No. 7: Lake Temescal

The west side of Lake Temescal

The trail above the west side of Lake Temescal, with a glimpse of the lake through the trees.

It looked like rain, so today’s walk is more of a “walklet.” A circuit of Lake Temescal is just under one mile, half on a flat, paved path and half on a rolling dirt trail. From the Broadway Terrace entrance, a short stairway and switchback lead you to the trail, which was slightly slick with the previous night’s rain and delightfully scented with wild anise. Among the redwoods and oaks, a handful of wild plum trees are covered with tiny white blossoms, and sword ferns and Boston ivy creep down the banks.

Near the north entrance of the park, the path comes into the open and becomes paved, hugging the shore of the lake. You pass the beach, which is closed for the winter, and the boathouse, a lovely stone WPA-era project that is the site of many weddings and b’nai mitzvot celebrations. The fishing piers are surprisingly crowded, and a small group of mongrel geese are begging for handouts from a table full of picnickers.

Before you’ve even had a chance to work up a sweat, you are back in the grove of redwoods at the south entrance and climbing the switchbacks to Broadway Terrace.

Getting there: Entrances are off Broadway Terrace just west of Highway 13 and off Broadway just south of the Highway 13-Highway 24 junction.

Cool stuff in the neighborhood: The Village Market, a little further west on Broadway Terrace at Harbord, is a family-owned enterprise that carries a lot of organic and local produce. There is a small cafe, Terrace Gifts and Coffee, next door.

More information: East Bay Regional Parks.

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