East Bay pools and beaches open for Memorial Day weekend

The East Bay Regional Park District will dive into summer on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, opening up some of its beaches and swimming pools.

Any possibility of swimming depends on the quality of the water, in particular the presence or absence of blue-green algae. The current status is that lifeguard swimming facilities will be open at Lake Temescal in Oakland, Don Castro Lagoon in Hayward, Cull Canyon Lagoon in Castro Valley, and Castle Rock Pool in Walnut Creek. Swimming beaches at Quarry Lakes in Fremont and Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore are closed due to seaweed but will reopen once water quality permits.

Additionally, open water swimming is available at Crown Beach in Alameda and Keller Beach on Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond. Parking is limited and there is no lifeguard service; you swim at your own risk.

Unfortunately, several normally open bathing areas are closed for the season. Shadow Cliffs bathing beach in Pleasanton is closed due to drought-related low water levels. However, the park remains open to other leisure activities, in particular shore fishing. No float tube fishing is allowed.

Roberts Pool in the Oakland Hills is closed for renovations until spring 2023. Contra Loma Lagoon in Antioch is also closed for the season due to needed repairs and maintenance. And Lake Anza at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley is closed to swimming due to maintenance needs and continued uncertainty over water quality.

Swimming fees vary by facility, although swimming is free for members of the Regional Parks Foundation. For more information on membership, visit regionalparksfoundation.org in line. For specific information on swimming area hours and fees, go to ebparks.org/swimming.

Other holiday activities: Besides swimming, many other recreational opportunities are available at regional parks on holiday weekends.

For example, the district’s Dumbarton Quarry Campground in Fremont will host a campfire program with songs and stories from 8-9 p.m. Saturday. The programs are free and open to everyone; registration is not required. You don’t have to stay at the campsite. There is a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. Masks are mandatory. Dumbarton Quarry Campground is located at 9400 Quarry Road in Fremont. For more information, call 510-544-3220.

There are also walk-in campfire programs from 8-9 p.m. every Saturday from Saturday through June 25 at the Anthony Chabot Campground on Redwood Road between Oakland and Castro Valley. Parking fees apply.

Next to Coyote Hills Regional Park, also in Fremont, the Visitor Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Memorial Day with many interesting programs planned. Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road near Paseo Padre Parkway.

Also in Fremont: Memorial Day is a no-entry day at historic Ardenwood Farm in Fremont. Visitors can ride the train, help with farm chores, tour the historic Patterson House, try old-fashioned lawn games, and stop by the outdoor kitchen. Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., just north of Highway 84. For more information, call 510-544-2797.

Alameda: “Memorial Day Memories” is the theme of a program from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 29 at the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.

Learn how to properly fold a flag, tie a knot, and make a flower to place at the Merchant Navy Memorial in the park. During World War II, the area that is now a park was a training center for merchant marine officers.

And on Memorial Day, the Crab Cove Visitor Center will host an open house from 1-3 p.m. with a variety of activities planned. Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. near the central avenue of Alameda. There is a small parking lot with a $5 fee when the kiosk is busy. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Berkeley: A family walk in search of plants and animals is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. May 29 at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, led by naturalist Anthony Fisher. Meet at the Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive in Tilden, accessible via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley. For information, call 510-544-2233.

The Sobrante: Kennedy Grove in El Sobrante is the location of a free program in the “People of Color: Evening Walks and Talks” series. It’s from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 1, hosted by naturalist Claudia Muñoz.

The program is in English and Spanish. On a 2-mile walk, the group will learn about the plants and animals found in the park. No registration is required; just show up. Kennedy Grove is on San Pablo Dam Road between Orinda and El Sobrante. For information, call 510-544-3176.

Oakley: Black Birders Week is a series of programs hosted by Park District Naturalist staff and members of the District’s Black Employee Collective from May 29 through June 4. The idea is to create safe spaces for guided discussions about Black experiences and the outdoors while exploring regional parks. Everyone is welcome.

The programs are scheduled for May 29 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley; Memorial Day, May 30, at Crown Beach in Alameda; May 31 at Point Pinole in Richmond; June 1 at Martinez Regional Shoreline; June 2 at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland; June 3 at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore; and June 4 at Fremont’s Ardenwood.

In line: For more information on all of the above programs and others, visit ebparks.org in line.

Ned MacKay writes about the sights and activities of the East Bay Regional Park District. Email him at [email protected]

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