About Us

Madera Students with Jim McKissock [Dave Weinstein]

[Dave Weinstein]

Within the city of El Cerrito there are a number of existing paths and trails that are underutilized and in disrepair.  The existing paths and trails traverse the urban landscape through coastal oak woodlands and riparian corridors.

Our mission statement

El Cerrito Trail Trekkers is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving, improving and extending the city’s network of public pathways, stairs, trails and greenways for pedestrian and bicycle use. We also advocate for increased public open space, and sponsor activities that involve trails and open space, including hikes, festivals, and other educational events.

Brief history and accomplishments: Trekkers was founded in 2010, initially as an offshoot of the city’s Environmental Quality Committee. We were inspired by Berkeley Path Wanderers. Since then the group has built several new trails in the Hillside Natural Area, and improved several other trails.

Work parties include trail building and maintenance, broom pulling and other habitat enhancement projects, often in conjunction with the EQC Green Teams and Friends of Five Creeks.

In 2014, working with the El Cerrito High Mountain Biking Club, Trust for Public land, and the city, we spearheaded a successful effort to acquire the Madera Open Space and added it to the Hillside Natural Area. As part of the deal for federal funding, we also secured an agreement that will preserve the entire Hillside Natural Area as open space in perpetuity.

Trekkers worked with the National Park Service to develop our trail map to all city trails, and way-marking signs in the Hillside Natural Area. We worked with the El Cerrito Rotary Club on the Rotary Interpretive Walk in the Hillside. Both sets of signs will be installed soon.

Trekkers puts on two dozen hikes every year, plus an annual Hillside Festival in conjunction with the Environmental Quality Committee.

By working closely with the city, Trekkers has brought renewed public attention to the city’s open spaces and trail network.

Current projects:

— We are overseeing installation of the National Park Service-designed waymarking signs in the Hillside Natural Area.

— We are working to place our Trail Maps in local stores for sale.

— We are working to preserve the 15-acre Fairview Open Space from a proposal to build 38 large homes on this fragile and beautiful habitat, and to add the land to the Hillside Natural Area. As part of our Open Space Campaign, we are working to preserve other private land adjacent to the public Hillside by acquiring easements to permit public us.

— We will continue to lead hikes, trail work and habitat improvement parties, and the annual Hillside Festival, as the pandemic eases or ends.

Get involved

Lend a hand and add your spark of creative energy to the group. Trekkers needs hike leaders, trail and open space advocates, trail work volunteers, naturalists and anyone with enthusiasm. Email davidsweinstein@yahoo.com.

2021 Board

David Weinstein, president davidsweinstein@yahoo.com

Wade Huntley, vice president

Barbara Lass, secretary, barbara.lass@att.net

Pam Austin, treasurer, paustin26@yahoo.com

Clare Sheridan, member at large

Melissa Hobbs, member at large

Advisory Group

Tim Aaronson, Tom Gehling, Jenny Hammer, Melissa Hobbs,  John Norikane

Meet the Board

Dave Weinstein, president. One of the founders of Trail Trekkers, he is a longtime El Cerrito journalist, a member of the city’s Environmental Quality Committee, president of the El Cerrito Historical Society, and a founder of Friends of the Cerrito Theater.

Wade Huntley, vice president, is a 21-year El Cerrito resident, a one-time avid backpacker and snow mountaineer, and a committed advocate of environmental preservation. He greatly appreciates the opportunity Trail Trekkers provides to help preserve and enhance use of El Cerrito open spaces.  He is on the faculty of the National Security Affairs department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

Pam Austin. Pam Austin is treasurer of the Trekkers and coordinates the hikes offered by the Trekkers. She is retired after about 30 years in human resources and earlier this year she became a Master Gardener.

Barbara Lass, secretary. “I am a 20 year resident of El Cerrito. I teach anthropology at City College of San Francisco, and my specialty within the field of anthropology is archaeology. I’ve been on the Trail Trekkers board (secretary) for about 2 ½ years. Wade and I enjoy hiking the trails of the Hillside Natural Area and elsewhere in El Cerrito and the East Bay.”

Clare Sheridan, member at large. Clare, her husband and teenage son enjoy walking out their front door and being on one of El Cerrito’s many trails in just a few minutes. She works as an analyst at the University of California’s Office of the President. She is grateful for all of the work that El Cerrito Trail Trekkers has done to make El Cerrito a wonderful place to live and is looking forward to continuing this work.

Melissa Hobbs, member at large, comes from five generations of women who moved back and forth between Ohio and California. The first generations on both sides came by wagon train in the 1850’s. She has been involved in the environmental movement since April 22, 1970. After earning a BA degree at Kent State University in Ohio, she migrated to California, raised a family in the wilds of western Sonoma County, and worked for the State of California as an assistant claims manager before marrying Albany and her husband Tom in 2010. She is a storyteller, writer, poet and hiker.

Events and Publicity Committee
Organizing events such as our annual meeting and membership appreciation parties
Pam Austin, Clare Sheridan

Fundraising and Membership Committee
Explore sources of funding (grants, membership dues, selling maps, etc.) Increase Trekker membership through various sources (City events, newspaper articles, etc.)
Pam Austin, David Weinstein

Hikes Committee
Organize and schedule hikes and work with hike leaders.
Pam Austin

Path Building and Improvement Committee
Organize work parties to build, repair and maintain trails and adjacent areas.
Jenny Hammer, David Weinstein, John Norikane

Trail Trekkers newsletter archive

Trails in the news

El Cerrito’s Walkways and Trails – Contra Costa Marketplace

El Cerrito seeking grant toward open space property purchase – Contra Costa Times

Trekking El Cerrito’s Hidden Gem – El Cerrito Patch

El Cerrito groups make progress on path to land purchase – Contra Costa Times

El Cerrito man’s community activism brings tangible results – Contra Costa Times

El Cerrito trails: There’s a map for that – Contra Costa Times

8 Acre Parcel in El Cerrito Makes Big Footprint – S.F. Chronicle Article

El Cerrito’s Wilderness Park Has Never Received the Love It Deserves

San Francisco ‘Zippered Mosaic’

New Book: “Secret” Public Stairs of the East Bay 

Berkeley Path’s Charlie Bowen Video Portrait

99% Invisible Radio Episode- Secret Staircases

© 2022 El Cerrito Trail Trekkers Contact