East Bay Parks opens new Dumbarton Quarry Campground Aug. 28

East Bay Parks opens new Dumbarton Quarry Campground Aug. 28
Dumbarton Quarry Campground under construction in 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY, CA (Aug. 27, 2021) — In the last column I mentioned that East Bay Regional Park District’s new Dumbarton Quarry Campground in Fremont would be open soon. Well, it’s open now. A dedication ceremony was held on Aug. 28.

The campground is at the site of a former rock quarry. It is adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park and close to the toll plaza of the Dumbarton Bridge on Highway 84.

Amenities include 60 sites with full RV hookups, three sites with water only, restrooms and showers, a camp store, an amphitheater, a playground, and picnic areas.

This is the park district’s first full-service campground near the shore of San Francisco Bay. Trails and bicycle paths connect it to Coyote Hills, and to the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge on the south side of Highway 84 via a path across the top of the toll plaza structure.

Access to the campground is from Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont. Reservations can be made online at reserveamerica.com, or by calling 888-327-2757 and selecting option 2. And there’s lots of good information about the campground at ebparks.org/DumbartonQuarryCampground or ebparks.org/DQC.

Labor Day weekend

Labor Day weekend is usually one of the more crowded times in the East Bay Regional Parks. This may be especially true this year, as wildfires have required closure of many other parklands and open spaces statewide.

All the regional parks and trails are scheduled to be open during the holiday weekend. If you’re planning a picnic, try to arrive early to be sure of securing a table. This is especially true at regional parks with swim areas. On Labor Day itself, picnic tables are available only first-come, first-served.

Covid-19 remains a concern. Officials recommend masks for indoor venues and crowded outdoor activities.

Of course, fire prevention is also a priority. No smoking is allowed in the regional parks. Campfires are allowed only in established fire circles at campgrounds. If you barbecue, please use the barbecue stands. Portable barbecues are okay if set up on bare ground next to an existing picnic table, but not on lawn areas or in tall, dry grass. Dispose of coals only in the concrete receptacles designed for that purpose, not in regular trash barrels.

For up-to-date information on the status of any regional park, visit the park district website, www.ebparks.org before setting out. Once in the park, please cooperate with any instructions from rangers, police, firefighters or other district staff, especially if there is an emergency.

Where you can swim

Speaking of swimming, it is available on weekends at the pools in Castle Rock in Walnut Creek and Roberts Regional Recreation Area on Skyline Boulevard in Oakland. Lagoons and beaches are also open at Contra Loma in Antioch, Cull Canyon in Castro Valley, Del Valle south of Livermore, Don Castro in Hayward, and Quarry Lakes in Fremont.

These parklands have lifeguard service, depending on weather and attendance. You can also swim at your own risk at Crown Beach and Encinal Beach in Alameda, and Keller Cove at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond. These three beaches have no lifeguard service.

For complete information on swim hours and fees, visit the park district website.  On the home page, click on “Activities,” then click again on “Swimming” when the drop-down list appears.

Meet the chickens

For a farmyard experience on Labor Day weekend, try “Meet the Chickens” at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. The program lasts from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 5.

Visitors can check out the farm’s chicken coop and learn a bit about chicken behavior while feeding the birds a snack. The farm offers the program with no fee and no registration required.

You can find the farm on Ardenwood Boulevard just off Highway 84. There’s an entry fee; parking is free. For information, call 510-544-2797.

Over-the-Hills Gang hike

After the weekend, the Over-The-Hills Gang will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 7 for a hike from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area in El Sobrante.

Led by naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder, this informal group of hikers 55 and older shares an interest in nature study, history, fitness and fun.

Wear layered clothing and sturdy shoes. Bring water, a snack, sunscreen and a mask.

Kennedy Grove is on San Pablo Dam Road between El Sobrante and Orinda. The hike is free of charge and registration is not necessary. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.