<![CDATA[Stairways To Freedom - Berkeley & Oakland Stairs]]>Mon, 04 Jan 2016 00:21:19 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Back to the beginnings ]]>Fri, 01 Nov 2013 08:23:01 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/back-to-the-beginnings
I revisited my first Berkley Stairway experience. My plan is get more involved with the stairs in the bay area and not just through social media. I believe that spiritual awareness starts on stairways. In the meantime, I changed up my formula and am doing more videos. Pics are still included in the links.

My favorite part of this hike was towards the end. Witnessing all kinds of animals including geese in a home alongside a path. The thing I love about East Bay Walks is there always seems to be something unusual or interesting next to these stairs or paths. My guess is that proud neighbor want to decorate their backyards for the walkers.

Started on Claremont and The Uplands. Was surprised to see that the 36 stairs on The Uplands was closed off. I trudged up anyways and headed right on Hillcrest.

''The Steps'' is the name of the stairway on Hillcrest. 65 steps down.

On Eucalyptus Rd, headed right and in a loop until reaching Hillcrest Rd again.

The tennis court is Across the street from is the  Crossways. 49 steps plus a path  to lead me to Roselyn Court.

Turned left onto Chabot Crest, left on Manor Crest, and then left uphill on Raonoke Rd. There are a plethora of massive homes on this road.

Made it back to The Crossroads again and there is a path just across the street from the first Crossroad. Took that downhill until landing on the Uplands.

Turned right and walked on for a block. Parkside Road reaches a dead end and there is a green park, nut I passed it and turned right on Parkside.

The ''cutoff'' features about 70 stairways and glamorous plants. After the culmination of these steps, just turn right for a bit and the ''Oakridge'' Steps are next. These 125 steep steps bring you up to a fine view of San Francisco and the bay.

Turning left on Oakridge Rd brings you to Oakridge Path. I saw ducks and roosters on this path, it was intriguing and I left a video for you.

For Pics click here
<![CDATA[Julian Michelucci's ''Merriewood'' Walking Experience¬†]]>Sat, 31 Aug 2013 01:45:41 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/1Merriewood is abundantly filled with wooden stairs, birds, and trees. This walk definitely had a forest feel to it. I climbed a total of 637 steps on this walk, though the total distance is just a tad over 1 mile. The combination of stairs and hills on this walk give you a worthy leg challenging workout. I started on Thornhill Rd and ascended up my first stairway (pic 1-2) after house 5915. This stairway was marked by a sign that said ''Public Stairway.''  72 steep stairs. Noticed some wild berry vines.

Just across the street another 117 steps (pic 3). Landed on 5612 Merriewood Dr. Turned right. Turned left on Taurus Ave. Noticed 2 chickens (pic 4) in the streets. Turned right on Sherwood Dr, continued to walk uphill. Turned right on Abbott Dr and admired a castle house (pic 5). After 35 Abbot climbed down 40 wooden steps (pic 6). Landed on Merriewood once more. Appreciated the views of the Oakland Hills. Turned left and after 5960, found another marked public stairway. 123 very steep steps (pic 7). Climbed down and watched my balance. Arrived on Valley ViewTurned right and downhill. Another 75 (pic 8) steps followed by a walkway and another 93 steps (pic 9). Arrived on Doncaster Place, crossed the short pavement. Another 99 steps down, all wooden. 
                                              Pics 1 and 2. First stairway on Merriewood
                                                                  Pic 3. 2nd stairway
                                 Pic 6. Stairway on Abbott
Pic 7.
                                Pic 8.
                 Pic 9. final stairway 99 steps down to Merriewood
<![CDATA[Kensington South]]>Wed, 17 Apr 2013 00:00:47 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/kensington-southThe Kensington South Walk is about 3 miles long, considerably longer than the Kensington North, though not quite as steep. I picked up some fascinating views and a couple of interesting paths and stairways. Started off on Arlington Ave. Turned left onto Ardmore Rd. My first pathway (pic 1) was at the end of Beverly Ct. Took the path and walked down 6 or 7 steps onto Lenox Rd. Turned left, appreciated some views. 2 blocks down found my 2nd path (pic 2) and took it to Stratford Rd. Turned left on Stratford onto Coventry Rd. 

After house 640, found the pathway (pic 3) and saw a deer running down my direction. It beared left eventually though and stood in some open grass space. I climbed up some steps and onto the pathway and landed myself on Coventry Rd. Continued on it until reaching Arlington once more.

Turned right on Arlington passed Ace Hardware Store and left onto San Luis Rd. At the end of the block found a path and turned left onto it. Landed on Santa Barbara Rd and turned right. Turned left and uphill on Florida Ave. The Florida Steps (pic 4) rest at the end of the blocks. 37 steep steps up. Climbed and landed on Michigan Ave. Continued uphill and slightly the right, then turned left onto Kentucky Ave. A block down and on the right side of the road found a pathway (pic 5) and took it up and came back down. 

Continued down Kentucky Ave and turned left onto Maryland Ave. Where Maryland Ave meets Vermont, a 76 step stairway rests. I took down the stairs and took some photos of the bay and was enthralled. (Pic 7, 8, 9.) Arrived on Boynton Ave. Across the street and to the left found the public pathway, ''Boynton Walk.'' It's about 37 steps down (pic 10.) Arrived on Arlington once more. 
Pic 1. Pathway on Beverly Ct
Pic 2. Deer comes charging towards my direction on the Pathway from Lenox to Stratford Rd
Pic 3. Pathway from San Luis Rd to Santa Barbara Rd
Pic 4. Florida Steps
Pic 5. Stairway from Kentucky Ave to Vassar Ave
Pic 6. Top of Stairway, Maryland Walk
Pic 7. Coming down from the Maryland Walk Stairway
Pic 9. bottom of Maryland Walk Steps
Pic 10. Boynton Walk
<![CDATA[Another East Bay Delight- Kensington North]]>Mon, 15 Apr 2013 22:55:44 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/another-east-bay-delight-kensington-northThis Kensington Stairway walk was gorgeous and consisted of very steep hills. There were some stairs but mostly pathways and hills. The views were staggering. I started off between Yale Ave and Princeton Ave and there was a step trail between houses 245 and 247 Yale. 110 steep steps (pic 1 and 2) uphill to arrive on Cambridge Ave. Took some pics of the Golden Gate Bridge (pic 4) and the top of the trail looking down. Turned left on Cambridge. Turned right on Wellesley Ave and left on Kenyon. 

Path #6 (pic 5) as it's named is on Kenyon Ave. Walked down through some ivy and onto the downhill path. Arrived on the dead end of St Albans Rd. Crossed the street and took my 2nd path(pic 6) down. Arrived at the dead end of Windsor Ave. Crossed the road and took my 3rd pat to York (pic 7). This path had more outstanding views and steps throughout the path. Crossed the road and took my 4th path(pic 8). On this path heard some chickens (pic 9) in a backyard alongside the trail and took some pics. Then arrived on the dead end of York Ave. Crossed the road and took the stairway down to Arlington Ave. The stairway (pic 10) consisted of 84 steps. On Arlington, turned right until reaching Oberlin Ave. Turned left and uphill until reaching Yale Ave and back to the starting point.
                       Pic 1. Steps on Yale and Princeton
                                 Pic 2. Upper part of Steps on Yale and Princeton
                                               Pic 3. At the top of the steps
                           Pic 4. Top of the steps, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay View
                                                                            Pic 5. Public Path on Kenyon Ave
                                           Pic 6. Path from Kenyon to St Albans Rd
                                               Pic 7. Path from St Albans Rd to Windsor
                        Pic 8. Path from windsor to York
                                                                   Pic 9. Chickens on Path
                                                   Pic 10. Stairway from York to Arlington
<![CDATA[The most spectacular views of the East Bay]]>Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:44:46 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/the-most-spectacular-views-of-the-east-bayby Julian Michelucci

This walk comes with the steepest hills in El Cerrito. Pictures do not do this experience justice. Out of all the views in the East Bay Hills, this hike may provide the finest. They are towering views.This rigorous hike is 4.5 miles, consisted of 300 stairs, but more importantly featured 2 Hidden Parks with steep hiking trails that provided some of the most unprecedented views of the bay. I started off on Roberta Dr and Arlington Blvd. Walked downhill on Roberta Dr and landed on Bates Ave. Turned left on Terrace Dr. Then turned left on Gelston Pl. Bay Tree Ln is on my right. From 769 to 763, took a pathway (pic 1). Walked through and climbed down 18 steps. 

Arrived on Contra Costa Dr. Turned right and headed uphill for a bit. On King Dr, there was 2 roads and I took the left one. Turned right onto Shelvin dr and passed Moeser Ln. At the end of Shelvin Pl, found the trail and climbed up 29 stairs. Landed on King Dr again. Took a pathway with a few steps up to Contra Costa Dr. More stairs as shown in the pic. I was enthralled by all the birds and plants. Found the next pathway across the street and climbed 25 more steps to land on Brewer Dr. Admired all the new homes on Brewer Dr and was astounded by the bay views. Turned left on Brewer Dr for about half a mile all the way to Arlington Blvd and turned left and appreciated the golf course. 

Turned left on Madera Circle and passed home 20, took the path and descended 98 steps. After climbing down to arrive on Julian Dr, just a few houses to the left took another stairway. This one 119 steep steps.   Arrived on Potrero Ave. Just right across the street from the stairway and path, took the pathway that led to some open space. I walked along the small trail and found a bench. Took some photos. I wanted to stay for a long time but knew I had a ways to go back. I took five and took some sips of water, said hello to a few folks passing by. Mt Tampalis was on my right and I also witnessed views of the East Bay and San Francisco including the downtown and the Golden Gate Bridge. You really have to see it as the pics only show a fraction of it's beauty. 

After enamoring all the different views, I headed back to Potrero Ave and downhill. Turned left onto Douglas Dr. Beside house 1520 found a small path that looked private. I would have never guessed that this small path took me to a real steep hiking trail. And of course, more staggering and towering views of the bay. Basically, you have to keep heading uphill and east as there are many trail spin offs. But at the top, arrived on Regency Ct. Turned right and met Kent Dr. Though out of the natural hillside, still much more hills in the residential area. Turned right on Contra Costa Rd and left on Buckingham Dr. From there I met Brewster again and took a righ
t and passed by many of the houses I had initially seen. Took it all the way to Havens Pl and turned right. Crossed Moeser and turned right on Bates ave and left on Roberta Dr. I was happy to be done but said to myself ''That was something.''

Pic 1. A porch right next to the first pathway
                                            Pic 2. Pathway and 18 steps on BayTree Ln
                            Pic 3. From King Dr to Shelvin. A grassy trail
                       Pic 4. 11 stairs and 29 stairs at the end of Shelvin Pl
                                      Pic 5. Trail from King Dr to Contra Costa Dr.
                                    Pic 6. Trail and 20 stairs from Contra Costa to Brewster Dr
                                 Pic 7. Golf Course on Arlington Blvd
                                Pic 8. 98 steps from Madera Ct to Julian Dr
                       Pic 9. 119 stairs from Julian Dr to Potrero Ave
 Pic 10. Open land and a trail across the street from the Stairway Above.        More photos BELOW
Pic 11. Natural Hillside and views of San Francisco (although this pic does not do it's beauty an justice)
Pic 12. Views of the East Bay
Pic 13. More San Francisco Views across the bay on the upper left hand side of the pic
Pic 14. View of the hillside and San Francisco Bay
Pic 15. View of Mt Tampailis
Pic 16. On Douglas Dr, this little path leads to another natural hillside area
Pic 17. Culminating to the top of the trail
Pic 18. Bay view at the top
<![CDATA[Albany Hill was a prize]]>Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:04:56 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/albany-hill-was-a-prizeAlbany Hill was a surprise. It was a shorter walk, but very rewarding. A total of 2 stairways and a park with views of Angel Island. I began my walk on Jackson St and San Pablo Ave. Turned a sharp left as Washington met Cerrito Ave and trotted up hill for a bit. My first stairway is located on Washington. 100 steps up. As I culminated up to the top I appreciated the views of San Francisco, behind the freeway 80. The stairway was very impressive a multiple flights of 100 steps to land me on Hillsdale Ave.

Turned left as the road curved and took the road all the way to Albany Hill Park. Albany Park is filled with an abundance of wild chirping birds and tall eucalyptus trees. I enamored the views and sat down on a bench and was intrigued by the sighting of an adult swing set. I sat down and drank some water and just listened to birds chirping. I felt like I could spend an eternity there, it was that enthralling. After a few moments, got up and headed uphill. The hill was in fact very steep and was great exercise, perhaps even more challenging than the stairway. I kept on trotting uphill until it flattened out on the northern end.

Climbed down to Taft Ave. Taft Ave took me back south again to Hillside Ave. Turned sharply left and found my next stairway very quickly. This particular stairway was 55 steps down. Nothing special about this stairway, but it did add more stairs to this walk. I then was deposited on Jackson St. 
<![CDATA[Flowers, Pathways, and Tall Trees]]>Fri, 12 Apr 2013 01:55:46 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/flowers-pathways-and-tall-treesI began my walk on Piedmont Ave and took a pic of The Chapel of Chimes Mausoeum. My first pathway (pic 2) was just across the street from it after bldg 4476. The walkway looked like an alley and so I didn't know where to go but realized it was in fact a pathway. Took 12 steps down and landed on Pleasant Valley Court North. Crossed the street onto another walkway and met Pleasant Valley South. Crossed another street and entered a 3rd walkway (pic 3). At the end of the walkway found 17 steps (pic 4) and climbed up.

Arrived at Moraga Ave. Turned left onto Ramona Ave and then turned right. Ramona Ave curves sharply left after a few hundred feet. There is a stairway just after it curves left. Climbed 15 steps up and onto a walkway. Landed on 65 Arroyo Ave. Turned left. It meets Romona Ave, I turned right. Eventually, Estrella Ave is on my left. The staircase is on the right after house 300. 10 steps down and onto another walkway. 

Just left on Park Way and right on Dracena Ave, found the entrance to Dracena Park. I was very enthused from all the flowers and prodigious eucalyptus trees. This park had an assortment of mini trails. Abundantly filled with dogs walking and birds chirping. I meandered around and made my way to Ricardo Ave.  Between houses 24-28 took another walkway (pic 7). 
                                     Pic 1. Chapel of the Chimes Oakland
Pic 2. Piedmont Ave walkway

Pic 3. Pleasant Valley North to South

4. Pleasant Valley to Moraga

                               Pics 5 and 6. Dracena Park
                                      pic 7. ricardo ave walkway
<![CDATA[Montclaire Village Steps: April 10th, 2013]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:49:31 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/april-10th-20131I started off in Montclair's little commercial district (village). I was intrigued at the vast assortment of restaurants and little shops in the little village. I took some pics and they are on the bottom of my other pics. This total stairway walk was about an hour and 2 miles in distance. 693 stairs. It was a challenge, I had completed the Upper Piedmont Stairways earlier today and the weather was rather hotter today.

From Moraga Ave, turned right onto Mountain Blvd. Turned right on La Salle Ave. At the end of the block climbed 5 short steps onto a bike and walk trail. Turned left on the trail (Pic 1) under a bunch of eucalyptus trees. I was expecting 15 steps that would descend me down to Mountain Blvd but I never saw them. I simply walked down from the pathway and then landed on Mountain Blvd once more.

From Mountain Blvd turned left until Mountain Blvd  meets Colton Blvd. Found my first long stairway, 143 steps up. And it was in a zig zag shape. (Pic 2 and 3). These steps were rather steep and upon culminating to the very top, crossed the street and found my next stairway just a little to the right and across the street. 188 steep steps and also in a zig zagging shape (Pic 4 and 5). I sat at the top for a few moments, appreciated a prodigious tree in front of me, and had a few sips of water. 

At the top, arrived at Gaspar and turned left. Took it downhill as it curved to the left. Met Colton Blvd. Turned right until I got to Diaz Pl. Met my next stairway between houses 15-21 and dropped 98 steps down (Pic 6). Once again, this stairway was zig zagging. On Cabot Dr, Turned right for about 100 feet, crossed the street and found my next stairway after 5707. This one also zig zagging, 179 very steep steps (pic 7) dropping down. 

Arrived on Mountain Blvd again, but further north from where I had previously started. Walked left for about a tenth of a mile and passed an elementary school in Montclaire. Then found the gates to the Montclaire Park and walked down some steps. I observed a basketball court with 2 skateboarding kids doing tricks on a skateboard ring on the court. Appreciated the lake and walked over to meet some geese and their children and took some pics. Upon that, walked 26 steps up back to Mountain Blvd. I walked down and met the commercial district once more and took some pics (pic 10) of some of the restaurants around. 
                                                                Pic 1. Trail in Montclaire
                                           Pic 2. 143 steps on Mountain Blvd and Cabot Dr
                                                     Pic 3. 143 steps on Mountain Blvd and Cabot Dr
                                                            Pic 4. Magellan Dr Stairway
                                                              Pic 5. Magellan Dr Stairway
                                                              Pic 6. Diaz Pl Stairway
                                                                 Pic 7. Cabot Dr Stairway
                                                           Pic 8. Lake at Montclaire Park
                                                Pic 9. Geese and their children from the park
                                                   Pic 10. Montclaire commercial district
<![CDATA[Upper Piedmont Park]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:30:00 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/april-10th-2013by Julian Michelucci

Upper Piedmont Park was an unexpected prize. I saw some stairways that exceeded my expectations. This total stairway walk is 482 steps, 1.6 miles in distance. I spent a short amount of time in Piedmont Park. It was lovely with the trees and some stairs, but I'd spent the majority of my efforts climbing the stairs and hills in the surrounding streets. Started off in Piedmont Park. On Highland and Magnolia, found my entrance (pic 1 and 2). Walked down 16 steps and then passed kids on the swings, headed for 55 steps. I climbed down and then turned right onto a trail . 

Kept on walking and climbed up 6 steps towards the end of the trail. I didn't find 11 steps that I was expecting but I found Sierra Ave which was south of the trail. After house 17, turned left onto a short trail (pic 4). Landed on Mountain Ave and turned right for a short distance. Turned a sharp left on Sharon Ave. Noticed a brick house took a pic and turned left. On my right side Sharon Ave came to a dead end, so I turned left. Landed at Dormidera Ave and turned right. Turned left sharply on Pacific Ave. At the end of the block I found an astounding stairway. Unlike stairs that are hidden, I saw this from about 200 feet away. Took some pics and felt rewarded by the charm of this stairway. Climbed up 68 steep steps, landed on Blair Ave (pic 8, 10).

Though I admired the view and homes, there wasn't much time for rest. My next stairway awaited me as I turned left on Blair (pic 11, 12). 149 steps with a handrail by Scenic Ave. I continued to admire all of the bay area views: Oakland downtown, Golden Gate Bridge, Lake Merrit. I rested for a moment at the top and took a few sips of water. I took a pic of an open view (pic 13) of the bay area. Turned left on Scenic Ave and found my next stairway after 308. It is 112 very steep steps down (pic 14). Turned right on the other part of Scenic as the looping street met me again,  found my next stairway across the street from a castle looking house at 224 (pic 15). Climbed down 48 steps (pic 16). I was deposited on Pala AVe. I turned left and the street turns right. Walked straight until I met Highland Ave again. 
                                             Pics 1 and 2. The entrance to Piedmont Park
                                                     Pic 3. 55 steps down. Piedmont Park
                                                              Pic 4. Trail on Sierra Ave
                                                       Pic 5. Brick home on Sharon Ave
                                                          Pic 6. Homes in Piedmont
                                      Pic 8. 66 step Stairway from Pacific Ave to Blair
                                                Pic 10. Stairway from Pacific to Blaire
                                                  Pic 11. Stairway from Blaire to Scenic
                                                  Pic 12. Stairway from Blaire to Scenic
                                                   Pic 13. Bay Area View in Piedmont
                                                              Pic 14. Scenic Ave Stairway
                     Pic 15. Castle looking house across from Stairway Scenic Ave to Pala
                                                    Pic 16. Stairway from Scenic to Pala
<![CDATA[The Other Rockway Stairways were impressive]]>Wed, 10 Apr 2013 00:49:25 GMThttp://stairwayfreedom.weebly.com/berkeley--oakland-stairs/the-other-rockway-stairways-were-impressiveLast week I performed the Upper Rockridge Stairway Walk. Today I got the opportunity to the stairways of the Lower/East Version of the Rockridge area. This total stairway walk had an abundant of steps, 742. The total mileage was 2.5 miles. I started off on (PIC 1) the Erba Path on Broadway Terrace just after house 6370. 80 steps up. Appreciated the view at the top, all the homes nestled together on the hills. 

Turned right upon ascending to Contra Costa Rd. In the meantime, admired views of the bay and took some pics (pic 3). The next stairway was a doozy but fortunately a descend downwards. After house 6201, found the Upper part of Arbon Path. 132 steep steps down. This stairway had rails (some broken) and was divided in many groups of 7 or 8 steps at a time. Crossed the street and found the continuation of Arbon Path (photo 6). 66 steps down. 

Landed on Romany Way. The traffic started to pick up subtly on this street. Turned right, kept on going for a bit until the road veered left on Crossroad and I found the Veronica path (photo 7) just passed Crossroad. 52 steps up. Landed on Mathieu Rd.  Crossed the street and ascended up 21 steps (photo 8) to land on Acacia Ave. I turned right for a short block and admired the fine homes and impressive views. Turned right on Golden Gate Ave. Found another stairway (pics 9 and 10) named the Gondo Path. The Gondo Path is a short little path with some steps but it had a certain charm to it. 

Landed on Contra Costa Rd. Walked uphill and to the right. Stayed on the right when it met an intersection. Took some pics of some homes and gardens (11 and 12) and found the next stairway after house 5991. Dropped down 77 steps (pic 13). Crossed the street and found the continuation of the stairway (pic 14). 48 steps down. Upon descending to the bottom of the stairway, A UPS truck driver asked me from his vehicle, how many steps the stairway was. I presume that he has seen folks come down previously. 

Turned left and just over about a hundred feet found the Belpath Path. (pic 15) 76 steep steps up. Then crossed the street for the upper path. (pic 16 and 17) Beautiful and it was 71 steps up. Turned right on Contra Costa Rd. Took some photos (photos 18, 19) and enamored the view. Arrived at the first stairway of this walk once more, the Erba Path. Took a photo (pic 20) of the homes from the stairs, then climbed down 80 steps.
                                                           Photo 1- Erba Path 80 steps
Photo 2. Top of Erba Path

Photo 3- View on Broadway Terr

Photo 4. Arbon Path 135 steps. 

Photo 6. Arbon Path Part 2. 66 steps

Photo 7.  Veronica Path. 62 steps

                                      Photo 8. 21 steps from Mathieu Ave to Acacia Ave
                                                                    Photo 9. Gondo Path
                                                  Photo 10. Continuation of Gondo Path
                                     Photo's 11 and 12. Homes and gardens on Contra Costa Rd
                                                     Photo 13. 77 steps on Contra Costa
                                   Pic 14. Part 2 of Contra Costa Stairway 48 steps down
                                                   Pic 15. Lower Belpath Path 76 steps
                                                  Pic 16. Upper Belpath Path 71 steps
                                                           Pic 17. Top of Belpath Path
                                                 Photo 18. View from Contra Costa Rd
                                                 Photo 19. View from Contra Cost Rd
                                Pic 20. Homes nestled on the hill from the Erba Path view