Best kid friendly trails in Berkeley, California

5,554 Reviews
Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Berkeley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of kid friendly trails in Berkeley, California
Top trails (31)
#1 - Seaview and Big Springs Trails Loop
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(874)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 2 h 24 m
#2 - Wildcat Gorge, Meadows Canyon and Curran Trail
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(464)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 40 m
NOTE: As of September 12, 2020 Lake Anza Road and Parking Lot are currently CLOSED. 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: Founded in 1936 from former watershed lands, Tilden is one of the East Bay Regional Park District’s three original parks. It was named after Charles Lee Tilden, president of the District’s rst Board of Directors. Workers from the Works Progress Administration built much of the park’s infrastructure during the Great Depression. Tilden’s 2,079 acres feature the iconic carousel, steam train, botanical gardens, Little Farm, Environmental Education Center, redwood groves, picturesque views of the bay, picnic areas, and seasonal swimming at Lake Anza. Trails Highlights: Please note: portions of this trail are severely storm-damaged and may be difficult to navigate when wet and muddy. Check District website for possible closures before proceeding. This trail starts at placid Lake Anza and descends along the Wildcat Creek drainage through tall redwoods and shady oak/ bay woodlands. It then gently climbs Meadows Canyon through grassland and scrub, eventually dropping back down to the creek. Trail Directions: Park at Lake Anza Parking lot; if closed, use the gravel overflow lot outside the gate. Proceed to the Lake Anza entrance near the bathhouse and swim area. Outside the bathhouse area, turn left and follow the paved Lake Anza Trail a few hundred yards. At the Spillway, cross the bridge to your right and then turn left onto the Wildcat Gorge Trail to descend to the creek. At the bottom of the dam, you’ll see a small stone building which was the old pump house for the lake. Continue down Wildcat Gorge Trail past the Curran turnoff for approximately 0.75 mile. At the bottom of the canyon, turn right onto Meadows Canyon Trail, near the Lone Oak Picnic area. Due to storm damage, the creek crossing may be difficult. Follow Meadows Canyon Trail uphill for about 1.5 miles where you’ll make a right, near the top, onto the Curran Trail. Descend on the Curran Trail for .62 miles where you’ll return to the Wildcat Gorge Trail. Turn left to follow Wildcat Gorge Trail the way you came in and it will connect with the Lake Anza Trail back to the parking lot.Show more
#3 - Stonewall Panoramic Trail
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(668)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 35 m
Park Curfew/Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Park Features: The first inhabitants of this region were the Huchiun Ohlone Indians. They may have used the Claremont Canyon area for hunting and gathering. Today, Claremont Canyon provides the community with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay Area and the opportunity for a vigorous workout. Trail Highlights: Though this trail has an elevation gain of 945 feet with four very steep segments, there are several terraced spots that provide great opportunities to relax and enjoy the view. Along your hike you will see a variety of vegetation including oak, bay laurel, and eucalyptus trees, California sagebrush, and many other plant communities. Claremont Canyon is also home to a variety of animal species including the black-tailed deer, coyote, gray fox, red-tailed hawk, and the western garter snake. Trail Directions: Begin at the trailhead on Stonewall Road. Enter the park and stay to the right to begin Stonewall Panoramic Trail. The trail will make a sharp right and gradually get steeper. Be aware of many unmarked trails that diverge from the Stonewall Panoramic Trail. Once you reach the top, turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. Website: www.ebparks.org/parks/claremont_canyonShow more
#4 - Strawberry Canyon Fire Trail
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(570)
Length: 7.4 mi • Est. 3 h 30 m
Explore the plethora of what Claremont Regional Preserve has to offer. An excellent choice if you are visiting UC Berkeley and are in search of an activity. A great spot to enjoy the sunset over the Bay. No bikes allowed. Part of this trail is WHEELCHAIR accessible. Show more
#5 - Upper and Lower Big Springs and Seaview Trails
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(619)
Length: 2.9 mi • Est. 1 h 37 m
NOTE: The road leading to this trailhead - South Park Drive - is currently closed to vehicular traffic due to COVID-19. Visitors may still walk or bike to this trailhead. Please check here for updates: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closedShow more
#6 - Wildcat Peak Trail via Laurel Canyon and Sylvan Trail
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(291)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 45 m
NOTE: As of September 2020, the beginning of this trail is closed however there is a detour. Additionally, 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 This scenic loop takes you from the Tilden Park Environmental Education Center to the summit of Wildcat Peak via the Jewel Lake, Sylvan, Peak and Laurel Canyon trails. Terrific views of the Bay Area and a variety of plants and birds keep this route interesting throughout. This route may be very muddy in wet weather.Show more
#7 - Wildcat Gorge and Lake Anza Loop
Tilden Regional Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(176)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 30 m
Loop trail that wraps around Lake Anza. An excellent spot for birdwatching, fishing, or going for a swim This is an easy trail that sees a lot of use on the weekends, mostly by families and people walking their dogs. Some parts are a bit technical, but it offers a nice view of the lake and connects with the Selby Trail along with a few others. Weekdays are best here, especially during the summer months.Show more
#8 - Nimitz Way
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(292)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 3 h 45 m
This is a great family-friendly trail that can be completed in a couple of hours. The entire trail is paved, making it a great trail for strollers and wheelchairs and an easy bike ride for children. The trail is relatively flat and features great panoramic views of the Bay Area. The beginning of the trail is fairly crowded, but clears out after a couple of miles. There is plenty of parking at Inspiration Point. Accessibility: The trail surface is paved and it is typically at least five feet wide. There are some cracks in the pavement that might make the ride bumpy for equipment users. The estimated average grade is 3% and there are steeper sections where the grade is between 8% and 10% (at about 1.4 and 3.6 miles) so wheelchair/mobility equipment or stroller users may need assistance. Show more
#9 - Grizzly Peak Trail from Golf Course Drive
Tilden Regional Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(158)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 18 m
#10 - Berkeley Marina Loop Trail
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(111)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 1 h 59 m
According to Access Northern CA (http://accessnca.org/access-northern-california/explore/explore-detail-view/?site_id=185): When you visit this peninsular park and marina, it’s hard to believe that in the 1950s and ’60s the city of Berkeley operated a garbage dump here and was planning to extend the city 2 miles into the Bay by filling in 2,000 acres of water. Those efforts were thwarted by the Save the Bay movement, which started in 1961 and led to the creation of many parks and trails where development had been planned. Today there is only one obvious sign of its former use as a dump: a fenced-in chimney that vents methane gas from the still-decomposing stuff below. Now this urban wonder is home to a popular 3,000-foot recreational pier, a marina offering sailing and windsurfing classes, several restaurants, Shorebird and César Chávez parks, and several miles of trails. The western shore of the park is a great place to watch the sunset and view the Golden Gate Bridge. For young children there is Adventure Playground, a unique outdoor facility where kids can play and build things using found and recycled objects. Acrobatic kite flying is a common, year-round attraction at César Chávez Park, and for a truly dazzling sight, check out the Berkeley Kite Festival and West Coast Kite Championship, the largest kite-flying festival in the United States, held here every July. Shorebird Park Nature Center is housed in the first municipal straw bale building in the United States––the building itself is a display on green building. Inside you’ll find a 50-gallon saltwater tank, a 30-gallon freshwater tank, and displays on marine mammals and birds, including bones, shells, and skins. Also of interest in the area, a pedestrian bridge at Frontage Road West crosses Interstate 80 and takes you to Aquatic Park—and, farther on, to Berkeley’s upscale Fourth Street shopping district. At Aquatic Park Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program operates an adapted cycling program. Accessibility: Van-accessible parking spaces are plentiful throughout the area. The trails are paved and typically at least five feet wide. They are mostly flat with an average grade of 1% and a max grade of 4%. To go to Cesar Chavez Park, head east from the parking space on Spinnaker Way and take the ramp that climbs gently to the trail, then runs parallel to Spinnaker Way for a quarter-mile before turning north. The trail ends at the cul de sac, but if you want to continue another mile to the pier, cross Spinnaker Way and travel through the boat launch parking lot to connect to the trail at the water. West of the off-leash dog area, in the park’s center, a rough dirt trail leads to the highest point of another hill and a solar calendar. Those in manual wheelchairs may need assistance as on the other dirt trails that crisscross the hill. South of the pier, you can follow the trail in front of the parked cars, but it’s best to cross Seawall Drive and follow the walkway to the northeast corner of the large parking lot. Here you’ll find the entrance to Shorebird Park, a flat, grassy area sheltered by trees on the west and north, with picnic tables at water’s edge and a small inaccessible, rocky beach. Continuing east, the trail skirts the South Sailing Basin, passing the Cal Sailing Club and Cal Adventures. The public small-craft boat launch here has a very steep ramp. Neither the Cal Sailing Club nor Cal Adventures offer adapted boats but you can find some in San Francisco through the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. Beyond the launch, the paved trail briefly turns north, then follows University Avenue to Frontage Road West. From here you have several options to extend your journey: continue south several miles on the paved Bay Trail to Emeryville, take the side path that leads to the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 80 and Aquatic Park, or cross to the north side of University Avenue to explore a small section of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park (an 8.5-mile shoreline park from the Bay Bridge to Richmond). Here dirt trails meander through Berkeley Meadow. There is an accessible restroom at Cesar Chavez Park and accessible portable toilets off Spinnaker Ave before the cul-de-sac and by the off-leash dog park. Accessible restrooms in the southern area of the park are by the marina office (closed from 5 PM to 4:30 AM), at the foot of the pier, and between the nature center and playground. There are accessible picnic tables at Shorebird Park and Cesar Chavez Park with firm and stable routes and surfaces, and at least 27 inches of knee clearance. The visitor center is wheelchair accessible.Show more
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