El Cerrito Paths, Trails and Public Stairways
A guide to publicly owned paths and privately owned paths that are in general use, and paths that are currently impassable.
The level of agreement with private land owners about the public use of trails on their property varies.
The numbers are keyed to a map produced in a partnership between El Cerrito Trail Trekkers and the National Park Service’s Rivers & Trails Program.
Key: Existing public trails are green. Impassable public trails are blue and underlined. Private paths in general use are purple.
1. La Honda Way. Trailhead in El Cerrito is between 6417 and 6511 Alta Vista, where La Honda hits Alta Vista.
2. Francisco to Tulare Path. Two legs, starting between 2637 and 2641 Francisco, emerging between 2621 and 2625 Mira Vista; ending between 2626 and 2628 Tulare.
3. Tassajara Passage between Alva and Barrett avenues on the south side of Tassajara Park.
4. Tassajara Park Trail. From Tassajara Avenue near Alva Ave through Tassajara Park, ending by the recreational center.
5. Tassajara-Barrett Steps. Barrett (between numbers 6434 and 6500) ending at Tassajara (between numbers 2548 and 2550).
6. Poinsett Park Walk. Small trail bisects Poinsett Park between Poinsett and Rosalind avenues. Along Rosalind Avenue, sidewalk provides nice view of Poinsett Creek.
7. Lagunitas to Edwards Path. Two legs. Trailhead appears to belong to the driveway at 2367 Carquinez but is really a public right of way. Right-of-way emerges between 2444 and 2502 Mira Vista. Needs steps. You must currently go onto private property to reach the sidewalk. Leg two right-of-way is between 2445 and 2501 Mira Vista and emerges between 2448 and 2500 Tulare. Blocked at both ends.
8. Highland Walk. Grassy alley running from 2212 Scenic Street to 2201 Harvard St.
9. Tamalpais to Arlington Path. Steps between 2036 and 2040 Tamalpais emerge north of 1849 Arlington Blvd.
10. Canyon Trail. Runs east through the park from Conlon Avenue.
11. Gatto Trail.From between 6637 and 6641 Gatto to 6462 Conlon, near 2150 Junction.
12. Knott Trail. Two legs, the second of which is passable. Leg one is a steep trail starting north of 6501 Hagen. Steps needed. Leg two from between 2052 and 2056 Harper. It emerges by 2063 Tapscott St.
13. Ohlone Greenway. Popular asphalt bike and pedestrian route runs length of city along former rail tracks, now BART.
14. Del Norte to Ohlone Greenway. Paved walkway in Del Norte Plaza from San Pablo Ave to Ohlone Greenway. Trailhead at 11800 San Pablo Avenue at Wall Avenue. Privately owned.
15. Manor Passage. From between 6703 and 6803 Blake to between 1728 and 1732 Manor Circle.
17. St. John’s Way. Connects Ohlone Greenway to Kearney Street. Privately owned.
18. The Court Cut. Connects Gayle Court and Noble Court.
Hillside Natural Area Trails
We list the main trails, skipping some “social trails” that are dangerous or environmentally destructive. Note that at publication time of our printed map, city officials were considering renaming some trails in the Hillside. They have since done so. The new names, which we will use on subsequent printed versions of the map, are indicated here in parentheses.
19. Snowdon Way. Between 1768 and 1800 Ganges Avenue. Paved, pedestrian-only section of Snowdon Avenue.
20. Lower Snowdon Trail (new name, Castro Trail) links Snowdon Way to a spot near the base of Motorcycle Hill Trail.
21. Upper Snowdon Trail (new name, Peralta Trail) will run roughly parallel to Lower Snowdon, linking the former EBMUD tank site to an uphill portion of Motorcycle Hill Trail.
22. Motorcycle Hill Trail. From between 1636 Navellier and 7255 Blake, to the summit of Motorcycle Hill, and continues to Potrero Avenue between numbers 7701 and 7705.
23. Julian Steps. Two legs. Starts between 1520 and 1524 Madera Circle, downhill on steps to between 1614 and 1618 Julian Drive, downhill again to between 7704 and 7708 Potrero.
24. Madera-Julian Trail (new name, Chochenyo Trail) Trail winds along the top of Madera Open Space to connect with the Julian Steps.
25. Madera to Ridge Trail. Starts between 1540 and 1560 Madera Circle. Trail leads downhill to one end of the Ridge Trail at Regency Ct.
26. Wildwood Creek Trail. Short, gentle incline along the partially channelized Wildwood Creek, trailhead from Navellier trail right after the first big turn going uphill.
27. Navellier Trail. Trailhead is a paved road between 1432 and 1440 Navellier Street, turning into a steep dirt fire road soon. Crosses the Ridge and Live Oak trails and ends near the mouth of Regency Ct.
28. Church Trail starts from the same place as Navellier but goes more directly east on a narrow path and ends at the Live Oak Trail.
29. Ridge Trail. Connects Regency Court and Madera Open Space to King Court.
30. Live Oak Trail. Trailhead at 1524 Douglas Drive, it crosses the Navellier Trail, runs south, roughly parallel to the Ridge Trail, to Forest Brown Trail. Portion of the trail includes the sign-posted Rotary Interpretive Trail.
31. Forest Brown Trail. From its main, signed entrance on Schmidt Lane, climbs to the Ridge Trail.
32. The Lower Trail (new name, Huchiun Trail). Takes off from the Forest Brown Trail about 100 yards into the park and runs along the fence line of neighboring homes. Northern portion pass through private property and is now posted as off limits.
33. The Ken Smith Trail. From the Ridge Trail just before it reaches King Court, the Ken Smith Trail takes you through a eucalyptus grove, also known as the Ken Smith Memorial Grove.
34. The Duke and Earl Trail. A proposed path from near Earl Court alongside Duke, Baron and King courts to the Ken Smith Trail.
(End of Hillside Natural Area)
35. Rifle Range Road Trail. Trailhead and trail are both in Richmond, at the end of Rifle Range Road past Vista Heights Road, but as this is the closest El Cerrito has to a passable trail into Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.
36. Brewster Trail. From 1311 and 1319 Brewster Court downhill to 1334 Contra Costa Drive.
37. Betty Lane Path. City right-of-way runs from between 1141 and 1145 Contra Costa Avenue, downhill to King Drive between 1140 and 1146.
38. Shevlin to Arlington Park Path. Three parts. From 1102 Shevlin to 1024 and 1145 King, from 1021 and 1101 King to 1085 and 1103 Contra Costa, and between 1080 and 1108 Contra Costa and 1095 and 1099 Arlington Boulevard.
39. Arlington Park Trail. Runs along creek in beautiful park. Could connect to Camp Herms Boy Scout camp but gate blocks.
40. Ivy Court to Camp Herms entry. Short stretch of trail accessing Camp Herms Trail from end of Ivy Court between 1150 and 1151.
41. Leneve Place. This is a scenic, sidewalk connector between Ivy Court and Terrace Drive.
44. Great Western Power Trail. Fire road and trail, with several parallel paths, winds way uphill from Navellier beneath the PG&E (former Great Western) power lines. It ends at Shevlin Drive. Owned by PG&E.
45. Dorothy Rosenberg Park Trail. Alternative entrance to Dorothy Rosenberg Memorial Park from Shevlin. The route is neither well defined nor separated from the adjacent private property. The park is not yet open to the public.
46. Stockton-King Trail. A well-used path with trailhead between 894 and 900 Shevlin. Trail emerges on King between numbers 929 and 933.
47. Terrace Cutoff. Halfway up hikers can take the Terrace Cutoff trail that leads to Terrace between 8231 and 8239. Trekkers is currently improving this path. The top third is barely passable.
48. Terrace Creek View. Between 8106 and 8118 Terrace, just above Shevlin.
49. Contra Costa to Arlington Trail. A three-leg trail with only one segment passable. Leg one: Steps start from 836 Contra Costa and emerge between 737 and 763 Bay Tree Lane. At Bay Tree, the walk appears to be a private driveway but is not. Other legs impassible.
50. Bay Tree Lane to Contra Costa Dr. The right of way goes along border with Kensington, starting at the end of the driveway at 810 Contra Costa Drive. Blocked by houses.
51. Huber Park Trails and Terrace Drive and Park Way to Huber. The Upper Huber Trail runs north of the creek, a woodland trail. Two trails enter Huber from above, on Terrace Drive. One starts between 8037 and 8045 Terrace, the other between 7991 and 8001 Terrace.
52. Cerrito Vista Park Trail. Trail from Avis Drive, across from Prospect Sierra School, winds down into park through a grove of trees. Also, a stairway off Avis leads into park.
53. Liberty to Ohlone Path. Short dirt path to Greenway, starting across the street from 712-716 Liberty; treads would be useful.
54. Eureka Bike Ramp. Asphalt bike ramp descends to the Ohlone Greenway from just east of 6602 Eureka, where Eureka intersects Liberty.
55. El Cerritto Historical Trail, also known as the sidewalk on San Pablo Avenue or the Lincoln Highway. The route takes walkers to 28 historic-culture pavers that tell the story of the city and to many historic sites.
56. Avila Walk. Paved path from next to 10175 San Pablo Avenue to the dead-end of Avila Way.
57. Fairmount-to-Rockway Path. Pedestrian sidewalk goes one block from the commercial district on Fairmount, between 7445 and 7519 to residential Rockway, emerging between 7444 and 7454.
59. Behrens Way. Tiny, well landscaped earthen barrier blocking Behrens where it crosses from El Cerrito to Albany.
60. Cerrito Creek Trail. Three segments, one from the Ohlone Greenway to the entrance of the Plaza,then after a one street hiatus from Talbott Avenue to Kains Avenue, where the creek goes underground. You must then cross San Pablo Ave at Carlson and pick up the trail again where Avis meets Carlson. From here it runs to Creekside Park and the city border. [A parallel path runs along the creek in several discontinuous segments on the Albany side.]
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