Centennial Hike Planned as Part of Eugene O'Neill Festival


“If you’re told to ‘take a hike’ this fall, this is a great time and place to do it, while combining  town, regional, state and national parks in one hike,” says Trudy McMahon from the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House.

On Sunday, September 11, hikers are invited to join in for a Centennial Hike from downtown Danville up the hill to Tao House. The event highlights the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which operates Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in Danville.

“The theme of NPS’s one-hundredth anniversary year is ‘Find Your Park,” says Tom Leatherman, Superintendent of the four national park sites in Contra Costa County. “We’re happy to join with East Bay Regional Park District, the Town of Danville, Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks, and the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association in encouraging folks to discover and enjoy the parks in our community.”

The Centennial Hike on September 11 begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Eugene O’Neill Commemorative Park on Front Street, across from the Danville Library. Advance registration is required for those planning to participant in the Centennial Hike. Register by e-mailing Include your name and number in your party, and use “Find Your Park” in the subject line.  Please register by September 6.     

Hikers will proceed north on Front Street, west on Prospect Avenue to Museum of the San Ramon Valley Depot, and then continue along the Iron Horse Trail. The route will proceed to Camille Avenue to the East Bay Regional Park’s Madrone Trailhead up one mile uphill to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site where there is a spectacular view of Mount Diablo State Park. It is estimated the full hike will take three hours from start to end and cover approximately three miles.

Along the hiking route, representatives from Town, Regional, State, and National parks and historic sites will be available to provide information about their particular parks and programs.  

Additional information will be provided for those arriving at Tao House from the participating groups:

1 Mount Diablo Interpretive Association 2 Save Mount Diablo 3 East Bay Regional Park District 4 Rosie the Riveter Trust 5 John Muir Association 6 Friends of Port Chicago Memorial 7 Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House 8 Town of Danville 9 California State Parks

Hikers are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, and enjoy the shaded picnic area.
Tao House at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site will be open for informal tours for participants. It is here that O’Neill and his family lived from 1937-1944, and where the playwright wrote his final and most notable plays. 

Hikers can return back to downtown Danville via NPS shuttle from Tao House. Participants can also hike on a return route back along the Madrone Trail to Camille Avenue, or on the Virgil Williams Trail to Starview Drive. Guides from the National Park Service will be available to assist hikers and to control traffic flow.

The Centennial Hike is one of several events planned during the 17th Eugene O’Neill Festival. Three stage productions will be presented from September 2 to October 2 at the Old Barn at Tao House or at the Village Theater in downtown Danville. Exhibits at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and at Tao House tell the story of playwright O’Neill and his career. The PBS American Experience documentary Eugene O’Neill by film-maker Ric Burns will be screened at the Danville Veteran’s Memorial Hall on September 8. 

Details regarding the O’Neill Festival are available online at or by calling (925) 820-1818.

Tao House

Eugene O'Neill Foundation
(925) 820-1818