The hills of the East Bay contain one of the finest and densest urban hiking environments in the state of California—more than 400 paved pathways and public staircases lattice up and down the slopes of Berkeley and Oakland alone. Rising high above the city centers, with towering views of the San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco itself, these elegant civic walking trails—many of them shaded in oaks and redwoods, and many unknown even to local residents—present a unique landscape for both the casual walker and dedicated hiker.
Charles Fleming, the Southern California author whose bestselling 2010 walking guide Secret Stairs turned the hidden public staircases of Los Angeles into popular hiking trails, now turns his eyes northward. For Secret Stairs: East Bay, Fleming has designed more than 30 individual hiking loops. Linking multiple staircases into one-to two-hour self-guided strolls, these urban treks will delight the tourist, newly arrived Berkeley undergraduate, and veteran Bay Area resident alike.