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July 3, 2018 > Park It

Park It

By Ned MacKay

Rules of the Road
The other day, after walking along Nimitz Way in Tilden Regional Park in Trail Safety Patrol mode, I was approached by another hiker who was upset because a cyclist had brushed past him without warning. So now is as good a time as any to mention trail courtesy in the regional parks.

The legend on each park map is your best guide for knowing the type of trail users that you might meet, as well as the type of trail use permitted for hikers, horse riders, and cyclists at each park.

Bicycle riders have access to the majority of the District?s trails. In general, bicycle riding is allowed on the fire roads, service roads, and paved regional trails such as Iron Horse, Contra Costa Canal, Alameda Creek, etc. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour. With only a few exceptions, bicycles aren?t supposed to be ridden on the narrow-gauge trails or on the hiking or hiker/horse-only trails. For a list of some narrow-gauge trails open to bicycles, visit the Park District website,

Horseback riders have the right of way over hikers and cyclists. Cyclists yield to hikers. Bicycle riders overtaking hikers should a ring a bell if they have one or call out ?On your left/right.? Skiers do it all the time on the slopes; it helps avoid accidents. And everyone has to be careful not to startle horses.

In return, if you are walking on a multi-use trail, leave enough space so bicycle riders can pass conveniently, especially if you are with a large group. If you?re walking a dog on leash, avoid having the dog on one side of the trail and you on the other.

On the whole, it?s just a matter of common courtesy. Regardless of the rules, if everybody cuts a little slack for other park visitors, we?ll all have a safer and more enjoyable experience.


As always, there are lots of nature-themed programs planned in coming days in the regional parks.

For instance, you can help naturalist Jenna Scimeca with a bee census from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 7, in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. Bees are pollinators vital to both plant and animal life.

Or you can join naturalist Trent Pearce from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 8 and again on July 22 to collect various tiny items, then look at them under a microscope. The program is perfect for children.
For either Jenna?s or Trent?s program, meet at Tilden?s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. Call (510) 544-2233.

Trent leads another of his spider safaris from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, this time at Briones Regional Park. It?s a hunt for orb weavers, wolf spiders, mygalomorphs and more. Meet Trent at Briones? Bear Creek Staging Area, which is on Bear Creek Road about five miles east of the intersection with San Pablo Dam Road in Orinda.


At Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, naturalist Eddie Willis plans a combination hike and mine tour for ages seven and older from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 8. The program will encompass the full breadth of the area?s mining history, from the tops of the hills to their core. Black Diamond Mines was the site of California?s largest coal mining operation, and later silica mining for glass production and foundry use.

There?s a fee of $5 per person, and registration is required. To register, call (888) 327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program number 21503.


There?s a family campfire planned from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 and again on Aug. 12 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. Bring your family and a picnic dinner to enjoy before the program. Naturalist Nichole Gange will lead activities highlighting Big Break?s natural wonders and host a campfire with s?mores.

Big Break is located at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley?s Main Street. For information, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 3050.


At Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, naturalist Francis Mendoza will lead a history walk from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 8 for ages 5 and older, recounting the geologic, human and military history of the park.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Meet Francis at the Quarry parking lot. For information, call (510) 544-3220.


Looking ahead, Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will offer another of its free Concerts at the Cove from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 13. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and a picnic dinner or purchase local food and beverages at the concert.

Parking is on Webster Street or the Crown Beach lot at Otis Drive. Sponsors are the Park District, Regional Parks Foundation and Alameda Rotary Club. Call (510) 544-3187.


There are lots of other activities scheduled too. Check out for more.

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