Lake Merritt

East Bay, California

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Lake Merritt


  • Sailboat on Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Lake Merritt from the Beach Chalet.- Lake Merritt
  • A Canada goose at Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Snowy egret at Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Sailboat on Lake Merritt- Lake Merritt
  • Canada geese take over Lake Merritt on their migration route.- Lake Merritt
  • Oakland skyline from Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Colonnade at Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Oakland skyline from Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • Lake Merritt necklace of lights.- Lake Merritt
  • Sailboats on Lake Merritt.- Lake Merritt
  • A runner exits the Lake Merritt colonnade.- Lake Merritt
  • - Lake Merritt
Overview + Weather
Community icon. Running path. Boat rentals.
Crowded. Animal waste. Odor.
East Bay, CA
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


For over 150 years, Lake Merritt has been the center of recreation and community in the city of Oakland. The 155-acre tidal estuary is proudly known as The Jewel of Oakland. Its 3.5-mile perimeter is laced with iconic strings of lights and a paved path for runners and walkers.   

Canada geese take over the lake seasonally because it is a vital stop on the Pacific Flyway. Several man-made islands provide habitat to a variety of birds that can be discovered by visiting the Rotary Nature Center.   

Lake Merritt was the nation’s first official wildlife refuge, dedicated in 1870. Oakland mayor Samuel Merritt donated land for the lake, and a subsequent partial damming deepened the waters and contributed to Lake Merritt’s current form. 

The Lake Merritt Boating Center rents vessels ranging from pedal boats and kayaks to small sailboats. Rentals are available daily from March through October and on weekends from November through February.  Non-motorized private boats are permitted for a $2 fee.

Adjacent attractions include Snow Park, Children’s Fairyland, and Lakeside Gardens.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(107 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
3 Members
Who's Done It
55 Members
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59 Adventures Explored
51 Adventures Published

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