Swim Hours: Swim area is CLOSED. No Swimming Allowed.
One of the District's three oldest parks, Tilden has been called the jewel of the system, and its recreational activities have become a happy tradition for generations of East Bay youngsters. From a carousel ride and a picnic to a swim at Lake Anza and a stroll through the Botanic Garden, Tilden has variety to delight everyone. Yet there are plenty of quiet places in Tilden's 2,079 acres to shelter the wildlife and preserve natural beauty.
Tilden was named for Charles Lee Tilden, first president of the Park District Board of Directors. The park is reached via Canon Drive, Shasta Road, or South Park Drive, all off Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.
Tilden Naturalist Programs
Join us for our monthly programs!
To Reach The Park
The following facilities are wheelchair accessible: Steam Train, the Merry-Go-Round, Little Farm and the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Tilden Nature Area. Nimitz Way is paved and wheelchair accessible. There is trail staging at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road that offers wheelchair accessible parking and restrooms, but there is no drinking water at this staging area.
Plant Sale Information
The Steam Train offers rides along a scenic ridge on a scaled-down steam train. Parking, drinking water, and restroom facilities are wheelchair accessible. For information, including hours and ticket prices, view Tilden Attractions (PDF), visit Redwood Valley Railroad, or call (510) 548-6100.
The Botanic Garden
The Regional Parks Botanic Garden contains the world's most complete collection of California native plants, including rare and endangered species. Its visitor center (wheelchair accessible) offers tours and lectures throughout the year. The Botanic Garden offers accessible drinking and restroom facilities. View Tilden Attractions (PDF) for a list of current hours, call (510) 544-3169 for information, or visit the Botanic Garden page. See also the Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden website (NativePlants.org) for more information on the Regional Parks Botanic Garden.
The Brazilian Room
This historic indoor/outdoor facility is popular for weddings, parties, corporate events, etc. The setting is upscale to elegant with a breathtaking view of Tilden Park and beautifully landscaped gardens. It accommodates 150 seated or 225 standing guests. It features a commercial kitchen and a large main room with windows and doors opening up to the flagstone patio. Catering is available. For more information view Tilden Attractions (PDF), call 1-888-EBPARKS OR 1-888-327-2757, press option 2, or see BrazilianRoom.org.
This facility is wheelchair accessible.
Reservations are encouraged at TildenMerryGoRound.org
Tilden's Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round is a splendid antique menagerie carousel with hand-carved and beautifully painted wooden carousel animals to ride, and calliope-style music to make any child's heart sing. The facility offers a wheelchair-accessible snack stand, drinking water, restroom, and parking. View Tilden Attractions (PDF) for a list of current hours, fee information, and phone numbers.
Tilden Nature Area and The Little Farm OPEN
Learn all about Tilden's surprising variety of plants and animals through the nature programs at the Little Farm and the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Tilden Nature Area. Both sites are wheelchair accessible. For more information about the Tilden Nature Area, view Tilden Attractions (PDF), or visit the Tilden Nature Area.
Picnic areas are plentiful in Tilden. There are barbecues at most picnic areas. To reserve a site, or for more information, visit the Tilden Picnic Area.
Weddings and Receptions
Weddings and receptions may be held at Lakeview (35), Laurel (75), Padre (100), and Mineral Springs (100) reservable picnic areas, in addition to the Botanic Garden (30) and the Brazil Building (150). To reserve a site, or for more information, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757. For Brazilian Room information or reservations, call 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), press option 2; or visit their website at BrazilianRoom.org. If you are interested in becoming an Approved Caterer with the Brazilian Room or other Regional Parks rental facilities, please e-mail the Brazilian Room at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Anza Swim Beach
Just over the hill from Berkeley, Tilden Park's Lake Anza is a favorite getaway. Its sandy beach is open to the sun and sheltered from the wind, with lifeguards posted during the swim season. Wheelchair-accessible features include drinking water and ample parking (restrooms are not wheelchair accessible). Picnic grounds are located nearby. There is a beach access fee to the swim area, which has changing rooms. Swim season is normally from May through September and closed for swimming from November through March. Trails and picnic areas remain open year-round. Please note the trail around the lake is difficult terrain. The refreshment stand, The Lake Anza Beach Cafe, is open during the swim season. Dogs are NOT allowed in the swim facility. For more information regarding hours and swimming conditions, check the Lake Anza swimming page.
Swim Facilities Capacity Notice
Once the swim facility capacity is reached, there will be no new entries allowed for the remainder of the day (or at the discretion of the Park Supervisor), for the safety of the public. Please take this into consideration when planning your visit.
The lake is open for fishing year-round. The lake is not stocked but has naturally occurring largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, and channel catfish. A state fishing license is required for persons aged 16 or older.
Group camping facilities for organized groups include Gillespie Youth Camp and Wildcat View Group Camp, which both hold 75 people, and New Woodland Group Camp, which holds 50 people. For more information or to make a reservation, phone 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, and press option 2.
Equestrian camping is accommodated at the Es Anderson Equestrian Camp (50 max). Call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2, to reserve. Water for horses may be arranged upon reservation; there is no potable water for human consumption at the site.
The Tilden Park Golf Course is an 18-hole public golf course with a driving range, pro shop, practice green, and the Tee Club restaurant. The Tilden Park Golf Course is the 67th golf course in California and the 1,009th in the world to be designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Phone (510) 848-7373 for fee information and reservations.
Hiking and Biking
There are 39.41 miles of trails in Tilden Park, through many different kinds of terrain. The larger multi-use trails allow hikers, bicyclers, and horses, some are for hikers and horses only, and the smaller single-track trails are for hikers only. See the legend and trail designations on the trail map below for specific details. Trail mileage is marked in sections of the trails, and topographical lines give you information on the steepness of the terrain. Trail maps can be found on most of the bulletin boards at trailheads in the park, or you can print one yourself (see the Park Info tab above on the right).
Nimitz Way, paved and wheelchair accessible, is popular with hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, and affords spectacular views from the crest of the East Bay hills. The best parking for this trail is at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road. Please note there is no drinking water at this parking area, and dogs must be on a leash on Nimitz way. The East Bay Skyline National Recreation Trail follows Nimitz Way and other Tilden trails during part of its 31-mile route.
For more information or for lost & found, please call the Tilden Park office at 510-544-2747 or toll-free 888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4562.