The goal of the Walk series is to explore the uniqueness of every part of Oakland. We firmly believe that interest and value are wherever you look for them—the flats of deep East Oakland hold as much to explore and appreciate as the woods of Redwood Regional. We want to walk Oakland in all its complicated reality: gritty (literally) urban streets and mellow parks and gardens. We're especially interested in how the natural and constructed Oaklands intersect, so be ready to see both in full effect: from trash to trees and lots in between. Enjoy all the food for thought our city has to offer—and consider picking up a little of that trash along the way.
The most commonly given reasons to walk are that it’s great exercise and doesn’t create any pollution—very true, and reason enough to walk those 10 blocks to BART instead of driving there. We believe that there are many more compelling reasons to use your feet (or your wheelchair—check links below for accessible trail info) to get around:
- explore your neighborhood
- explore other people’s neighborhoods
- check out what Oaklanders are doing with their yards
- survey the endless sidewalk stamps
- figure out your favorite house colors
- appreciate the diversity of Oakland’s architecture
- say hello to your fellow Oakland residents
- watch squirrels do their squirrel thing
- let go of whatever pissed you off today
- think about how great your life is, even when it feels sucky
- save money -- it’s free
- work out your next big idea
What’s your favorite reason?
Oakland Walks & Tours http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=rhsn56go9e22bc1q78392oavas%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/Los_Angeles Very excellent calendar of all the walks and tours going on in Oakland. In any given month you'll find walks scheduled for Mountain View Cemetary, the Waterfront, Oakland Airport's North Field, Jingletown and more, plus engaging tours focused on local architecture, African American historical leaders of Oakland, re-zoning, and other interesting topics.
East Bay Municipal Utilities District http://www.ebmud.com/services/recreation/east_bay/trails/default.htm Maps & info on EBMUD recreation area trails and outdoor activities. Check out the paddle boats at Lafayette Reservoir!
Sausal Creek http://www.sausalcreek.org Download a Sausal Creek trail and tributary map
East Bay Parks http://www.ebparks.org/parks/trails Click on the links for each trail for maps and detailed info on history, mileage, and accessibility
Joaquin Miller Park http://www.oaklandnet.com/JoaquinMillerPark/map.html Scroll to the bottom of the page to download favorite hiking routes
Wheelchair Trails http://www.wheelchairtrails.net Bay Area Wheelchair Accessible Trails, reviews and photos of over a hundred trails
Ishmael Reed's Blues City: A Walk in Oakland http://www.powells.com/biblio/1400045401 Local icon and writer Ishmael Reed takes us through his own Oakland exploration, from the Black Panthers legacy tour to black cowboy parades and way more. This book is a deep read—one very informed and astute man’s perspective on Oakland’s complex realities, clearly written with love for our city and frustration with all the forces that keep it down. If you only buy books online pick it up at Powell’s with the link above, but we recommend you get it at Marcus Books or Walden Pond Books here in town—support your Oakland bookstores!
Briar Levit's Unseen Bay Area http://www.briarmade.com/index.html The first in Briar Levit’s Unseen Bay Area walking guide series, "Inside the Brambles", gives practical details for a beautiful hike and encourages exploration of the lesser appreciated flora of Redwood Regional Park. Briar’s gorgeously-designed book is both a treat for the eyes and a unique guide to one of Oakland’s natural treasures. Only six bucks!
Walking Map of Oakland http://store.maplink.com/map.aspx?pid=528717 A very affordable ($5) walking map of Oakland
10000 Steps http://www.10000stepsoakland.org/about.php Currently creating self-guided walking tours of Lincoln, Madison, Jefferson and Lafayette Square Parks. Click on the park links (nested in their logo) for history and other info on these parks.
Walking Tours of Oakland http://www.oaklandnet.com/government/cmo/walkingTours/default.html Free walking tours in and around downtown Oakland. Not a lot of nature but a great way to learn about Oakland history and architecture.