Tilden Regional Park, also known as Tilden Park or Tilden, is a 2,079-acre (841-ha) regional park in East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. It's between the Berkeley Hills and the Ridge of San Pablo. Its main entrance is in the vicinity of Kensington, Berkeley and Richmond. The park is adjacent to the Regional Park of Wildcat Canyon.
The park is managed by the East Bay Regional Park District, created from the first land purchased by the District in 1936. Tilden Regional Park was named in honor of Charles Lee Tilden, a Bay Area lawyer and businessman who served on the first Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District.
Before being a public park, the lands that are now Tilden Park were the ancestral lands of the Ohlone Indians. Spanish explorers and Mexican ranchos took the Ohlone off the land as ranching became the dominant activity in the Wildcat Canyon. American ranchers from the late 1800s and early 1900s included the Curran family ranch and the Sweet Briar Dairy. The eucalyptus plantations in the park were planted around 1910 by Frank C. Havens' Eucalyptus, Mahogany, & Land Company.
The first parkland was purchased by the East Bay Regional Park District from the East Bay Municipal Utility District on June 4, 1936. The 2,162 acres purchased included land for Tilden Park (then known as Upper Wildcat Canyon), Lake Temescal and Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve (then known as "Roundtop").
Upper Wildcat Canyon was officially named "Charles Lee Tilden Regional Park" on 16 July 1936.
The Regional Park’s Botanic Garden contains the world's most complete collection of native California plants, including rare and endangered species. The visitor center (wheelchair accessible) offers tours and lectures throughout the year. Steam Train offers rides along a scenic ridge on a scaled-down steam train. Parking, drinking water, and toilet facilities are wheelchair accessible.
This historic indoor/outdoor facility is popular with weddings, parties, corporate events, etc. The setting is upscale and elegant, with a breathtaking view of Tilden Park and beautifully landscaped gardens. It has 150 seats or 225 standing guests. It features a commercial kitchen, a large main room with windows and doors opening onto the flagstone patio.Tilden's Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round is a gorgeous antique menagerie carousel with hand-carved and beautifully painted wooden carousel animals to ride, and calliope-style music to make every child's heart sing.
Picnic areas in Tilden are plentiful. Reserved picnic areas include Carousel (35), Quarry (35), Big Leaf (50), Buckeye (50), Fern (50), Lakeview (50), Meadows (50), Orchard (50), Island (75), Willows (100), Laurel (150), Padre (150) and Mineral Springs (150). Most of the picnic areas have barbecues.
Tilden Park's Lake Anza is a favorite getaway over the hill from Berkeley. Its sandy beach is open to the sun and sheltered from the wind, with lifeguards stationed during the swimming season. Accessible wheelchair features include drinking water and ample parking (restrooms are not wheelchair accessible). Picnic grounds are located in the vicinity. There is a beach entrance fee to the swimming area, which has changing rooms.
This amazing landmark in Orinda, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
- Chabot Space & Science Center
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
- Lafayette Reservoir
- Redwood Valley Railway
- Grizzly Peak
- Joaquin Miller Park
- 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!