Park Happenings for December
News from the East Bay Regional Park District
On December 3, the Park District held a grand opening celebration for the Tyler Ranch Staging Area in Sunol and the opening of 2,800 acres of new open space for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. New amenities include 78 parking spaces, equestrian staging/trailer parking, accessible restrooms, a small family picnic area, and access to 18 miles of trails.
The new parkland offers panoramic views of the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Bay, Mount Diablo, Brushy Peak, Mission Peak, Mount Umunhum, and Mount Tamalpais. From the staging area to Sunol Ridge, there is a challenging trail with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. Further north along the ridgeline is Sunol Peak at 2,163 feet, just under the height of Mission Peak.
The new parkland is part of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, which covers over 9,000 acres. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/parks/pleasanton-ridge.
The Park District recently updated Ordinance 38 to allow Class I e-Bikes on all trails where regular bikes are allowed, and Class II e-Bikes on all paved Regional Trails. Class 1 e-Bikes are pedal-assist and require pedaling for assistance from the electric motor. Class II e-Bikes have a throttle and allow pedal assist but do not require pedaling for assistance from the electric motor. All e-Bikes must follow the 15-mph bike speed limit. Bikers should also remember to slow down around others, call out or ring their bell when passing, and stay on designated trails only. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/recreation/biking.
Holiday Fun in East Bay Regional Parks. The winter holidays are a great time to get into nature and spend time with family and friends. Christmas at the Patterson House at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont celebrates a turn of the 20th century holiday at a beautifully restored Queen Anne mansion fully decorated for the holidays. Purchase tickets in advance online or at the door, as space allows. Winter Wonderland at the Tilden Merry-go-Round at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley is a beloved East Bay holiday tradition! Ride the carousel, visit with Santa or Olaf, view the lights and decorations, and enjoy holiday treats. Winterfest at the Tilden Steam Train at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley offers a spectacular ride through the park on the Redwood Valley Railway with lights and holiday decorations. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/holidays-parks.
Wintering Ladybugs at Reinhardt Redwood. Every year, between October and February, ladybugs cluster together in large groups to hibernate. A single cluster may contain hundreds of thousands of ladybugs. They cluster together in shrubs during cold winter weather, then disperse in the springtime. You can see them along the trails in many parks and open spaces, but one of their favorite places to gather is the intersection of Stream and Prince trails at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/parks/reinhardt-redwood.
New Year Activities. The new year brings new excitement and opportunities to get into nature. Kick off the year with a naturalist-led hike or activity! For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/calendar and search “New Year.”
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.