Trail of the Week 25: La Honda Way (#1)

northern trailsLa Honda Way is the first trail on our list, and the most northern trail in the city. In the city and out of it; the northern end is actually in East Richmond Heights, an unincorporated neighborhood along Arlington Blvd. north of Aqua Vista Dr. The northern end looks like a private driveway from Claremont Ave, but it turns into a grassy alley as you cross into El Cerrito.

The trail gets its name from La Honda Avenue, a one-block-long street between Barrett Ave  and Aqua Vista Drive. The trail starts at the intersection of La Honda and Aqua Vista and continues in the same direction as its namesake street. Interestingly, across from where La Honda Ave starts at Barrett is the top of the Barrett to Tassajara Trail, number 5 on out list. The three segments actually form a direct route from the Heights to Tasajara Park.

The green and pleasant El Cerrito section [TJ Gehling]

The green and pleasant El Cerrito section [TJ Gehling]

As mentioned above, La Honda Way is itself divided into two segments. The southern end starts at Aqua Vista and proceeds north between the fences of the two bordering houses. It is straight, level and grassy, and can actually get rather overgrown with weeds. This segment lasts about 100 feet and seems to be entirely in El Cerrito, since it ends at the back property line of the adjacent houses. There are also posts that mark, but do not block, the border.

The border and beyond [TJ Gehling]

The border and beyond [TJ Gehling]

Once through the posts there is a short set of stairs leading to the driveway-like second section. Befitting its location, this segment ascends into East Richmond Heights, though not very much. Most of the rise in elevation is due to the four steps. This section is also about 100 feet long.

For those of you interested in going a little farther afield, from either end of the trail proceed up hill to Arlington. Across the street between Aqua Vista Drive and Claremont is Aqua Vista Road. After a dog-leg to the left at Richmond Ave, Aqua Vista Rd dead-ends at a trail that leads into Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. The trail crosses Wildcat Creek at a ford but when the water is low it is a fairly easy route (Your experience may vary. This is a wildland trail and should be approached as such. There are some steep bits, and a very dry trail can be just as slippery as a wet one. As always, be careful and look out for poison oak. )



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