Best trails in Tilden Nature Area, California

168 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Tilden Nature Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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Map of trails in Tilden Nature Area, California
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Top trails (3)
#1 - Laurel Canyon, Wildcat Peak, Sylvan, and Jewel Lake Loop
Tilden Nature Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(39)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
NOTE: The parking area for this trail is closed due to COVID-19. Visitors can still walk or bike here from elsewhere. Please check the park's website for more information: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closed Park Features: These lands are a 740-acre nature preserve with over 10 miles of hiking trails, the renowned Environmental Education Center (EEC), the Little Farm, and Jewel Lake. The EEC features exhibits and park information. The farm, built in 1955, features a variety of farm animals. Visitors may bring lettuce or celery (only) to feed the animals. Dogs are NOT permitted; bicycle routes are limited. Trail Highlights: Follow narrow, winding paths through shaded oak/bay woodland, rolling grasslands, and scented eucalyptus forests. Catch magnificent views atop 1,211-foot Wildcat Peak, then descend to historic Jewel Lake. You’ll pass the waterworks of this small reservoir which once supplied East Bay communities, then return to the visitor center by way of the boardwalk. Trail Directions: Start at the EEC where you’ll find drinking water, restrooms, and trail maps. Begin your hike at the Laurel Canyon trail post on the EEC back lawn (the Laurel Canyon posts are marked with a bay leaf symbol). Pass two small buildings, a small pond, and then cross a dirt road as you follow Laurel Canyon Trail gently uphill through a eucalyptus forest. At Loop Road (the second dirt road) jog left for a few yards, then turn right and continue uphill as the trail climbs through oak/bay woodland. Continue past the intersection with Pine Tree Trail, and then watch for a fork in the trail. Take the right fork “To Peak Trail,” and continue uphill. Turn left onto the Laurel Canyon fire road and take next right onto a steep, narrow path. Turn left at top and follow the dirt road to the summit of Wildcat Peak. To return, retrace your steps and quickly turn right onto the Peak Trail. Continue down, staying on the main trail and ignoring unmarked forks. At the Sylvan Trail, turn right and follow it to the Jewel Lake Trail junction. Turn right onto the Jewel Lake Trail (following duck symbol), passing post #8 on your right. Proceed to the fire-road. Turn left here (at post #9), onto Wildcat Creek Trail. Continue straight along the dirt road to the EEC, or take the boardwalk by following the trail along the East side of the lake. After exiting the boardwalk, turn right onto the fire road to return to the starting point. Getting There: From Hwy 80: Take the University Avenue exit in Berkeley. Follow University towards the hills, turn left onto Oxford St. Turn right onto Rose St. Turn left onto Spruce St. Follow Spruce up the hill, you will reach a stop sign at the top of the hill, proceed through the intersection and turn immediately left down Canon Dr. At the bottom of Canon, veer left onto Central Park Drive and follow into the parking lot for the Nature Area. From Hwy 24: Exit at Fish Ranch Road. Take Fish Ranch Road to Grizzly Peak Blvd. and turn right. Continue on Grizzly Peak Blvd. until you come to the intersection of Spruce Street, Wildcat Canyon Road and Canon Drive. Turn right on Wildcat Canyon Rd., then immediately make a sharp left down Canon Drive. At the bottom of the hill, veer left onto Central Park Drive and follow into the parking lot for the Nature Area. Park hours: 8am - Dusk Fees: None Website: www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden/tna Note: No dogs in Tilden Nature Area except on leash on Nimitz Way and in Indian Camp Picnic Area.Show more
#2 - Jewel Lake
Tilden Nature Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(116)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 18 m
#3 - Pine Tree Trail and Laurel Canyon Loop
Tilden Nature Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 48 m
NOTE: The parking area for this trail is closed due to COVID-19. Visitors can still walk or bike here from elsewhere. Please check the park's website for more information: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closedShow more