Camino and Hiking Events in September 2019

See below for the lineup of Camino-related events and hikes in September.

Lake Merritt Walk + Camino Presentation
Saturday, September 7th
Oakland, CA

Lake Merritt Walk
10:30 AM – 12 PM

As usual, first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. Meet at the Lake Merritt Pergola.

Presentation: Camino Basics: Everything you need to know to start planning a walk on the Camino de Santiago
1 – 2 PM

Join the Northern California Chapter for a presentation by Camino veteran Rob Nickerson at the Lakeview Branch of the Oakland Public Library.

New to the Camino de Santiago and don’t know where to start? Been around a while but still have questions? Just curious about the Camino? Then this presentation is for you. In one hour we will cover all the basics about the Camino.

Lakeview Library at Lake Merritt, near the columns where we meet for our monthly walks
550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94610
As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation, and Lyft or Uber as parking is limited in the area on Saturdays.

Saturday, September 7,  1 – 2 PM
Doors open at 12:30 PM for socializing and setup
Sorry, no food is allowed in the library.

Presenter Bio:
Rob Nickerson has walked different parts of the Camino de Santiago seven times. He has covered all the ground from the Roncesvalles in the Spanish Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela (790 kilometers) and walked from Porto in Portugal to Santiago (240 kilometers). He has given a number of presentations to Camino groups locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino. Rob is a retired professor of information systems at San Francisco State University where he taught for 40 years.

Note: For safety reasons, Oakland public libraries close when the inside temperature reaches 87 degrees. In the event of a cancellation, we will send out a notification as soon as possible. You may also check the library website ( for an update or call the branch at (510) 238-7344.

No RSVP required. If you attend the Lake Merritt walk which usually ends around noon, you will have time to get a quick lunch, enjoy a picnic, move your car, or socialize with other pilgrims before the presentation begins.

Lake Chabot Hike
Saturday, September 14, 9 AM – 3:30 PM
Lake Chabot Marina & Café, Castro Valley, CA

Lake Chabot Loop

Lake Chabot Loop

Join the NorCal Chapter at Lake Chabot Regional Park, nestled in the East Bay Hills between Oakland, San Leandro and Castro Valley for a loop around the 315-acre reservoir. Completed in 1875, but closed to recreation until the 1960s, the lake was formed by the damming of San Leandro Creek. Today, it’s an emergency water supply for the East Bay and a popular destination for fishing, boating, biking, picnicking and, of course, hiking.

Our hike starts at the Lake Chabot Marina Café on the West Shore Trail and crosses the dam over to the Columbine Trail. We’ll veer away from the shore up to the family campground for lunch and a commanding view of the lake. After the break, we’ll connect to the East Shore Trail for the last few miles back to the café. Total mileage is about 10 miles with 1,086 feet of elevation gain. There are ample ups, downs and switchbacks to make this an excellent training opportunity. It’s a good idea to have some recent experience with this type of terrain.

Meet at 9:00 AM for check-in and briefing inside the park entrance on the grassy area next to the Lake Chabot Marina Café.
Click for directions to 17000 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley, CA.

Please plan to arrive early to park, use the facilities and make the meet-up time. If you just miss us, walk clockwise around the lake to catch up. We expect to arrive back at the café by 3:30 PM.

No RSVP required. Led by Guy Joaquin, chapter coordinator.


By Car: In Castro Valley on I-580 westbound, take the Strobridge Avenue exit. Turn right on Strobridge, right on Castro Valley Blvd. and left on Lake Chabot Road. The entrance is about two miles ahead on the right. In Castro Valley on I-580 eastbound, take the Redwood Road exit. Turn left on Redwood, left on Castro Valley Blvd., right on Lake Chabot Road and follow the directions above. From I-580 in San Leandro, exit at Fairmont Drive and go east (uphill). The entrance is to the left at the bottom of the hill. Parking is $5. If the lot is full, park outside the entrance along Lake Chabot Road.

By Carpool: If you want a ride or can give one, post a message on our Facebook group. Suggested meeting points are San Leandro, Bay Fair and Castro Valley BART stations.

WHAT TO BRING: Water, snacks, a bag lunch and sun protection (about half of the route is exposed). Cash for parking. Hiking poles are highly recommended. Poison oak is present throughout the park. We recommend long sleeve shirts and pants and bringing your preferred treatment, such as lotion or antihistamine, in case of contact.

For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.

Silicon Valley Meet & Greet at Camino Brewing Co.
Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 12 PM
718 S. First St., San Jose, California 95113

Join the Silicon Valley Chapter for a Meet and Greet at Camino Brewing in San Jose. This is a great opportunity to get together to talk Camino. If you are thinking about or planning a Camino, Camino veterans will be there to talk with you about all things Camino-routes, what to pack, etc!

Click for directions to Camino Brewing Co. 718 S. First St., San Jose, California 95113

Click to RSVP (Silicon Valley Facebook event)

Event hosted by American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter.

National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 28

Video credit:

In celebration of the annual National Public Lands Day celebration, September 28, 2019 has been designed as a Free Entrance Day for most National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas and other participating federal sites.

Don’t forget to check out the official NPLD event map that makes it easy to find the perfect NPLD event near you!

There are many ways to participate in National Public Lands Day.

I love this info-graphic. How will you celebrate?

How will you celebrate National Public Lands Day?

Click to see large version.


Tiburon Sunset Cruise & Night Hike
Saturday, October 12, 2019
4 PM Hike
6:30 – 8 PM Sunset Cruise

View of San Francisco Bay from Belvedere.

View of San Francisco Bay from Belvedere.

Join us for a late-afternoon walk from Blackie’s Pasture, along Richardson’s Bay, to Tiburon, followed by a 90-minute picnic-cruise around the bay, and finally the best part, a walk through Belvedere Island in the dark with wonderful views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate.

Bring your own main course to eat on the boat; either something to drink (wine, juice, soda) or a dessert/hors d’oeuvre to share. The leader will bring cups and plates. Also, we recommend leaving a bottle of water in your car for hydrating after the hike. The cruise is $30 and is from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.
You must make your own reservation for the Sunset Cruise. Buy your ticket online from the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry. These sunset cruises are popular and usually sell out, so buy your ticket a few weeks in advance before showing up.

UPDATE: There’s a new promo code for September for 60% off: AWESOME60
As of this morning, there are still tickets available, so book now and use the discount code, before the cruise sells out.

See more details on our NorCal Chapter Email, or our Chapter’s Facebook Group event.

Packing for the Camino Presentations at REI

I’m happy to announce a series of Camino talks at three REIs that I be co-presenting with Camino author Susan Alcorn!

Packing for your pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago

Three Bay Area Dates:

7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM

Register for Corte Madera REI

7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM

Register for Concord REI

7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM

Register for Berkeley REI

Packing for walking the Camino may seem overwhelming, but in this informative presentation by experienced Camino hikers Laurie Ferris and Susan Alcorn, you can put your concerns to rest. On their own Caminos, both have learned much about what to bring and what not to bring. They’ll discuss backpacks, clothing, shoes, sleeping gear, hiking poles, toiletries, and more. They’ll also talk about how to pack a backpack so that it’s most comfortable. Laurie and Susan are not in total agreement on what items are best to bring–and hope that new hikers will find it reassuring that there is no ONE right way–there are many right ways. They are in agreement about keeping the weight of your pack low and not packing based on fears. Laurie Ferris is co-coordinator of the Northern CA chapter of American Pilgrims and has hiked the Camino Ingles, Portuguese, Primitivo, and Invierno routes. Susan Alcorn, author of two Camino books, has hiked the Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese and more.

Register for the Corte Madera event on Oct. 9, 2019

Register for the Concord event on Oct. 23, 2019

Register for Berkeley event on Nov. 6, 2019

It’s an honor to be co-presenting with Susan Alcorn. She wrote the first book I read about the Camino, Camino Chronicle, and has a great website and monthly newsletter.  (See

A few years ago, Susan wrote a guest post, Love and Life on the Camino, which is featured on my Love, Camino Style page.

Save the dates for more upcoming NorCal Chapter events:

Nov 9: San Francisco Waterfront Walk
Nov 16: Welcome Home Potluck (Oakland)
Dec 1: San Francisco to Sausalito Hike

In case you missed it, here’s how you can help support Camino cleanup. Part of the proceeds from the sale of  the books featured below goes toward keeping the Camino clean. Paperback editions are available at Digital editions are available at

Your Inner Camino by Karin KiserYour Inner Camino Your Pocket Guide to Inspiration and Transformation Along the Camino de Santiago
Some walk the Camino as an adventure or physical challenge. To make it a pilgrimage requires something more – the inner journey. With Your Inner Camino, you’ll discover how to let go of the thoughts and behaviors that limit your growth and happiness. Use it to inspire you along the way. You’ll discover how walking the Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to clean the slate and start anew.

After the CaminoAfter the Camino Your Pocket Guide to Integrating the Camino de Santiago into Your Daily Life
The real Camino begins after you arrive in Santiago, when you take your experience home with you. How will you keep the spirit of the Camino alive in your daily life? After the Camino will help you avoid returning to the old habits and routines of your pre-Camino life. You’ll discover how to simplify your life and live the pilgrim way at home.

The books are also available in Spanish!

Conjunto de 2 libros: El camino hacia tu interior y Después del camino

Conjunto de 2 libros: El camino hacia tu interior y Después del camino

Order the paperbacks at:
Order the Kindle editions on Amazon.

Learn more:

Support Camino Cleanup

Northern California Chapter T-Shirts

NorCal T-Shirts in lightweight tri-blend fabric with the shell design on front and “Solvitur Ambulando – It is solved by walking” on the back.

Free Shipping with $35 or more purchase!

The Camino Provides 2019 Patch

Rainbow Patch $4 on Etsy

The Camino Provides Patches

Original (no date) and 2019 patches are $4 each at

My mission is to celebrate the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim’s journey, from the calling to Compostela and beyond. I do this by sharing informative tips on training, gear, and routes; by promoting Camino related events in the Bay Area; by interviewing pilgrims and sharing inspiring stories; and by curating content relevant to the Camino.  Purchases help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

To everyone heading out on a pilgrimage or staying home, Buen Camino!


There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. If you know of any Camino related events for the SF Bay Area that should be included in the monthly roundup, please use the comment form below, or email me.

For those who live elsewhere, there are Camino hot spots all over the USA and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find Camino events.

Northern California Chapter - American Pilgrims on the CaminoSubscribe to our NorCal Chapter email list.

Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)


Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the American Pilgrims on the Camino website.


One thought on “Camino and Hiking Events in September 2019

  1. Hi Laurie. The presentation on Camino Basics is a great idea. Sorry I won’t be on the walk or at the presentation. I’ll be in London and starting my three walks on the Tuesday following: The Cotswold Way, the Thames Path, and then the Camino Ingles. See you in November! Mike


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