EL CERRITO -- Hiking enthusiasts have a way to plan their excursions within the city with the help of a new trail map now available on the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers website.

The map was created by Trail Trekkers member Steve Bowes, a National Park Service employee, with help from about 20 other members, said Trail Trekkers board Chairman Dave Weinstein.

It shows the city's trails on public and private land, links between trails along city sidewalks, as well as potential trail routes and trails that are impassable.

Trail Trekkers members walked the trails and did research with maps and county documents, Weinstein said.

Dave Weinstein, founder of El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, hikes with Patchie in an area adjacent to the Hillside Natural Area in El Cerrito on July 30, 2013.
Dave Weinstein, founder of El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, hikes with Patchie in an area adjacent to the Hillside Natural Area in El Cerrito on July 30, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff file)

"We gave Steve (the routes) of about 60 trails, and he drew them on the map," he said. "The values of the map show existing trails and what can be done in creating new trails."

All the passable trails on public land, such as the Ohlone Greenway and the upper and lower Hillside Natural Areas, are open for use. Trails on private land owned by Pacific Gas & Electric, at the end of Moeser Lane, and at Camp Herms, the property above Arlington owned by the Boy Scouts of America, are also open to the public.

"We could put trails into the PG&E property above Arlington Boulevard, all the way up the crest into Wildcat Canyon," Weinstein said. "It forms a nice loop."


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San Pablo Avenue is also considered a public trail for purposes of the map, listing pedestrian alleys, such as the paved walkway next to the KFC on San Pablo that the Trail Trekkers refer to as "Fast Food Way."

"As opposed to walking on San Pablo you have an alley as an urban pathway," Weinstein said. "It reminds me of something similar I saw in Ireland, where there are these pedestrian alleys as alternatives to the main streets."

The Trekkers are also eyeing a strip of land just west of Interstate 80 from Potrero Avenue north to Cutting Boulevard for a trail, along with picnic facilities, a tot lot and perhaps a community garden.

The proposed trail location is indicated on the map.

"The flatlands are not well-served with open space," Weinstein said. "It's a beautiful spot where the highway is elevated so you don't hear the noise."

To find the map, go to http://ectrailtrekkers.home.comcast.net and click on the link to "The Paths" at the top of the home page which, in turn, has a link to the map.

The Trail Trekkers will be offering one-hour tours of the Madera Open Space, a 7.5-acre property that will serve as a link between the city-owned upper and lower Hillside Natural areas at 10 a.m. Nov. 3.

There will also be a two-hour tour of the Madera property and adjacent portions of the Hillside Natural Area at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The tours will begin at the top of the "Stairs to Somewhere" near Madera Elementary School, 8500 Madera Drive.

The Trust for Public Land is planning to buy the property from a private owner for about $475,000 and then resell it to the city at the end of next year.

The city is also applying for state and federal grants and the trail group is raising funds toward the purchase.