Howe Homestead Park and the west entrance to Shell Ridge are only a short walk from downtown. Crossing the old stone bridge from the parking lot at Howe Homestead one gets an idea of the area as it appeared in the late 1930s. Hikers will start off on the Kovar Trail and hike 10 miles to the summit of Mount Diablo. On a first come, first serve basis, a small picnic area is open, and a restroom is located in the central part of the park.
The park is the former residence of James Howe, an early 20th-century Associated Press reporter. He was born in Kansas and toured the world, reporting on incidents such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and World War I, and interviewing many people who shaped the world including Stalin, King George V, and Gandhi. He had the house remodeled after he retired to Walnut Creek in 1935, and developed his estate. He had been a winemaker, pigeon breeder, nut grower, gourmet, and collector.
Howe was a legendary Associated Press global reporter, back when Mainstream Media was not a derogatory 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 still exist on the property. There is a waiting list for five years to access one of the garden areas.
Also on show is a small set of old farming equipment, like a walnut huller, suitably enough. To those that are so inclined, the Kovar Trail extends from the park into the Shell Ridge Open Space, and finally to the peak of Mt. Diablo.
Homestead Park is a .5 acres open space community park where you can hike,have a picnic with your family, meet the friendly community, find a safe place to jog or walk your dog and a great place to visit during your free time to just chill or relax. Howe Homestead Park and Community Garden also offers 44 plots of previously worked land available for residents of Walnut Creek after a three year waiting list.