LOGO - East Bay Regional Park District EBRPD

Fourth of July is one of the busiest days of the year for the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), but don’t let that stop you from planning a day trip to your favorite park.

All picnic areas will be available on Monday, July 4, on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to secure a table. Most picnic areas include facilities for grilling, but portable grills are also allowed if used properly. Grillers should avoid dry grassy areas and dispose of coals only in concrete bins provided for that purpose.

Some other tips for enjoying July 4 at the parks:

Take plenty of water, especially if you plan to venture out on the trails. There are few sources of drinking water outside the picnic areas and trail heads.

Plan hikes and rides for the morning hours, before the heat of the day. Go with a companion, so someone can go for help if a problem occurs. Be sure to download a map from the park district website or pick one up at the trailhead.

If you go alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Then let them know when you’re back safe.

Use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect from sunburn.

Keep in mind the parks are likely to be crowded, especially those with swimming areas.

EBRPD is offering a variety of weekend activities throughout the summer, including tours at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch; drop-in craft activities at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont; and self-guided scavenger hunts at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County.

The district will also offer several virtual programs, including “Reptile Way Kahoot,” about snakes and other reptiles, with Black Diamond Mines naturalist Kevin Dixon, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. To join the free program, visit the Black Diamond Mines Facebook page.

On Saturday, July 16, the district will offer a nature journaling workshop about bats, hosted by naturalist Erica Stephens, from 2 to 3 p.m. The program will be available via Zoom or on the Sunol Regional Wilderness Facebook page. Black Diamond Mines naturalists will also celebrate World Snake Day with a pre-recorded program on the Black Diamond Mines Facebook page, from 6 to 6:30 p.m., on July 16.

For more information, visit ebparks.org.