redwood groves, oak forests, lush creeks and wet meadows. The park is home to over 200 native plant species. Rare plants such as Oakland star tulip, pallid manzanite and leatherwood are found alongside non-natives such as fennel, acacia and eucalyptus. California's state grass, purple needlegrass, and state flower, California's golden poppy, are abundant in serpentine grasslands.
Walk gently and discover the elusive wilderness. Towhees, scrub jays, wild turkeys, California quail, lizards, gopher snakes, or maybe even a gray fox, deer or skunk all live in this park.
This amazing landmark in Orinda, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
- Tilden Regional Park
- Chabot Space & Science Center
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
- Lafayette Reservoir
- Redwood Valley Railway
- Grizzly Peak
- Regional Parks Botanic Garden
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek California! Stop by for a visit anytime!