National Historic Landmark : Since 1963
Surface Area : 140 acres
Surface Elevation : 43 feet
Hours : Monday-Saturday: 8:30 to 3:30 PM
Sunday: 8:30 - 2:00 PM
Parking : BART Customer Service Center at Lake Merritt Station in Oakland
Originally part of the San Francisco Bay, the wetlands and their shores surrounding Lake Merritt were occupied by the Ohlones. Located in Oakland, east of Downtown, the tidal estuary is named after the mayor of Oakland, Dr. Merritt, who donated land worth of 155 acres and hence after declared the lake a National Wildlife Refuge in 1869.
The lake is encircled by Necklace of Lights and embraces other modern architectural, recreational, and sigh-seeing spots like Mission Revival pergola, Oakland Civic Auditorium, Eastshore Park, Adam’s Point near Lakeside Park, Lakeview Library, Snow Park, Rotary Nature Center, Athnol Tennis Courts, Lake Merritt Boating Center, Baseball diamond at Eastshore Park, Children’s Fairyland and a 15-story blend of Art Deco and Spanish Colonial styles and Bird islands.
Lake Merritt welcomes with great rejoice a diverse platoon of birds including breeding birds, native birds, exotic birds, water birds, and winter birds such as herons, egrets, geese and ducks, Egyptian geese and Mandarin ducks, black-crowned night herons, snowy egrets, scaups and gadwalls, and red-throated loons, Eurasian and American wigeons, pintail ducks, wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, white-eyed scoters and surf scoters respectively.
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