There are many trails at dog-friendly Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, many of them intersecting and looped and totaling nearly 40 miles. The shortest is 1.3 miles, the longest nearly 14. Featuring varied terrain, from lakeside beach to high mountain peaks, there is plenty to see and do. Along with its storied trails, the park contains campgrounds, picnic areas, a children's farm, education center, an iconic carousel, a botanical garden and a steam railroad.
From the recreation areas, the trails fan outward and upward into the hills above, ranging from easy inclines on paved paths to steep and rocky scrambles. Two lakes grace the park: Lake Anza and Jewel Lake, and some of the ridge trails offer views of the San Pablo Dam and Reservoir to the northeast. Lake Anza's beach permits swimming in the summer. With many entrances and trailheads equipped with restrooms, picnic areas and water, hiking in Tilden is a popular day-use pastime and a visitor destination as well. With daily bus service from downtown Berkeley, you can forego the driving and parking if you wish.
One of the most-used trails in the park is the Seaview and Big Springs Trail. At 4 miles, this loop climbs about 1,000 feet to furtastic views of Lake Anza, the city of San Francisco, the South Bay and bridge and the San Pablo Dam. The trail is festooned with wildflowers, and songbirds of all types flit among the redwoods as you walk under dappled sunlight. Its trailhead is on Wildcat Canyon Road, offering plenty of free parking and restrooms. Most of the climbing is easy and moderate, although there are a few places that get your heart pumping and require some rock hopping.
The Wildcat Gorge and Lake Anza Loop Trail is the shortest with the least upward climb and is great for families and first-time hikers. Its trailhead and parking lot are located off Central Park Drive. Featuring a babbling brook, a few rocks and roots to navigate on its otherwise easy track, and lots of birds, the rewards are many, especially the views of Lake Anza.
These are only a couple of the furbulous trails available at Tilden Regional Park, each of them unique in their attractions, challenges and rewards. Try them all, with your furry bestie by your side!
Poison oak grows everywhere in this park. Stay on the trail, learn how to identify it, and wear long sleeves and pants. Give Fido a bath when you get home if he strayed from the path.