Post Thanksgiving in the Parks

After the turkey dinner and televised football games, there’s lots to do outdoors in the East Bay Regional Parks during Thanksgiving weekend.

For example, there’s a post-turkey day dog excursion from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.

Naturalist Kevin Dixon will lead well-behaved dogs and their human companions on a moderate hike in the park’s back country. Meet Kevin in the parking lot at the upper end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

Or you can join a post-turkey day nature walk from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, led by naturalist Morgan Evans. Morgan will take the group on a walk along a creek in search of local plants and animals.

And “bountiful birds” will be the theme of another Big Break program, from 2 to 3 p.m. the same day.

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

At Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, there’s a puppet show from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the Environmental Education Center, featuring villainous Lester the Litterbug. Interpretive student aides Sharona Kleinman and Nic Hoffman are the puppeteers.

There’s also Fun with Felt from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27 at Tilden’s Little Farm, under the direction of naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder. Gail will help visitors make a unique work of art using wool and soap.

And Gail will lead a walk from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27 from the center down to Jewel Lake in search of local wildlife.

Both the center and farm are at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For information and directions, call 510-544-2233.

For something more strenuous, join naturalist Susan Ramos for a “Burn the Turkey” hike from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 25 at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. Susan will lead a 2½-mile winter walk on some of the park’s hillier trails. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at the park’s Skyline Gate, which is on Skyline Boulevard a bit south of Shepard Canyon Road. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda plans post-Thanksgiving Holiday Fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. All kinds of family-friendly activities are scheduled throughout the day, including nature-themed crafts, interactions with the center’s animals, and fish-feeding time from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont has scheduled lots of post-Thanksgiving activities, too. There’s a Glider Hill hike from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, a program on Ohlone Indian culture from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27 for ages eight and older, and a program for six years and older from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27 about the differences between turkeys and turkey vultures. This is an important distinction for Thanksgiving dinner planning.

All three programs meet at the park visitor center, which is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Call 510-544-3220.

Nearby at Ardenwood Historic Farm, programs continue to highlight the annual overwintering of monarch butterflies.

Return of the Monarchs is a walk to the eucalyptus groves to view the butterflies gathering in the treetops. It’s scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26.

Mysterious Monarchs is another monarch program including a caterpillar craft, from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.

The park is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. For information, call 510-544-2797.

Black Friday will be Green Friday in the East Bay Regional Parks. The district will waive fees throughout its parks on Nov. 25 to encourage people to hit the trails, not the malls.

The district will waive fees for parking, dogs, horses, boat launching and district fishing permits at all 65 of its parks. Entrance fees at Ardenwood Historic Farm will also be waived. The waiver does not apply to California state fees such as fishing licenses, or to district concessions such as the Tilden Park carousel.

So there’s plenty to see and do in the regional parks this Thanksgiving weekend. But however you spend it, have a happy holiday.


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