Shrubs and other plant life
surround the path of Niles's
James McDonald/Courier Photo
By James McDonald, Courier Staff Writer
Little is known about the Secret Sidewalk, located between Niles Canyon and Sunol. The sidewalk winds through the canyon and connects to the Sunol water temple. However, the sidewalk was actually created to transport water through the canyon and eventually to San Francisco.
The sidewalk and aqueduct was built by Spring Valley Water Company in the first decade of the 20th century. It is three feet wide and as high as seven feet tall in some areas.
The sidewalk continues through the hills and has a great display of nature. Local trees and plant life grow around the sidewalk.
When the sun sets around the sidewalk, the mood suddenly changes. Sometimes, it changes to party time. Teenagers and high school students take advantage of the secluded area and roll out the kegs.
On the other hand, it can change into a dark, cold and mysterious place. Continuing on down the sidewalk, visitors can come across a square hole reveling the fact that the sidewalk is indeed hollow. In the past, there used to be a large galvanized pipe inside the concrete used to transport the water.
Adjacent to the sidewalk is the old abandoned foundry/brick factory. Now in rubble, the factory use to produce bricks and pieces of metal. All that remains now are the three smoke stacks used to carry smoke and heat out of the factory.
The sidewalk has been a teen hangout spot for generations. It still stands after all these years and continues to fascinate every person who is lucky enough to find it.