About Quizzes

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt, nicknamed “the Jewel of Oakland,” is the largest man-made saltwater tidal lake in the United States. It is situated on the Pacific Flyway, in downtown Oakland, California. The lake was created in 1869, from 155 acres of "dammed tidal water" from the headwaters of Indian Slough. Dr. Samuel Merritt donated the land in 1867. It was first known as "Merritt's Lake," and later Lake Merritt. The shallow lake is an ideal place to enjoy picnicking and bird watching. It features a healthy year-round population of birds, such as Canada geese, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, Cormorant, American Coot, and Gull. A popular 3.5 mile walking and jogging trail surrounds the lake. Every night, the stunning "Necklace of Lights" glints around the perimeter of the lake. It consists of 126 lampposts and 3,400 "pearly bulbs." In 1941, the lights, which were first lit in 1925, were dimmed due to World War II blackout conditions. It was again illuminated after a decade-long campaign, in 1990. Many local sports and environmental clubs are situated on the pristine shores of the lake. Pedal boats, sailboats, canoes, and rowboats are available for rent at boating centers. An adjoining park, Lakeside Park is equipped with picnic facilities and a storybook children's park - Children's Fairyland. The Rotary Nature Center and northern California's oldest wildlife refuge are two major attractions at Merritt Lake. The wildlife refuge, established in 1870, allows the public to observe several species of resident and migratory waterfowl at close range. The Nature Center, built in 1953, provides education and information about the natural environment to its surrounding community. It also offers a variety of services such as outreach programs, and summer day camps.