By Sandy Friedland
The rains have let up (we hope!), flowers and trees are blooming, and there’s no better time to head out for a walk. Consider taking one of three terrific new routes that walking guru Bob Johnson has created. They cover Upper Shattuck and the Marin Circle, Strawberry Creek Park and the Santa Fe Railway, and Berkeley Woods, a hilly neighborhood in Northeast Berkeley.
These new routes, complete with easy-to-follow maps and color photos, are available in a 32-page, downloadable file for $4.99 here. The document can be read on a mobile device or printed out.
The new walks supplement the 21 routes in Berkeley Walks, the popular guidebook co-written by Bob and BPWA board member Janet Byron. Now in its second edition, the book is available in local bookstores and from our online store.
Bob and Janet will lead an abbreviated version of the Upper Shattuck and Marin Circle walk on Saturday, April 27. (See the details below.)
Like the walks in their book, Bob’s latest ones are plotted around points of interest that are numbered on the each route map and explained in corresponding text. Among the highlights are architecturally significant houses, historical facts, noteworthy residents, geology, yard art, and even the street trees and shrubbery. The routes vary from two to four miles with options for shortening them.
All three routes have paths, including an unnamed and little known one off Sunset Lane in Berkeley Woods.
An inveterate walker and dogged researcher, Bob finds material for his published walks in the old street directories that preceded phonebooks; in libraries and online databases; and from Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and Berkeley Historical Society. One of his favorite sources is the Hall of Fame in the lobby of the Community Theater, which lists famous graduates of Berkeley High School.
And Bob is not retiring to an easy chair any time soon. “I have 15 more walks ready to go,” he says, “including a literary-themed one in the Cragmont neighborhood that includes paths named for many poets and writers.””
By Sandy Friedland