Walk-about, jog-about in Stockton and San Joaquin County; the best way to see your city!

Walking, jogging and running in your backyard

Elijah Dennison and grandfather out for a walk and trike ride in the Quail Lakes area.

With warm fall days, mild evenings and changing colors in local foliage – it struck me that it’s a great time of year to do more walking, or jogging. I was reminded of a famous quote, “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step,” by Lao Tzu. And, a great place to start is in your own hometown in San Joaquin County.

I had the opportunity to chat with Tony Vice, runner, tri-athlete and owner of Fleet Feet Sports. He noted that, for novice or improving walkers and joggers, both Fleet Feet Sports in Lincoln Center and Sundance Running Club are good places to start.

Vice notes, “A great thing about being a walker or runner is it’s pretty simple – all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other to get going. As far as places where walkers and runners can go, there is always Tuesday nights at Fleet Feet in Lincoln Center, 5:30 PM, we do a scenic loop in Lincoln Village West; it’s a beautiful neighborhood and an all-inclusive group; walkers, runners, and we love newbies. It’s just a matter of getting out and joining as a group because we can be more motivated”.

Runners from In Shape Health Club head east on Calaveras Bike Trail near I-5 (photo courtesy of Ralph Womack).

He continued, “For places to go on the safer side I like the Calaveras Bike Trail between University of Pacific and Brookside; you’ll see lots of people there. Take advantage of the campus of University the Pacific for walking or joggingh both around the campus and south along Kensington Way to Oxford Circle, then east to Miracle Mile and back to campus.

The beautiful Oak Grove Regional Park is a great place for walking or jogging, as is Lodi Lake Park on the north edge of Lodi. In south county, Weston Ranch, Manteca, Ripon and Tracy all feature and promote walking and jogging trails. For dramatic scenery and adding some hills to your route, seek out the Coast to Crest Trail, at Comanche Reservoir’s South Turkey Hill Trail-head”.

Bikers, walkers and runners gather for libations after Sundance Run Club's Saturday Fun Run (photo courtesy of Sundance Run Club).

Sundance Running Club’s Jerry Hyatt adds, “The Sundance Running Club hosts a weekly Fun Run, on Saturdays at 8 AM at Stockton’s Grupe Park (west side of the park).  We pride ourselves on being welcoming and supportive to fitness enthusiasts of all levels, and do our best to keep the Fun Run fun.  On any given Saturday, we are likely to have walkers, runners, and bikers in attendance.  We usually have ample refreshments to share afterwards.  There is no fee required and all are welcome.  For the new athlete, there is nothing like a weekly event among friends to keep you on track to meet your goals.

Veteran runner and Run and Walk Against Hunger Race Director Ralph Womack offers additional ideas, “Outside your front door in your own neighborhood is a great place to start; and other favorites for me are the Bear Creek Bike Trail on Stockton’s north side.  Shima Tract, at the west end of Hammer Lane, offers a four mile or eight mile option on the gravel levee-top out into our scenic San Joaquin Delta. Another option is to explore the levees, accessed at the south end of Stockton’s Trinity Parkway, heading west along either the south or north side of Pixley Slough.

Runners dressed as turkeys near completion of the Run and Walk Against Hunger (photo courtesy of Ulmer Photo).

Womack notes, “The fun crowd at the Run and Walk Against Hunger is about 60% walkers, who turn out 3,000 strong to support the Emergency Food Bank in its goal of ending hunger in Stockton and San Joaquin. Registration opens Thanksgiving morning at 6:30, kids quarter mile run (9 years and under), 8 AM; 5K walk and run and 10K run begin at 8:30.

The 5K and 10K routes traverse the scenic Stockton waterfront, beginning and finishing at Stockton Ball Park. For many families, it’s become a holiday tradition, with music on many corners, Taiko drummers thundering out an exciting beat – a fun family affair with many participants coming in turkey costume – and great photo opportunity. For those who can’t attend, the ‘virtual runner’ option comes with a classic T-shirt and support of the food bank. Early registration and best price to enter ends October 31, go to: runagainsthunger.org”.

With all these local options for walking or running at nearby outdoor destinations, I’m reminded of another quote, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” by famous New York Yankee Yogi Berra. See you ‘on the road’!

Thousands of walkers and runners line up for the start of the Thanksgiving Run and Walk Against Hunger (photo courtesy of Ulmer Photo).

For more information: Coast to Crest Trail, ebmud.com/recreation/sierra-foothills/sierra-foothills-trails/;  Fleet Feet Sports, Lincoln Center, fleetfeetstockton.com; Run and Walk Against Hunger, runagainsthunger.org; Sundance Running Club, sundancerunners.webs.com; for a map of Stockton bike and hike trails, stocktongov.com/files/BikewaysExistingMap.pdf. Another option, for folks focusing on walking and hiking, the Delta Tule Trekkers, deltatuletrekkers.org.

Read more from Tim Viall’s travel blog, follow him on Facebook or Twitter; or, email him at tviall@msn.com. Happy travels in the west!

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