Category Archives: Trail of the Week

Trail of the Week 36: Tassajara Park Trail (#4)

Northern trails

Northern trails

After a long gap, we return to the north of the city for the third and last of Tassajara Park’s associated trails, the aptly named Tassajara Park Trail. We’ve previously showcased the Tassajara to Barrett path, which descend from Barrett to Tassajara Avenue, across from the park, and the Barrett to Alva path, which runs along the western edge of the park. But the Tassajara Park Trail is unique in that it begins in, and passes through, the park itself.

Entrance behind the hoop

Entrance behind the hoop [TJ Gehling]

Canyon Trail Park runs in a southeasterly direction from its northern edge along Barrett Ave., to its southern edge at the corner of Tassajara and Alva. Tassajara Ave. makes up the whole of the eastern border as it follows a contour of the hills, rising gradually to meet Alva, which forms an elevated southwestern border. The park can be divided into three areas: a pair of tennis courts in the northwest, a baseball field in the southeast, and an open area in between featuring a play area, basketball courts, a picnic area and the clubhouse. An unnamed path along the south side of the tennis courts connects the Alva-Barrett trail to the play area, but the main entrance to the park is from Tassajara Ave. next to the clubhouse. Here starts a path that leads to the basketball courts and the official start of our trail for the week.

Storybook hikers on the path [TJ Gehling]

Storybook hikers on the path [TJ Gehling]

Although plants and trees are plentiful around the edges of the park, the only thing even a bit forest-like is a small stand of trees squeezed between the basketball courts, the baseball field, and a few house on Alva above. And here former generations of park users have worn their own path from the courts to the field. That no path was originally planned if obvious, since it is necessary to step up onto a low retaining wall. But as you scramble up the small hill over roots and rock you quickly come to a path that runs along the southwest side (and third base line) of the ball park. A fence and a hedge divide the path from the field, and a border of trees and shrubs covers the short slope up to Alva. This segment of the path ends  with a short climb up to the corner of Tassajara and Alva.

The baseball field from the path's southern entrance. [TJ Gehling]

The baseball field from the path’s southern entrance. [TJ Gehling]

The pictures accompanying this post were taken during Dave Weinstein’s Storybook Homes hike on July 19. Other pictures from that day are included in the post for the Francisco to Tulare Path. Tassajara Park is a popular waypoint on our northern hikes, not the least because of the presence of restrooms and a drinking fountain. But there was another reason to pass through on this recent hike. Last year, while drafting a list of possible future work sites for the Trekkers, the state of the Tassajara Park Trail by the basketball courts was brought to our attention. It was suggested that this might be an ideal spot for the placement of treads, since the current condition of the slope is a bit slippery. While the segment is quite short, there are obstacles in the form of outcropping rocks and tree roots to work around. It would probably be ideal to make an openning in the retaining wall as well. But perhaps next year we’ll be putting out a call for help to improve this trail.

But even if you don’t want to work, pay a vist to Tassajara Park if you get the chance. It is a little oasis in a vast sea of expensive houses, interesting though many of them are. If you are interested in the houses, a previous Storybook homes hike is chronicled here.