Oakland Lake

Quick Facts

Free?
Parking ?
Facilities?
Dogs Allowed?
(leashed only)

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Oakland Lake is a 15,000-year-old spring-fed glacial kettle pond and is part of the Alley Pond Park Complex. Click here for more info about it’s history and renovations.

There is a paved .6 mile loop around the lake, the downside is it being very crowded with walkers and joggers. General hours for NYC parks are 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

How to get there – Parking & Entrances

There is free street parking on all streests all around the lake and at most times it is is not difficult to find a spot.

We usually enter at the main entrance (large star). It’s right off Northern blvd and a block west of the Cross Island Parkway. We have also entered at the Springfield Blvd entrance ****NOTE: other smaller entrances have stairs going down to the lake.

This is the view from the main entrance on Cloverdale.
There are no stairs required here to access the lake.

This is the entrance from Springfield Blvd with stair only access

While Mallards, Canada Geese, Swans and House Sparrows are always abundant, it’s a great seasonal place for many other species.

When To Go:

Winter Months: This is a fantastic spot for Winter Waterfowl. Species like Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls and Pied billed Grebes are commonplace, along with other visitors! Buffleheads, Green winged Teal and even Redheads can be found. White throated sparrows are always fun to see too. It’s always fun to thoroughly scan the lake to see who you can find.

Like many places, in the winter months it’s also a lot less crowded!

There are emergency ladders all around the lake.

Spring months: The Red-winged Blackbirds arrive in large numbers starting in March, followed by the Warblers. While it’s much more crowded here, it’s still a great spot to find migrants such as Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Rumped and Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Blue grey Gnatcatchers and others passing through – such as this beautiful Prothonotary Warbler that spent some time here Spring 2020.

Where you can find Spring & Summer species here along the lake path

Summer Months: Not as exciting as Winter and Spring, but you can see Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, Warbling Vireos reliably, Grackles and even Osprey, Red Tailed or Coopers Hawks. Blue Jays, Cardinals and Robins are also always around.

This spot (shown on map above) is where we have seen Hummingbirds
The Red Tailed Hawks perch on the nearby building and can often be seen flying over.

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