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Joaquin Miller Park
Enter Joaquin Miller Park and you will quickly forget that you are minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hikers, equestrians, bicyclists, joggers and picnickers from all over the Bay Area regularly frequent the 500-acre park.
The rustic woodland trails lead you through redwood groves and oak woodlands and across lush creeksides and wet meadows. It is one of the few open space areas in the City of Oakland where dogs are allowed - on leash - throughout the park. A fenced off-leash dog areas for both large and small dogs is available on park property. Park facilities are available for weddings, picnics, large group gatherings and special events.
Come explore the wonders of Oakland's urban wildlands!
Visit the Joaquin Miller Park Ranger Station (3590 Sanborn Dr., Oakland, CA 94602) for park history, wildlife exhibits, upcoming events, a landline telephone and more!
See below for history, emergency information, park rules and guidelines, reservation information, trail map, wildlife and how to get involved in the park.
Joaquin Miller, The Man
The park is named for one of the more colorful figures of the 19th century. Cincinnatus Hiner ("Joaquin") Miller was born in Indiana in 1841 and during his life he was a pony-express rider, lawyer, judge, teacher, gold prospector, nomad and author.
During a trip to the Bay Area in 1870, he met California's first Poet laureat and Oakland's first librarian, Ina Coolbirth. Coolbirth convinced him to take the colorful pen name of Joaquin Miller. He became well known as the "Poet of the Sierras."
When he returned to Oakland in 1886, he settled on 70 acres of grassy hillside, which he had purchased parcel-by-parcel in the hills about the "City of the Oaks." In an effort to create an inspirational artists' retreat, he erected monuments, built structures for his mother and daughter, and coordinated the planting of 75,000 trees -- monterey cypress, olive and eucalyptus. He died in his home in 1913.
Issues and Emergencies within the Park
In case of emergency or maintenance issues in the park, please use the phone numbers listed below.
|Emergency (Cellphone)||(510) 777-3211|
|Non-Emergency (Cellphone)||(510) 777-3333|
|Public Works Agency (Park Maintenance Issues)||(510) 615-5566|
|Wildlife Issues||(510) 238-3739|
Please help the City of Oakland maintain this beautiful parkland by submitting maintenance issues within the park.
Park Rules and Guidelines
PARK HOURS The park is closed from dusk to dawn except for events authorized by Park Use Permit. For a Park Use Permit, please call (510) 238-3187.
PARK CLOSURES Observe area and seasonal closures (Oakland Municipal Code). See Also: Red Flag Days.
RED FLAG DAYS - During the East Bay fire season visitors to the park should be alert to Red Flag warnings. Fire season generally runs between May through October. On Red Flag Days, the park and its rental facilities may be closed to all visitors due to the high risk of fire. Please observe posted notices.
MOTORIZED VEHICLES - Motorized vehicles may be operated only on designated public access streets and parking lots.
CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF - Littering is subject to a fine (California Penal Code).
NO COLLECTING - It is unlawful to remove trees, plants, fungi or animals from the park. No collecting within the park.
TRAIL USE - Joaquin Miller Park features both wide and narrow multi-use natural trails. For safety, bicyclists yield to horses and hikers; equestrians yield to hikers.
STAY ON TRAILS - Please protect park soil from erosion and conserve native plants and wildlife by staying on named trails.
ON-LEASH DOGS ONLY - Joaquin Miller Park is an ON-LEASH ONLY park on trails and parkland areas (Oakland Municipal Code). Dogs are only allowed off-leash at the fenced Dog Play Area located on Sanborn in the park.
PICNIC SITES - Unless in possession of a Permit or Reservation, picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For Reservations or Permits, please call (510) 238-3187.
FIRE USE - No fires within the park, except for charcoal fires on City-provided barbeque pits. Thoroughly extinguish your fire before leaving the picnic site.
WEAPONS OR FIREWORKS - No weapons or fireworks permitted.
Picnics, weddings, special events, summer camp trips, tv and film, meetings, facility rentals and more.
For all Reservation needs, please visit our department's Central Reservation webpage for Joaquin Miller Park.
Wildlife, Plants and Fungi
The redwoods in Joaquin Miller Park are considered to be one of the few Redwood forests to flourish today in an urban setting. Most notably, native Coast Redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) grow throughout the park. Many are in the second or third growth following major logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the redwoods were used to help build Oakland, San Francisco and other booming cities of the time. Of the thousands of trees planted under Joaquin Miller's leadership, many still stand today.
The park contains a variety of representative central coastal range habitats, hot open hillsides, cool redwoods groves, oak woodlands, lush creeksides and wet meadows. The park is home to over 200 species of native plants. There are rare plants like the Oakland star tulip, pallid manzanita and leatherwood alongside such non-natives as fennel, acacia and eucalyptus. California's state grass, purple needlegrass, and the state flower, the California golden poppy, are abundant in the serpentine grasslands.
Walk gently and discover elusive wildlife. Towhees, scrub jays, Cooper's hawks, wild turkeys, California quail, lizards, gopher snakes, or perhaps even a gray fox, deer or skunk all take advantage of this altered, but healthy habitat.
Park and Trail Map
View or Download the Joaquin Miller Park Trail Map (PDF).
Get Involved in the Park
Visit the organizations or groups that help make Joaquin Miller what it is today!