Have you ever wondered about our longest continuous sidewalk? Probably not. To tell the truth, neither did I. When my sons were a little younger and just beginning to ride their bikes around the neighborhood, I rode along with them, always staying on the sidewalk to keep them safe and off the street. I found a sidewalk near our home where we could keep riding, and riding, and riding…
Fast forward a few years, my youngest son just started Middle School, and the boys are pretty much off the bikes and participating in other activities. Meanwhile, I have reached 55 years and needed a little exercise, so I figured a little walking would be a good, non-stressful way to start getting back in shape.
I eventually returned to the long sidewalk, and decided to see how far and where it would lead me. The walk starts at the northwest corner of Genesee Ave. and Appleton St. To qualify as the longest sidewalk, one must remain on the same sidewalk without crossing any streets – the key being lots of cul de sacs – this walk has 30. The route is simple, just stay on the sidewalk. New Haven Place is the 1st cul de sac on your journey. The walk is mostly flat, though there are several hilly sections. The hilliest sections are Biltmore St. (where at the end of the street is a trailhead entrance to Marion Bear Park) and Gaylord Dr.
Have you ever noticed all the homes perched atop the canyon as you drive on Genesee Ave, Regents Rd or 52? Most of these homes are situated along the walk. The variety of homes and landscaping are fascinating to me, and a very appealing part of the walk. Gershwin Community Park on Conrad Ave offers some shade and water, and is a fine place to take a little break and have a snack.
The sidewalk finally ends unceremoniously at the bottom of Regents Rd, at the entrance to Marion Bear Park and very close to the entrance and exit ramps of California State Route 52. Here you have three options to complete your journey; one can be picked up by car in the parking lot, return back up Regents Rd., or continue your walk through Marion Bear Park. I choose to continue my walk through the canyon, where you can take the Biltmore trail or continue to Genesee and head back up the hill to complete the loop. Feeling strong, I choose to continue through Marion Bear and exited the canyon at the Cobb trail spur, then returned to the start of the walk on the sidewalks.
The sidewalk is 10.75 miles in length; the walk took me two days to complete in just over 3 hours. The loop I took to complete the walk through the canyon and back to the start increased the walk to 13.7 miles and took just over 4 hours to complete. Be sure to take plenty of water and pack a snack. There are no rest rooms along the way…Enjoy all or part of the walk!
Do you have a favorite walk in Clairemont or other parts of San Diego? Please tell us about it! I have started a community page on Facebook – Share Your Walk San Diego, which can be found at Facebook.com/ShareYourWalkSanDiego.
Hope to see you around the neighborhood!
Will Walter was born in Clairemont in 1958, and has lived in San Diego County all my life. He is currently living in the house he was raised in, caregiver to his mother and raising two sons as a single father.