I’ve been going to Berkeley, California now for the past four years, while my son was attending UC Berkeley, and I have logged a lot of miles there. To me, the best running path in Berkeley is at the Berkeley Marina.
César E. Chávez Park at the Marina
The path runs along the César E. Chávez Park at the Marina. You run around the park, which has magnificent views of the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. While running, you also see the hills of Northern California.
As you turn toward Berkeley, you see Oakland and Berkeley. You experience a 360-degree view of the Bay area.
My happy place
I’ve done this run before, as you can imagine. But, every time I run this path, I’m in awe of the beauty of the area. It is truly my happy place.
My family often used to wonder why I wanted to book this hotel as opposed to many of the other great hotels in the Berkeley area, and my response, “I love the running trail.”
The Hilton Double Tree hotel is okay, it’s not great. It has basic amenities. But, it’s situated right on the Berkeley Marina. When you go outside, adjacent to the parking lot, you will see more sailboats than your eye can capture.
Running with my daughter…
My daughter and her boyfriend were in for graduation. We all stayed at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel. I begged her to run with me. I wanted her to experience this gorgeous path.
We walked for about five minutes across the dockyard. It was a little sketchy to get to the path but once we did, we started to jog. My daughter doesn’t believe in the run/walk/run method, so we just ran for the first quarter mile.
There was a dog behind us and I started to feel panicky. I stopped and let the dog pass. As I stopped to take a short walk break, my daughter said, “I’ll catch you after the run.”
Off she went…
I saw her from a distance. She had a graceful run. I kept thinking to myself, “you don’t have to catch up, just enjoy the experience.” I started to think that she is at a place where she really doesn’t need me any longer. My daughter is all grown up and ready to take on her life on her own. I brushed that thought out of my mind. “Stay positive. She still needs you,” I thought, “there way too much negativity in my life.”
After circling around the path, I was back at the front of the hotel. “Where are you?” I asked after I called my daughter on the phone.
“I’m back at building 5. I’m going to circle around again,” she said.
The path is just about 1.25/1.5 miles around. You can extend it by going on different paths but they all circle back to the same path. Interestingly, this path connects to the highway and you can take that out for as many miles as you want. You don’t have to do the circles around César E. Chávez Park.
I decided to go around again as well. I could have gone around all day. On this run, I pushed myself a little harder than the first day I went around the path.
The second time was just as breathtaking as the first time. The air was cool, in the 50’s. It was perfect running weather. The actual run is hilly but doable. There’s no steep hills.
If you are ever in the Berkeley area, check out the best running path in Berkeley at César E. Chávez Park at the Berkeley Marina. You will thank me for the recommendation!