The main trail of the 241-acre preserve is a 1.7-mile, self-guided nature loop trail with total elevation change of about 300 feet with a view of Mt Diablo on a mostly shaded trail. It highlights the continual display of blossoming plants that are rare to the East Bay due to the unique climate and soil conditions in this area. Explore a variety of ferns, toyon, gooseberry, creambush, currant, California hazelnut, manzanita, monkey flowers, live oaks and bay laurels. You can sample the huckleberries along the trail in the summer. Dirt lot parking for 12 cars. Portable toilets are on site.
An important habitat for migratory birds, Lake Merritt was declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1869, making it the first such refuge in NortAmerica. The park spans 155 acres and the lake is 3.4 miles. One of the best spots for bird watching is nearby the five bird islands on the lake.
This is 741 acre park with 50 acre Arrowhead Marsh that is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (dogs must be on leash at all times in the marsh). There is plentiful birdwatching here as well as Doolittle Pond. There are paved trails that are shared by pedestrians and bicycles. There are picnic areas, restrooms and drinking fountains.
The park's 1,829 acres is home to a forest of coast redwood, other evergreens, chaparral, and grasslands. Wildlife includes rare species such as the golden eagle and Alameda striped racer snake. You are likely to see deer, raccoons and rabbits. Redwood Creek runs through the park and is home to the world-famous rainbow trout that spawn in the creek and migrate from a downstream reservoir.
The land around Temescal Lake has a perimeter of under 10 miles. There is one parking lot, multiple drinking fountains and picnic tables, restrooms and a fishing dock. There are multi use paved trails on the eastern shore of the lake and unpaved hiker only trails along the western shore of the lake.