This walk was led by Pat DeVito on 26 August 2000.
John Spring, a one-time partner of Duncan McDuffie, developed
the Thousand Oaks subdivision in 1911. Spring, inspired by
his friend McDuffie who developed both Northbrae and Claremont
subdivisions, laid out Thousand Oaks along winding streets,
incorporating prominent boulders and rock out-croppings that
are features of many of the paths, parks, and landscaped properties
visible on this walk. Many of the houses around John Hinkel
Park were built on part of the original Spring Property that
was subdivided in 1910.
Thousand Oaks Heights, developed by Spring in 1912, was set
north and east of Arlington Avenue. Although the area is not
part of this walk, I've marked paths by the City of Berkeley's
Inventory Index number on the attached map for your walking
pleasure-either on your own or for another walk. These paths
include: #18, Santa Barbara Path; #20, Boynton Walk; #21,
Maryland Walk; #22, Florida Walk; and #25, Holmes Path.
This walk, starting at Indian Rock Park, will wend its way
through John Hinkel Park and then along San Diego Road to
Southhampton and Tunbridge Lane (#11); down Tunbridge to Arlington
Avenue. This path was recently improved with a railing along
the steps at the bottom; the steps which had been badly upheaved
were also repaired, making it considerably easier to walk.
Turn right and walk along the Arlington to Thousand Oaks Blvd.
at Yosemite Road; left along Yosemite to Great Stoneface Park.
Go down the asphalted lane along the Park and turn right at
the path along the lower edge of the Park. Cross the street
and walk down Indian Trail (#17) to The Alameda; this path
is well-tended and has curving stepping stones that blend
into the surrounding environment (and is one of my favorites).
Note the large elm to the right at the foot of the path,
at The Alameda. Proceed right along The Alameda to El Paseo
Path (#14); this path has two segments and we turn right on
Vincente Avenue at the bottom. We walk along Vincente to Menlo
Place and around past Vallejo to Vincente Walk (#15).
Vincente Walk is quite steep so watch your step. Note the
new wooden fence recently built by the adjoining homeowner
on the right of the path. At the cui-desac at the bottom,
we go left along Vincente until we come to Visalia Steps (#16).
Walk up Visalia, noting the boulders to your right along the
path. The risers on the steps of both Vincente Walk and Visalia
Steps are fairly high, and walkers may want to stop and rest
before reaching the top at Menlo Place.
At Menlo Place we cross the street and walk along Santa Rosa
Avenue to Thousand Oaks and The Alameda; right on the Alameda
to Capistrano Avenue; and right on Capistrano until we come
to Laurel Lane. This lane is actually an alley with two segments,
between Capistrano and San Pedro Avenue. It is not a part
of Berkeley's Pathway Network, but I have always delighted
in the surprise of walking along it as a refuge from surrounding
At San Pedro Ave. turn left to The Alameda. Cross the street
and proceed up Yosemite Steps (#4). Yosemite Steps has two
segments, but we turn right at Contra Costa Avenue. Go past
Contra Costa Rock to Solano Avenue; walk east along Solano
toward the Tunnel and up an unmarked and not well-maintained
path, Black Path (#9), to Mendocino Avenue. Turn left along
Mendocino to Indian Rock Path (#5); up Indian Rock Path (the
top two segments of three) and return to Indian Rock where
There is some back-tracking and going
round about on this walk, but I deliberately
chose the route so we could walk down
Indian Trail and El Paseo, and up Visalia
Steps as I think they are best experienced
in those directions.