BERKELEY, CA – June 2008—Pulling weeds can give you calluses, but when you’re maintaining one of Berkeley’s hilly pathways, you feel like a community trailblazer. On a recent Saturday, several Berkeley Hills Realty agents did trail maintenance on Glendale Path in the North Berkeley Hills. The morning’s work was cool in both senses of the word.
Guided by master path maker Charlie Bowen of the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, the BHR volunteers cleared weeds from native woodmint and Juncus rushes on Glendale Path, an unusual three-segment path that runs down from Arcade Avenue and Fairlawn Drive past Queens Road to Campus Drive.
Glendale is just one of the hundred-odd paths that link the winding streets in the Berkeley and Oakland hills. The pathways were originally laid out to join the streets, which mostly run horizontally, along the contour lines. Whether paved paths or secret trails, they are fun to use and popular with neighbors. They are also vital escape routes in case of natural disaster, so keeping them in good shape is important.
In Berkeley alone, there are some 136 paths, steps, and walkways. They appear on the excellent map published by The Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, at www.berkeleypaths.org. Oakland’s network of paths is shown on the “Walk Oakland!” map published by the City of Oakland, www.oaklandnet.com/government/opsp.html.
For a description and history of paths in both cities, see William Rodarmor’s article “Paths of Least Resistance” in the Summer 2004 Berkeley Hills Realty newsletter, at www.berkhills.com. Happy after a good morning of Glendale Path stewardship: Steve and Sandy Patel-Hilferty, Nancy Mueller, Daniel and Una O’Connell (our littlest helper), Jane Allen and Kim Brown, from Berkeley Hills Realty.