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January 9, 2018 > Trails Challenge

Trails Challenge

Submitted By Ayn Wieskamp

The East Bay Regional Park District steps off into 2018 with the 25th year of its Trails Challenge program. It?s a free, self-guided program offered by the district in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the Regional Parks Foundation.

The Challenge guidebook has descriptions of routes in 20 regional parks and trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging. The idea is to hike, ride, or bike any five of the trails, or 26.2 miles of trails (a marathon distance) by Dec. 1. Then send in your trail log to the district reservations department and receive a commemorative pin, while supplies last.

You can pick up a free printed guidebook and T-shirt, while supplies last, at participating park district visitor centers or the district administrative offices on Peralta Oaks Court in Oakland. Or you can download the guide from the park district website,

The program provides a great incentive to explore new regional parklands. And the guidebook has lots of useful information about equipment and safety in the outdoors. Happy trails!


Apart from the Trails Challenge, there?s lots to see and do in the regional parks as the new year begins.

Discovery Days is a continuing program from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. Drop in any time for hands-on nature exploration and craft-making.

And there are guided tours of the park?s reconstructed Ohlone village from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Jan. 20 and Feb. 3, and from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, Jan. 28 and Feb. 25.

Naturalist Francis Mendoza leads a half-mile hike from the visitor center through the marsh to the more than 2,000-year-old village site while discussing Ohlone culture, past and present.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14, Francis will lead an easy walk to the site where the new Dumbarton Quarry Bayside Campground will open in 2019. Francis will talk about the history of the quarry and plans for the campground. The program is for ages 12 and up. Meet Francis at the park?s Quarry parking lot.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road in Fremont. Call (510) 544-3220 for information.


Nearby at Ardenwood Historic Farm, you can learn about the monarch butterflies that overwinter there, or experience life on a nineteenth-century farming estate. And from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 the park will offer farmyard docent training for people willing to volunteer to help with public educational programs.

Volunteers handle farm animals, demonstrate Victorian crafts, games and farm chores, or cook on a wood-burning stove, often while dressed in period styles. You must be at least 16 years old.

Ardenwood is on Ardenwood Boulevard just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. For more information on the docent training, call (510) 544-3285 or email


Experienced hikers will enjoy a challenging and beautiful hike from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, from Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore up to Murrietta Falls in the Ohlone Wilderness, a 12.5-mile round trip.

It?s for ages 12 and older, registration is required, and there?s a $3 fee. For information and registration, call (888) 327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 19258.


These are just a few of the activities planned in coming weeks in the regional parks. For a complete list, visit the park district website,

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