How to explore the Stockton community this holiday season – Stockton Record

How to explore the Stockton community this holiday season  Stockton Record

With Thanksgiving just days away and the holiday season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to consider exploring or showing off your own hometown to visitors. With projected sunny days and mild evenings, what better time to check out your community, burn a few calories and (maybe) drop a few pounds.

Several well-known community leaders would encourage taking part, as walkers or runners, in the Run and Walk Against Hunger on Thanksgiving morning. Ralph Womack, founder of the popular event, and Tony Vice, Fleet Feet Stockton co-Run and Walk leader, encourage late sign-ups, even early the morning of the event. The Run and Walk benefits the Emergency Food Bank and their hunger and nutrition programs and makes a lovely time to explore the downtown Stockton waterfront with a choice of 3.1 mile or 6.2 mile options. The majority of entrants are walkers, so you don’t have to be a speedy runner to take part. For more insight on the Run and Walk, go to

Walkers, runners and cyclists also have the option of traversing the Run and Walk course other days; start at the Stockton Ballpark on Fremont Street, head east to Center Street, go south on Center, then west on Weber Avenue to Morelli Park underneath the Interstate 5 bridge, and return to the ballpark, about 3 miles round-trip. If you’re considering that downtown waterfront route for exploration, also check the website, for a curated downtown historic walking tour. The interactive “Walk with Weber” tour takes you to, and shares the highlights of, the numerous historic buildings in downtown, dating to the city’s glory days as busy port to the gold mines of the central Sierra. Make a day of exploration of it, on foot or bike, and stop in at favorite restaurants like Cancun, Yasoo Yani, Xochimilco and other downtown eateries.

Both Womack and Fleet offer additional suggestions as favorite places to walk, run or peddle, either individually or as a group and I’ll add a couple of my own favorites. Ralph enjoys Lodi Lake Park where one can start on the outer trail, head east towards the Wilderness Trail, garnering over 2 miles of running or walking in such a route. Other favorite walking and running routes in North County includes the trails and wonderful views of the Cosumnes River Preserve, two miles north of Thornton Road, or walks or runs along pleasant backroads in Lodi/Woodbridge vineyards.

Stockton offers popular walking biking trails like the Calaveras Trail, where you can park at the University of Pacific‘s campus, visit the DeRosa University Center for a place to meet and a pleasant break, then cross the foot bridge and walk/run/cycle west on the trail towards Brookside.

Likewise, the Bear Creek Trail offers similar adventure. Park near Bear Creek High School, go south on Thornton then west on the trail to Trinity Parkway where one can continue on the levee, paved for another mile and unpaved beyond that, westward into the scenic Delta. Both trails are lovely options to show off unique parts of the city to visiting family or friends.

Shima Tract has long been a favorite of mine, for walks or runs of four to about eight miles on dirt/gravel levee tops, scenic and in the heart of our San Joaquin Delta. From the very west end of Stockton‘s Hammer Lane, go left on Mariners Drive, right at Lighthouse Drive and right on Voyager Court that dead ends against the levee. Park there and walk up the levee for a 4 mile or 8 mile optional loop. It’s very scenic and takes one west into the heart of our Delta and agricultural lands.

In south San Joaquin County, Manteca offers a host of walking and running trails, complete with a lovely foot bridge across the Stanislaus River. Western Ranch, Tracy and Lathrop also offer a variety of options, some paralleling Delta waterways. Consider exploring the eastern side of the county for options in the rolling foothills along Lake Comanche or Lake Pardee. Check Smart phone apps like AllTrails, which will identify numerous hiking or cycling trails right in your backyard!

Come on, pull out those walking/running shoes or dust off those bikes and explore your hometown! And, seeking your submissions for your favorite travel destination for 2023 (a local, regional or world-wide destination you would recommend to family and friends); send your suggestions in a short paragraph to me,, and we will publish the best suggestions in the first few weeks of December!

  • Cycling/hiking apps, download AllTrails
  • Downtown Stockton Alliance,
  • Fleet Feet Sports, Lincoln Center,
  • Run and Walk Against Hunger (held Thanksgiving morning),;
  • For a map of Stockton bike and hike trails,

Contact Tim Viall at Happy trails in your hometown.