Walking Waterhoods: Temescal Creek - Harwood Headwaters

Walking Waterhoods: Temescal Creek - Harwood Headwaters

Oakland, California 94607, United States

Created By: Wholly H2O

Tour Information

People often think of headwaters as great fountains coming forth out of the ground or the side of a mountain. Instead, most headwaters are humble springs or even begin as different veins of rain runoff coming together. Creeks increase in size and water volume as they travel downslope, gathering more water from ruoff in times of rain.
This is one of several headwaters for Temescal Creek. Many creeks and rivers have more than one headwaters that start high up in the hills and come together to form a single creek.
This particular headwaters is a great place to begin to understand the formation of watersheds, and how within a large watershed, there can be smaller drainage areas that are mini-watersheds.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

John Garber Park is located just above the Claremont Hotel. It is a 13-acre park in the City of Oakland with a ¾ mile trail that loops through it. The park is named after Judge John Garber, a renowned attorney and jurist in the Bay Area in... Read more
This culvert area, including a culvert pipe, is located below the Berryman-South Reservoir and Garber Park. It is the first place where you can see the exposed Harwood (Claremont) Creek along this path. The banks of the creek are heavily ov... Read more
The Berryman-South Reservoir is an extension of the Berryman Reservoir next to Codornices Park. The Berryman Reservoir was created in 1877 when Henry Berryman, a Berkeley developer who founded the Berkeley Water Works company, dammed Codorn... Read more
This culvert area runs through a residential area with homes on either side of it. A thin stream runs from one culvert pipe to the other, and the culvert pipes, in turn, run underneath the houses allowing water to flow from further up the w... Read more
There are many bioswales -- stormwater runoff channels -- that line both sides of Claremont Avenue and drain into the creek. This particular bioswale has iron rods stuck placed in front of the drain to prevent trash and other debris from d... Read more
Here we look back up to the top of the watershed to see how to contours of the headwaters lead water downhill. You can see that there are smaller ravines in this larger watershed, each technically their own mini-watershed.
While Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are fairly common across North America, they are not native to California. These big birds were first introduced for hunting in the 1870s. They tend to live in mature forests where they travel in flo... Read more
Claremont Avenue is dotted with bioswales on both sides of the street. Bioswales are channels designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff to drain into the creek. This particular bioswale is hidden in the hillside between various r... Read more
This is one of the last visible culvert pipes along this path. It is a much smaller pipe than the others and runs under Claremont Avenue to the other side of the street, where there is a large culvert area that continues to run up the water... Read more
The Broad-footed Mole (Scapanus latimanus) is found throughout the state of California except dry desert regions, and native to the Bay Area. This species spends most of its life underground, feeding on earthworms, insects, and some plants.... Read more
The California Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus) lives in hilly and mountanous areas of California, often migrating between summer and winter territories. Pre-colnization, the Bay Area saw much larger herds throughout. This mule ... Read more
Farther up into the headwaters, the creek bed becomes deeper with steep banks. Much of the bank is overgrown with common ivy and other vegetation shaded by large trees. However, open spaces along this stretch of creek have been taken over b... Read more
Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans) is enormously common in North America, and is found in a variety of environments, high and low. They often make their homes near available water, which is while you see them throughout ... Read more
The Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is one of the most well-known birds in the United States and can be found all throughout North America in a wide variety of different habitats. The Song Sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow weighing between... Read more
Dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes) is a native rodent that looks like common rat species, but has larger ears and eyes, softer coats, furred tails, and dark-colored feet. Around 16 inches long, their tails account for nearly half that ... Read more
False Turkey Tail Fungus (Stereum ostrea) is a type of crust fungi that has fan-shaped fruiting bodies with characteristic red and brown stripes from which its name is derived. It is a wood decayer and causes white rot in trees. One of the ... Read more
Bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus) are found in woody or brushy habitat from low- to mid-mountain elevations. A small, fluffy brown-gray bird with a long tail, they travel together as a flock. Cheeping as they go, Bushtits move quickly through... Read more
The coastal wood fern (Dryopteris arguta) is native to the west coast of North America. It often grows in shady oak woodlands. They can grow to be about two feet tall and have a variable range of appearances, with some growing leaflets turn... Read more
Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) also known as redcaps, is a plant with edible red fruit similar to a raspberry, but smaller. Because the fruit does not hold together well, it is not sold commercially. The berry is also eaten by birds and b... Read more
Willow Trail is part of a network of fire trails. A fire trail is sometimes built along an old logging route or cut new and used by fire trucks in case of forest fire. They can also create a break in the path of a moving fire. Located off C... Read more
Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) is butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, abundantly-found in western North America. The buttery's wingspan is about one inch. They visit many flowers and breed continuously in warm weather, breeding on th... Read more
The Claremont Canyon Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 that promotes trail stewardship, public awareness, and access to the Claremont Canyon Trail. They also work on wildfire safety programs in the canyon and support ... Read more
This is a guiding sign post that provides directions to the Willow, Summit House, and Gwin Canyon trails.
Willow Creek Trail winds through the Harwood (Claremont) Headwater and crosses over a network of rivulets at many points along the trail. This particular bridge crosses over one of the deeper rivulets.
Mica Cap (Coprinellus micaceus) is an edible fungus characterized by its bell-shaped ochre-brown cap lined. Its gills start out as white but gradually fade to inky black as the mushroom ages. This mushroom also features distinctive glisteni... Read more
The Sara Orangetip (Anthocharis sara) is a butterfly found throughout the western United States. This species has white wings and is characterized by a large orange spot located at the tip of each wing. They are found mostly in oak woods, m... Read more
This wooden walking section has a gutter running down the middle of it that allows water to run through it.
The Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is the only living species of the genus Sequoia and has been native to coastal California for millennia. These towering giants are evergreen trees and can live for 1,000 to 2,000 years, making them s... Read more
Golden Ear (Naematelia aurantia) is a widespread jelly fungus, seen mainly in autumn or winter. It appears on fallen wood of broadleaf trees and on deadwood parts of living trees. Golden ear feeds on another fungus, which feeds on the wood.... Read more
The Pacific Dampwood Termite (Zootermopsis angusticollis) is found throughout the west coast of the United States. They have large white wings and caramel-colored bodies with black mandibles. The termites attack all types of wood in their r... Read more
Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica) looks like a fungus, but as a slime mold in the kingdom of Protista, it is more closely related to an amoeba. This common species is found worldwide, and is sometimes called by another nickname, scrambl... Read more


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