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It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. It is historically significant as the United States' first official wildlife refuge, designated in 1870, and has been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1963, and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966.
Lake Merritt in Oakland, California is one of the most unique urban spaces in the United States. Its three mile shoreline in the center of an exceptionally diverse city is a special place where nature and nurture migrate and mingle daily. This tidal lagoon is home to the United States' oldest designated wildlife refuge dating from 1870.
Lake Merritt is 3.4 miles in circumference, covering 155 acres of land. The depth varies based on the amount of water filtering in from the estuary and the amount of rainfall. There are several parks and amenities nearby that you can enjoy including: Green space at Snow Park Abundant wildlife at Rotary Nature Center Lakeside Gardens
Fed by the adjacent Oakland Estuary, saltwater Lake Merritt is a popular spot, and the 3.5-mile/5.6-km path that circles the lake is always filled with locals jogging before work, stretching their legs at lunchtime, or watching the lakes “necklace of lights”—more than 4,000 lightbulbs on 126 lampposts—blink on at the end of the day.
Lake Merritt is a tidal estuary, which formed about 10-15 thousand years ago when the last ice age ended, but has been extensively modified by people in the last 150 years. It is flushed twice daily by the six hour cycle of high and low tidal flows and receives water from 62 storm drain outfalls around the lake.
Lake Merritt is a fantastic centerpiece for the city of Oakland. It's a nice place for locals and tourists alike. There's no better place in Oakland for a long walk or jog. You'll always find some kind of interesting activity going on around the lake. The last time I was there there was a skating rink set up.