Casting pond, upper Lion Creek

One of Oakland’s most beautiful places is tucked in the woods next to the Warren Freeway at Carson Street: the casting pond complex of McCrea Memorial Park, along Lion Creek. Entering the park took my breath away the first time I visited.

castingponds

Lion Creek leaves the grounds of Holy Names University and runs in a steep gorge behind Elinora Avenue, evading the freeway for a short stretch that includes the park. Horseshoe Creek joins it at the south end, and the combined stream enters a culvert beneath the freeway running to the Mills College campus.

This part of the streambed is highly engineered. The 1947 topo map shows an ordinary stream valley here with an intermittent stream indicated, so the wide glade for the ponds was built and the stream shunted aside. Farther downstream are some empty ponds whose purpose I don’t know; perhaps one of you does.

lion-creek-at-mccrea-park

The woods have made the area their own. This was once part of Leona Heights Park, which was cut in half by the freeway, and a pedestrian bridge that may be Oakland’s least-used one connects the two sides.

About these ads

2 Responses to “Casting pond, upper Lion Creek”

  1. Jules Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    The park’s web link you included above shows a picture of an unused trout pond that looks like the pond whose use you were unsure of. The park seems to be a nice little oasis.

  2. Nick P. Says:

    Those ponds were once stocked with fish–surprisingly recently, IIRC. I lived on High Street just on the other side of the hill from 2004-2011, and I seem to remember them being stocked at some point during that time. I went to camp as a kid at McCrea park in the ’80s, and I remember accessing the storm-drain system at the south end of the park past the trout ponds, and walking through them, under the freeway, over to Leona park. I later wondered what the camp counselors’ explanation would have been if they “lost a kid in the storm drain system under the freeway.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,029 other followers

%d bloggers like this: