Self-Guided Walks

Past Events




Thousand Oaks Walk

This walk was led by Pat DeVito on 26 August 2000.

Thousand Oaks

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.

The Walk

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 street traffic.

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 we began.


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.



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Last updated: 29 January, 2012