I did not go in perfect numeric order yesterday, but I covered a lot of ground. All the paths I took were east of Claremont Avenue and south of Ashby in a very nice part of Berkeley that borders Oakland.
At the foot of my first trail was Snoopy’s doghouse with treats inside, and flying high above it was a contraption with two Red Barons attached. It made me smile.
The Steps is the name of path #126, which is aptly named. The concrete steps taking you from Hillcrest Road to Hillcrest Court are flanked by lush greenery on both sides and have an iron railing going up the middle.
Hillcrest Court turns into the path known simply as The Footway (#125), which is a rather leisurely stroll along an asphalt path with a wooden fence on one side and trees on the other until it becomes a staircase with a center railing and takes you to Encina Place.
Encina Walk (#124) is nothing more than a sidewalk that allows one to reach Oakvale Avenue without having to go around Plaza Drive, but it ends over a creek that runs right under part of a house.
From Oakvale Avenue, I walked along busy Claremont Avenue until I reached John Muir Elementary, which is where I found the west entrance to Oakridge Path (#132). Although the school is officially on winter break, a mini-camp was operating there, so I saw several small children and a few young adults supervising them. The school is housed in an impressive-looking building with lots of play structures in the yard, and it borders Harwood Creek, separated by a chain-link fence decorated by student-made signs asking all to keep the creek clean. A rather large tree had been uprooted and was lying on its side in the mulchy forested area. I wonder if it was left there so that kids could climb on it. A small bench sat under the trees’ shade and looked inviting, but I still had several paths to cover. And miles to go before I sleep. (Okay, not really miles…)
Domingo Avenue interrupts Oakridge Path for a short ways, but then it picks back up in Oak Park. And the eastern portion was my favorite path of the day.
First of all, it’s just a lovely, easy walk with lots to see, from the leaning palm tree and the giant citrus plant to the delightful signage. At first, I thought the goose crossing sign was just for laughs, but it turns out there are indeed water fowl on the premises.
Stay tuned for Part II, when I cover the other four paths!