Afternoon Ride: Lake Temescal

Lake Temescal

I needed a ride this afternoon and the beautiful weather was just begging for a trip to a watery location. I haven’t visited Lake Temescal since moving back to Oakland so I decided to trek up the hill for a quick visit. I punched in the location to Google Maps to see what route they’d suggest. Theirs was clearly the longer but flatter mode of attack. Since I’m feeling a little frisky I decided on a frontal attack, right up the most direct but steepest route. Ignoring Google’s suggestion I rode up Broadway, to Piedmont Ave, up the hill to 51st, then back to Broadway and finally a right turn onto Broadway Terrace. B’way Terrace is a pretty steep hill. This particular trip is about 5 miles with a vertical climb of about 500 feet. Of course that means five miles home and all of it downhill.

Temescal has a nice picnicking area at the south end of the lake and a small beach at the north end. There’s a dirt walking trail along the west bank and a paved pathway on the eastern shore. As kids we visited this park often with my parents for picnics and barbecues. During the big firestorm that swept through the hills in 1991 helicopters filled their water buckets by dipping them in the lake as they battled the inferno.

This is a perfect destination for a midweek getaway. The parking lots can fill up quickly on warm, sunny weekends.

Thursday June 3, 2010 — Mark —