Oakland is a beautiful city, surrounded by dense nature and hilltops with lovely city views. It’s no secret that Californians love to get out in nature and explore by foot, and Oakland is no different. There’s nothing better than taking a long, leisurely stroll, or a brisk morning walk. So, why not make the most of that wonderful landscape, eh? Here are some of the best walks in Oakland.
Best Walks in Oakland
1. Sequoia Bayview Trail
Length: 3 miles
The Sequoia Bayview Trail winds through the Joaquin Miller Park, surrounded by towering trees and woodlands. It’s perfect for a morning walk at just 3 miles, but it is very well shaded so you don’t have to worry about the mid-day sun. The path is flat, wide, and smooth – it’s perfectly accessible for strollers or wheelchair users. This is an easy walk with no elevation, but it can link to other trails if you want to explore for longer.
2. Dunn, Graham, and West Edge Trail Loop
Length: 3.8 miles
This is a moderately challenging route taking you through Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. The park itself is known for its towering redwood trees, reaching over 150 feet. The varying ecosystems are a pleasure to walk through and explore, and the path gains a decent amount of uphill climbs without being too strenuous. You’ll see lots of dogs around here, and we highly recommend you pack a lunch for a scenic picnic.
3. Lake Merritt
Length: 3.2 miles
This loop around Lake Merritt is a nice contrast to the other walks, seeing the beauty in city life as much as in nature. It’s a great way to start off your weekend, and even more beautiful at sunset. The city backdrop is lovely against the trees, and you can even stop off at the botanical garden along the way. There’s also a bird sanctuary, boathouse, and a fantastic restaurant. If you fancy a change from walking, you can rent paddleboats at the boathouse and glide along the lake. And interestingly, the park is home to Fairyland – the first ever children’s amusement park, which became the model for Disneyland!
4. York Trail
Length: 2.3 miles
This is a short but moderately challenging trail through Leona Heights Park. It’s an exciting trail with rocky parts, high elevation, and navigating overgrown trees. If you don’t mind a bit of a challenge, and you like a bit of scrambling and rough terrain, you’ll love this walk. Bear in mind that it isn’t suitable for small dogs or the little ones. While the climb is steep, it comes with great reward – the cityscape of Oakland makes it all worth it.
5. Dunn Trail
Length: 2.7 miles
This is a great no-frills walk in Oakland. Walkers pass through varying terrain through Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, which makes it moderately challenging but doable for those with an average level of fitness. There are plenty of ups and downs too, with wide-spanning views. It is advised that you wear the correct footwear as the path is quite rocky. And dogs are allowed on this walk, but they must be on a lead.
6. Bay Bridge Trail
Length: 5.6 miles
This path spans across the Bay Bridge, and the main draw of this walk is the gorgeous views. It’s particularly popular with joggers. This is a driving bridge, so the traffic is pretty loud but earphones will be able to block it out. And the cityscape vista and view of the bay make it all worth it. It’s a smooth path with a very slight incline towards Yerba Buena island, so those in wheelchairs or pushing strollers might find this section slightly more challenging, but there are railings to support you. Dogs are welcome on this trail, but keep them on a tight lead.
7. Graham Trail
Length: 2.8 miles
This is one of those trails that despite being fairly easy, treats visitors to amazing views. It’s a fun, straightforward, and pretty trail – perfect for a family walk or for a quick morning jaunt. There are plenty of dogs around, so you’re welcome to bring your own pooch for the journey. During the spring, the meadow burst into rows of colourful wildflowers – a lovely, bucolic scene.