(Partly) Improved Paths Walk

This walk was led by Charlie Bowen in July 2004.

Berkeley’s paths were mostly platted in the streetcar era, to allow for quick access to Berkeley’s excellent mass-transit system. Although the rights of way remain public, the pathways themselves were never built in some areas developed after automobiles became common. Other paths have become overgrown or blocked with fences. Working closely with the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Path Wanderers Assn. has been gradually opening these paths.


Start at the fountain at Park Gate and Shasta Road (just a few yards from the big wooden Tilden Park sign at the corner of Shasta and Grizzly Peak).

  1. Walk back to the big Tilden Park Sign and turn right (north) onto Grizzly Peak.
  2. Walk to the top of Stoddard Path.
  3. Turn left onto Stoddard Path and walk down to Miller Ave. The wooden steps, installed by BPWA volunteers and UC Berkeley students in 2003, are typical of many recently improved paths.   Before we started on this path, it was nearly impassible alongside the wooden fence due to a thicket of large laurel bushes and other brush.
  4. At the bottom of the path, jog briefly right on Miller.
  5. Turn left onto Stevenson Path (improved 2003-2004). Walk down Stevenson’s upper segment, cross Sterling Avenue, and continue down the lower segment to Keeler Ave.  These paths too were cleared of massive amounts of berry bushes, wild roses, ivy and other brush before the steps could be installed.   The winding wood steps at the bottom of the lower segment were designed and built by the neighbor to the north.   He inherited the house from his aunt and uncle and as a child had come to visit them in the summers--he fondly remembers running all over the neighborhood on the paths, before they were allowed to become overgrown and even enclosed inside new fences by adjacent neighbors.
  6. At the bottom of the path, turn right onto Keeler.
  7. Walk north on Keeler, passing unimproved Whitaker Path heading uphill between 1153 & 1155 Keeler, and past the top of recently improved Upper Covert Path (2005) on your left, . Explore these if you like.  Continue north on Keeler.
  8. When you reach the top of Bret Harte Road, you will see Bret Harte Path’s concrete steps heading right, uphill. You could take these steps up recently improved Bret Harte Path (2005-2006) to Sterling Ave, turn left on Sterling, and walk down to the top of Sterling Path.
  9. If you stay on Keeler, you reach the top of Sterling Path.. Walk down Sterling Path. Like Bret Harte Path, Sterling Path is a mixture – older concrete steps and recent wooden ones, these installed as several Boy Scout Eagle Projects
  10. At the bottom of Sterling Path, turn left onto Cragmont Avenue.
  11. Walk south on Cragmont to its end at Shasta Road. You will pass unimproved Upper El Mirador Path between 1112 & 1116 Cragmont Ave, unimproved Twain Way between 1137 & a vacant lot at 1141 Cragmont Ave., Martinez Path (signed) leading steeply downhill, and the bottom of recently improved Upper Covert Path. Just opposite is unimproved Lower Covert Path. A little farther on, unimproved Cragmont Path starts out along a creek bed, but is blocked by a fence at the top--look for a row of manholes going up the hill north of the creek bed.
  12. Where Cragmont ends at Shasta Road, turn left (uphill) onto Shasta Road.
  13. Walk up and turn right, south, onto Northgate Rd.
  14. Where Northgate ends, turn left at Quail.
  15. In a short block, at the corner of Quail and Campus Drive, turn right onto Campus.
  16. Walk one block to the top of Glendale Avenue and the bottom of Glendale Path.
  17. Turn left onto the new concrete stairs on Glendale Path (bottom segment). The stairs were built by the city in 2004 as part of improvements to all three segments of Glendale Path. The City of Berkeley Public Works Engineers have been very supportive of our work on path improvements.
  18. Cross Queens and continue up the middle segment of Glendale Path to Fairlawn. The city also built the large new concrete stairway (2005) on the upper segment of Glendale Path, just across Fairlawn.  This was another example of the good working partnership between BPWA and the City of Berkeley.   BPWA hired the surveyor to do a topographic survey of the pathway, and then hired an architect to draw up the plans for the stairs.  We then gave the plans to Public Works for review and approval.   Public Works hired the contractor and supervised the construction of the stairs.   At this point, you can explore the stairs, but the walk will continue from the bottom of the stairs.
  19. Walk south on Fairlawn, which joins Queens. Continue south on Queens. You pass Columbia Path--look for wires overhead between 1398 & 1400 Queens. When it is improved, one segment will lead down to Campus Drive (steep!) and another segment will lead up to recently improved Columbia Walk.
  20. You reach a wide parking area, the bottom of Terrace View Park. Walk up through the Park to Fairlawn Drive.
  21. Turn right onto Fairlawn and follow its twists and turns to its end at Olympus. Turn left onto Olympus.
  22. Walk along Olympus to Wilson Circle and turn left onto Wilson Circle.
  23. Walk straight ahead and go up Wilson Walk (improved 2004) to Summit Road. Turn left onto Summit Road.
  24. Cross Grizzly Peak Blvd [CAREFULLY!!] and continue on Summit Road.
  25. Walk along Summit Road, passing unimproved Summit Path (between 1396 & 1400 Summit Rd) and Grizzly Path (between 1330 & 1336 Summit Rd ) , both heading downhill to Grizzly Peak Blvd. At Atlas Place, turn left, downhill.
  26.  At the bottom of Atlas Place, you see the top of Atlas Path, improved by Boy Scouts working with BPWA.  [You can walk halfway down Atlas Path and enjoy the view while you rest on the bench, but then return to the top of the path.]   Turn north onto Hill Road.
  27. Walk along Hill Road to its end. Unimproved Hill Path runs downhill here between 80 & 100 Hill Rd. Continue straight onto Scott Newhall Path. Scott Newhall Path, with magnificent views, takes you to where the other side of Hill Road begins again.  
  28. Continue down Hill Road back to the fountain where you started.

Further Information: Contact Charlie Bowen (510-540-7223) for more information.