North Berkeley Paths & John Hinkel Park

This weekend’s walking took me up to some of the streets and paths of the Berkeley hills. As I have mentioned before, I have been using the Berkeley Path Wanderers map as a guide to include all of the passable paths in my walks. I have been wondering about other cities that have lots of paths and stairways. San Francisco has lots of them, and so do Los Angeles, and Portland,OR. What other cities have them? If you know, please post a comment!

Photo by Joe Reifer

The stairway pictured here is in John Hinkel Park. My first visit to this park was during the winter, when it had been raining quite a bit. The water was flowing through the creeks and everything was very green. It was still quite nice on this summer visit. It includes an outdoor ampitheatre, a clubhouse that is in need of restoration, and some nice picnic and play areas. My favorite part of this park, though, is the nicely designed stairs and paths that allow you to meander through the park.



  1. Spike said

    No stairs where I’m walking in Woy Woy and round Brisbane Water. It’s all flat paths here.

    The Rocks area of Sydney has got a few. I’m looking forward to them when I get stuck into my walk there.

  2. merlynne said

    Seattle has quite a few paths, stairways (Pike Place Market access), etc…. and I know Dallas has paths & at least one stairway.

  3. C said

    If you get a chance, walk thru Cordonices Park (across from the Rose Garden) and see the waterfall. A waterfall-in Berkeley!!!

    • Sean said

      [In response to a reply ~5 years ago now!] In addition to a waterfall, like near John Hinkel Park, near Cordonices Park there is a mid century house by prominent East Bay architect Don Olsen. Near John Hinkel Park is Don Olsen’s own house referred to as “Floating White Box”. It is on San Diego Street. Another Don Olsen house is at 1 GREENWOOD Cmn. For anyone who follows architecture, these are worth the visit.

  4. […] morning I was walking up in the hills near John Hinkel Park (which, by the way, will definitely be on the “best of” list I mentioned in my last […]

  5. another berkeley walker said

    Oakland also has a terrific path system. Although the city lacks an equivalent to the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association and many of the paths have no signs, you can have a great time discovering them. Some of the paths behind the Claremont Hotel — Eucalyptus and Evergreen Paths and part of Sunset Trail — are actually in Oakland, and upper Rockridge is full of beautiful stairways, most with post-fire signs added. My new favorite Oakland path is in the Trestle Glen neighborhood and starts on Longridge, about half a block above Lakeshore Ave. Watch for it on the left side of the street as you walk up from Lakeshore. Like many of Oakland’s paths, the beginning (or ending) is tucked between two houses and materializes with little fanfare. The steps lead to a long, woodsy path that runs between Longridge and Mandana and is actually a private park maintained by the neighborhood association.

    The Walk Oakland map, put out by the City of Oakland and available at local book stores and from The Oakland Architectural Alliance (OHA), shows all the paths. The 2004 edition, but not the 2002 one, also shows the paths in Piedmont. Because the scale is quite small and the paper is filmsy, I generallly a use a copy machine to blow up the section I need for a walk.

    Pt. Richmond and El Cerrito also have stairways, but you are on your own navigating. I have yet to find a map that shows them all. A few of Kensignton’s paths are on the Berkeley Path Wanderers map.

    Happy exploring!

  6. Cambree said

    Great! I did not know we had such places in Northern California. I will have to check out these stairs. Thank you!

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