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July 3, 2018 > East Bay Parks July activities

East Bay Parks July activities

By Ayn Wieskamp

Trails Challenge Continues
As summer shifts into high gear, here?s a reminder: so does East Bay Regional Park District?s Trails Challenge program, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Trails Challenge is a free, self-guided way of exploring your regional parks, sponsored by the Park District, the Regional Parks Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. No registration is needed to participate. Just download the guidebook from the Park District website, Or pick up a guidebook at Park District headquarters on Peralta Oaks Court in Oakland.

The guidebook has detailed trail descriptions for hikes in 20 regional parks, ranging from easy to challenging. Trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, dogs, and equestrians, and many are wheelchair accessible. The book also has many useful tips on how to enjoy your outdoor experience safely.

To complete the challenge, hike or ride any five of the trails or 26.2 miles of trail. Then turn in your guidebook and receive a commemorative pin, while supplies last. Trails Challenge is a great incentive to explore regional parks you might not have known about previously. And there?s still plenty of time before the 2018 challenge is over.


While you?re hiking or riding, check out the new entrance to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. It?s the Castleridge trailhead, located on Old Foothill Road, close to the intersection of Foothill Road and west of Pleasanton?s Alviso Adobe Community Park. Note that Old Foothill Road is one way, north to south.

The trailhead has parking, rest rooms, and drinking water. From there it?s about a two-mile, well-graded climb to the top of Pleasanton Ridge. Before the new trailhead opened, it was a much longer hike to the park?s north end. For a map of the entire park, visit


It?s wheat-harvesting time at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Find out how grain ends up as bread on the table by helping to reap, thresh and mill the farm?s wheat, with naturalists Mindy Castle and Christina Garcia.

Harvesting programs are from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, July 21, 22, 28 and 29. The park offers lots of other interesting programs, too, recreating life on a 19th-century farming estate.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For entry fees, visit or call (510) 544-2797. Parking is free.


Secrets of a summer night will be revealed during a program from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County, with naturalist Constance Taylor. Activities will include a night hike, a hunt for moths aided by blacklight (the effect is amazing), watching bats hunt for insects, and sitting by a campfire roasting marshmallows.

Sunol Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, five miles south of I-680. There?s a parking fee of $5 when the kiosk is attended; the program is free of charge. For information, call (510) 544-3249.


Farther afield, there?s a ?Beach Blast? every Saturday and Sunday from July 7 through Aug. 26 on the west shore beach at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore. Lifeguards clear the water for a 15-minute swim break at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. During that time, park district naturalists will offer a nature break with games, live animals and outdoor exploration, before the swimming resumes.

Del Valle is at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road. For information on the nature break, call (510) 544-3249.


There are lots of activities to enjoy this summer in the regional parks. For a full listing, visit the district website ( We?ll hope to see you in the parks and on the trails.

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