Getting Into The Park

Knowland Park’s Layout

Knowland Park runs roughly from west to east, from Interstate 580 to Skyline Road, in southeast Oakland. It is really two parks, eastern and western sections, divided by Golf Links Road. The Oakland Zoo and Arboretum occupies the Park’s western lowlands.

Annotated image of both sections of Knowland Park

Golf Links Rd.     Caloden St., Malcolm St., and 106th St.
Grass Valley Rd.     Skyline Blvd.     Fire roads and trails
White blotches indicate small parking areas.

At the west end of the park, Golf Links runs along its north edge, with housing on the north side of the road. At Elysian Fields Drive, Golf Links turns into the park, with Arroyo Viejo on its left and steep, heavily wooded hills on either side; when Golf Links leaves the park, it joins Grass Valley, which runs along the south edge of the park, and has housing on its south side. It is not really practical to move directly between the two sections by crossing Golf Links, due to the topography, vegetation, and creek.

The Park’s topography varies from low flatland on the west, to hills up to 750 feet above sea level at the east. There are both western and eastern highlands, from which spectacular views of the Bay and several bridges can be seen. Both parts offer good hiking, wildlife watching, and natural drainage.

Getting Into Knowland Park

It is difficult to get into the Park from the Zoo, because of the Zoo’s fencing. Some Zoo staffers seem not to realize they are in the park, so don’t count on them for accurate information. There are no signs or marked parking areas anywhere around it, except at the Zoo.

Entry into the western section can be had in two areas, from Golf Links Road on the north, and from Malcolm Avenue on the south. From Golf Links, there are several entrances, but all are narrow trails with no nearby parking, except for a fire road shown on maps as Venetia Road; there’s a small space off the road at Venetia. Expect steep climbs from any of these entrances.

Annotated image of the western section of Knowland Park

Current Zoo     Arroyo Viejo Creek and Golf Links Rd.
Scenic view points     Parking areas     Fire roads and trails

Malcolm Ave. can be reached either from 106th at I-580, at its west end, or from Caloden, off Golf Links, at its east end. There are numerous short dead-end streets off the north side of Malcolm, and each has a small parking area and a fire-road gate that can easily be walked around. Streets toward the east are in the highlands, and provide the easiest access; they are Fallbrook, Elvessa, Ettrick, Lochard, and Cameron. Toward the west, the land slopes downhill.

Entry into the eastern section is very easy, from Skyline Blvd. about a quarter mile north of the sharp curve where it joins Grass Valley. Look for a large water tank on a knoll belonging to EBMUD. There are parking areas on either side of the knoll, as well as several small spots along Skyline. A fire road runs along the west side of Skyline for the full north-to-south length of the east side of the park, and beyond, to Keller Ave., where there is more parking.