Ode To Anthony Chabot Park

Oakland benefactor Anthony Chabot has left plenty of legacies behind, especially in harnessing and creating metropolitan water systems.  Of course, everywhere you look around our city there’s a Chabot something or other.

We visited the Anthony Chabot Park to see how spring was progressing there.  Don’t confuse this Park with the contiguous Lake Chabot Park, which encircles the large boating reservoir.  These two East Bay Regional Parks bear his name, and the one we visited sits between the Lake and Redwood Regional Park.  Anyway, we drove up to Skyline Drive and took off.

Ah, perfect greens abounded on this wet April day!  In this view, you see the urban and wilderness divide.  Anthony Chabot Park is in front, while Chabot Golf Course appears in the valley below.  Beyond these largest hills, there’s a gray-colored ridge fully occupied by humanity – it’s Hayward, the CSU-East Bay Campus and points south.

In keeping with the original water reservoir roots of the area, there’s plenty of East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)  land located east of these two parks as well.  The Upper San Leandro Reservoir remains off-limits to walkers, hikers and bicyclers but peeks out from the dead-end Coffeeberry Trail, at Anthony Chabot Park.  You can feel remote, right here.

When chatting with avid local park users, you often hear encouragements of “spring wildflowers.”  So we dutifully set out and discovered tiny blue flowers and orange poppies, which were identical to ones spotted around Montclair.  Maybe you have to be more tuned-in, persistent or lucky during the hunt.

Pay dirt!  This time, we also noticed alpine-looking flowers growing near a rocky outcropping and finally understood the enthusiasm.  These beautiful purples and yellows deserved more than our quick digital proof statement.  Call in Monet or some plein-air artists immediately.

More info:  Anthony Chabot Park is surprisingly close to Montclair.  We suggest taking 580 South to Keller Ave. exit.  Make a left and head uphill on Keller.  Turn right on Skyline Blvd.  Park at the Clyde Woolridge Staging Area, across from Grass Valley Road.  Check out park maps here, including high-level, northern section and southern section versions.