SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY AREA, CA (Jan. 10, 2022) — If getting more outdoor exercise was one of your New Year’s resolutions, or even if it wasn’t, consider taking up East Bay Regional Park District’s 2022 Trails Challenge. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s free, and annually for almost three decades, more than 10,000 people have participated.
Here’s how it works. Go to the park district website, ebparks.org/TC. Download the 2022 Trails Challenge Guidebook, which describes 20 hikes within the regional parks, designed for all levels of fitness from easy to challenging. There are trails for hikers, bicyclists, dog walkers and equestrians; some are wheelchair accessible.
To complete the challenge, hike or ride any five of the 20 listed trails, or 26.2 miles of trails within the park district. Submit your trail log online or through the mail by Dec. 1, 2022 and receive a commemorative pin, while supplies last.
All 20 of the trails are available on the AllTrails app. First download the free app, sign up and log in. Then go to www.alltrails.com/lists/ebrpd-trails-challenge-2022 and click on “Copy to my lists”, followed by “Continue in App”. The featured trails will show under ‘Lists’ in ‘Plan’. The app indicates where you are on the trail, enabling easy return to the trail if you stray from it. You can also record your hikes, share your photos and comments with other park users.
To offer some examples, easy trails listed on the challenge include the Alameda Creek Regional Trail in Fremont and the Bollinger Creek Loop at Las Trampas in San Ramon. One of the longer trails is the Brushy Peak Loop Trail near Livermore. And one of the strenuous ones is a trek at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve east of Mt. Diablo.
Besides trail maps and descriptions, the Trails Challenge guidebook contains lots of other useful information, such as outdoor safety tips and equipment recommendations.
The 29th annual Trails Challenge is sponsored by the Regional Parks Foundation, Kaiser Permanente HMO and the park district.
Wet season impact
Apart from the Trails Challenge, the park district naturalists are offering lots of programs that highlight the cultural and natural history of the regional parks.
Appropriately, rain and its impact is the theme of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch with naturalist aide Aki McKinzie.
Bring binoculars and meet at the uppermost parking lot at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. Find out how the park environment changes in the wet season.
The program is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2.
Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended.
Explore Diablo Foothills
Or you can join naturalist Kevin Dixon to explore the trails and dramatic rock outcrops at Diablo Foothills Regional Park during a hike from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16.
Meet at the Orchard Creek Staging Area near the end of Castle Rock Road in Walnut Creek. Bring a snack, dress for the weather, and expect possibly wet and muddy trails.
The program is free, but registration is required. Minimum age is seven and parents must participate. To register, call 888-327-2757.
This is just a sample. For the full list of programs and their availability, visit ebparks.org.
Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at email@example.com.