East Bay Momma

A Frugal Momma Providing a Rich Childhood

Lake Temescal

Today we needed some nature and we needed it NOW!!!! Beach plans fell through; Mommy was sick of our usual spots; baby was bored in general. A quick google search for playgrounds turned up Lake Temescal. It is less than ten minutes from us!

What a pretty spot. The trees are in bloom. There are plenty of great picnicking and barbecuing areas with trash and recycling receptacles conveniently located at each picnic area. Mid day, during the week it felt safe and that hasn’t always been my experience and Oakland parks. And, this time of year, it is free entry!

There were lots of fishermen ($5 permits required), runners, bikers, dogs and their owners (no packs of dogs with walkers) and plenty of kiddos and their caretakers. There are two playgrounds. The one near the south entrance is newer but doesn’t have swings. The one on the north side does.

I am not sure what constitutes the qualifications for a lake officially but where I am from originally this would definitely be considered a pond, FYI. It is less than a fifteen minute walk to the other side and that is at a slow stroller pace.

For a few bucks you can go swimming during the summer. There are lifeguard chairs set up. That will be on the “to do” list for the warmer months.

Two drawbacks: 1. Bathrooms are outhouses (the nice modern kind but in my old age I am a bit more crotchety about bathrooms and if my kid was potty training it would not be fun) 2. The location is just off highway 13/24 interchange so there is always car noise no matter how deep into the park you are. You don’t see it but you can hear it. It becomes pretty unnoticeable like white noise, but still is important to note if you are seeking a more isolated nature experience.

Coolest discovery: lake was created naturally from activity along the fault line that goes right through the park. There is geological evidence of this around the park. So cool!

This is such a great place to meet up with friends for a close by, last minute picnic, have kids practice riding bikes or scooters on the paved roads and/or stretch the doggies’ legs (on leash).















  1. Jennifer L

    Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. archway school has a field day at lake temescal every June. so fun. 🙂

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