Travel Tuesday: Tiny Temescal’s big surprises

Katherine Velicki/Staff/File

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Nestled within the curves of Broadway and the State Routes 24 and 13, Lake Temescal is a glittering blue gem amid miles of concrete. And less than one mile in circumference, it’s a tiny gem.

But Lake Temescal offers us a precious treasure as we sink unquestioningly into the semester’s routines: novelty. With more than two months of the same classes, unchanging roommates and a continuous stream of homework, many of us have adopted precise routines to get through the week. We know what time to wake up before English to finish a reading assignment, we maximize those hour gaps between classes and we run the same routes every week because they’re efficient.

Even if you only visit for an hour or so, Lake Temescal offers a reviving escape from a monotonous schedule. With a swim area, peaceful hiking trails and secluded picnic spots, the lake is perfect for a lazy weekend getaway.

Most of us complain that we are too busy to visit new places. And in some cases, this is true. We can’t relocate our jobs, and sometimes classes occupy the entire day. But many people forget this liberating secret: We can read anywhere! Believe it or not, Main Stacks isn’t the only quiet place in Berkeley, and as we creep closer to summer, reading outside is a tantalizing possibility. After all, wouldn’t you rather finish that physics chapter with your toes in the sand instead of at the library?

The Trek:

A 15-minute drive from campus, Lake Temescal accommodates even the most impulsive adventure-planners. Running here is also reasonable and rewarding. From Kroeber Fountain, run down College Avenue (it’s flat!) for one mile, then turn left onto Woolsey Street. After a mile of neighborhood navigation, you will cross under the State Route 24 overpass and head up Broadway for just under a mile. When a picnic area and parking lot appear on your right, you’ve made it! As you approach the lake, you can follow the asphalt path on your left to visit the swim area, or you can follow the thin, unpaved East and West Shore Trails around the lake’s circumference.

The Reward:

Strolling along the shaded lakeside trails of Lake Temescal, you forget that you’re surrounded by buzzing freeways and dense housing tracts. A small haven for picnickers, swimmers, sunbathers and nature enthusiasts, this suburban paradise is one of our favorite destinations. Whether you venture here to bathe on the beach or to finish a reading assignment, we hope you enjoy the novel surprises of Lake Temescal.

Contact Katherine Velicki at [email protected]