Halkin Walk is a diverse and curious path

the lower (unmarked) entrance to Halkin Walk


Funiculars are not that uncommon in these hilly parts.











The next path on my list, if I were to go in strict order, is #29, but it’s along the Ohlone Greenway in another part of town, so I made the executive decision to do it separately on a day when I could do a big chunk of the Greenway.

My map of Berkeley and its pathways marks a part of Halkin Walk (#30) as “impassable or planned.” I couldn’t find anything that looked like it used to be a path, so I’m going to assume that it’s one of those future paths.

heading up Halkin Walk

It was tricky finding the part of Halkin Walk (#31) that is actually built because it’s not marked at its lower end on Euclid Avenue. So I walked around quite a bit before figuring out that the steps I saw weren’t a private entrance to someone’s house. The earlier section of this path had more switchbacks than any mountainous trail I’d hiked, and in a much narrower space, producing a high number of backs and forths. IMG_1294


The path eventually straightens out to a continuous climb on what appear to be shortened railroad ties. Near the top, it’s not quite as steep, and a few short stretches don’t have any steps at all. It ends up on Hilldale Avenue, where the sign confirmed that I had indeed been on the right path.

IMG_1295From there I went in search of Keeler Walk (#32), another one on the map that is marked by hash marks indicating that it’s either impassable or just isn’t there. I thought maybe I could tell where it’s going to be (or used to be?), but my exhaustive search failed. However, on Keeler Avenue, I saw the orangest house on the planet. And I have to say, it’s even more startling in person.

going down Halkin Walk

Unable to conquer Keeler Walk, I descended the same path I’d taken up, which makes the Halkin Walk one of the few that I’ve traveled in both directions. (As you might guess, it was easier going down.)

During my original search for the elusive entrance, I was walking on the west side of Euclid and suddenly felt sun on my face. I turned to find an empty double lot among ultra-prime real estate that didn’t look like it had ever been developed, judging from the plant life. It’s possible that one of (or both of) the homes on either side owned the property, I suppose. Whatever the reason was, it was a welcome respite to the closed-in feeling produced by so many houses packed in together. While I stood facing San Francisco and the bay, a father with a tot in a forward-facing baby carrier stopped to enjoy the expansive view as well. I want to thank whoever it was that made that westward window possible.IMG_1287


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