Howe Homestead Park is just a short walk from the city center and Shell Ridge’s western entrance. By crossing the ancient stone bridge from the parking lot of Howe Homestead, you get an idea of the region as it emerged in the early 1930s. Hikers can walk 10 miles from the Kovar Trail to Mount Diablo crest. On a first come, first serve basis, a small picnic area is available, and a toilet is located in the main part of the park.

The park is James Howe’s former home, a correspondent at the beginning of the 20th century for the Associated Press. Born in Kansas, he traveled the world and reported events like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the First World War, interviewing many people who influenced the world, including Stalin, King George V, and Gandhi. He had the house restored and set up his property after he retired to Walnut Creek in 1935. He has been a winemaker, pigeon breeder, nut grower, gourmet, and collector. Initially this 6.5-acre park was home to James and Mia Howe who purchased the property in 1910.

Howe was a legendary Associated Press globe reporter back when Mainstream Media wasn’t an exceptional term. Named “Gopher Gulch,” it is now home to a park and a collection of community gardens due to the large number of gopher holes that remain on the estate. There’s a waiting list for five years to get one of the garden sites. Also on display is a small collection of ancient farming tools, including a walnut huller, sufficiently enough. The Kovar Trail runs from the park to the Shell Ridge Open Space for those who are so inclined, and finally to the top of Mt. Diablo. But despite just searching for a brief break from the insanity of the day, Howe Homestead Park is a wonderful place to visit.

Perhaps, what is the most compelling aspect of this park  is the Kovar hiking trail that leads you to the back of Shell Ridge open space. Once you pass the garden, you will see a badly degrading sign that will faintly read “Kovar Trail”. You can follow this trail all the way up until you reach the top of a hill with a three-way trail intersection. Just veered to the right and end up going up some mini steep inclines. There’s a beautiful viewpoint where you can see all of Walnut Creek, the beautiful rolling hills, and the highway 24 and 680 freeway. This trail is one that is less traveled, making it more enjoyable for you to really soak up the views.

This amazing landmark is located near the following amazing site in Walnut Creek, California:

  • Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)
  • Bedford Art Gallery
  • Boundary Oak Golf Course
  • Broadway Plaza Shopping Center
  • Castle Rock Park
  • Civic Park
  • Heather Farm Park
  • Lesher Center for the Arts

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location located at 2363 Boulevard Circle! Stop by for a visit anytime!