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It's the 50th anniversary for the grand string of parks in the East Bay.

One of the largest local park systems in the country, the East Bay Regional Park District is celebrating its 50th anniversary ths year with a host of special events--many in May and June--and the opening of new trails and park additions. You can attend a farm fair or wilderness fair, take a guided hike, join a fishing derby, or watch boat races. On page 56, we tell where you can get a free map and guide to the system's 44 parks, all in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Here are the events.

May 12 and 13, the reservoir at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton will be the site of powerboat races from 9 to 5 each day. Some 30 outboards will race around a 2-mile course on the 74-acre lake. Come early to stake out a spot on the beach to watch the races. There'll be no swimming or public boating on this weekend, but the water slide is open and you'll have the use of fishing docks, picnic sites, volleyball courts, and jogging trails that ring the lake.

Shadow Cliffs is some 5 miles west of Livermore; from Interstate 580, take the Santa Rita Road exit and head south; turn left on Main Street, then left on Stanley Boulevard to the park. Parking fee is $2.50.

May 19 and 20, Charles Lee Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley. At the Little Farm Fair and May Festival, there'll be free miniature steam train, pony, and carousel rides on Saturday from 10 to 5. On Sunday from 11 to 4, you can watch or join square and circle dancing, animal-calling contests, stone soup making and eating (bring a bowl and spoon), storytelling, children's mural making, sheep shearing, pit-fired pottery making, and more. You'll also find hiking trails, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, and tennis courts in the 2,065-acre park.

In the Tilden Environmental Education Center, you can view nature displays and films. The center is off Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.

From State Highway 24, take the Fish Ranch Road exit; turn right on Grizzly Peak, then right on S. Park Drive.

June 1 through 3 at Lake Chabot in Anthony Chabot Regional Park in San Leandro. There'll be a fishing derby (entry fee $3, $5 for ages 16 and up) with prizes to be given in each of five age groups. Anglers will be after black bass, catfish, carp, crappie, and trout. Last year's prizes ranged from fishing tackle to an ocean sportfishing trip for two. For those who want to brush up on technique, there will be fishing clinics given all during the derby by Mike Gardner, director of Education for the Western Bass Fishing Association.

From Interstate 580 in San Leandro, exit at Fairmont Avenue and go east, following signs to the lake ($2 parking fee).

June 3 at Sunol regional Wilderness, east of Fremont. From 10 to 4, the Wilderness Fair features workshops on backpacking, gourmet cooking on the trail, nature photography, and more. In the green barn, you can watch films on rock climbing or endangered species. Or take a guided nature walk or play ecology games. There'll be food booths and information stands manned by conservation groups.

Take Interstate 680 or State Highway 84 to the Calaveras Road exit and go southeast on Calaveras to Geary Road and the park entrance. Hiking the East Bay's longest trails

Mission Peak to Del Valle Trail, the district's newest interconnecting trail project (linking two or more parks), will eventually cover some 21 miles. You can hike the start, which follows the existing Mission Peak Trail heading steeply into the hills east of Fremont, through oak-dotted pastures to the 2,517-foot summit in Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Clear-day views take in the whole South Bay and Mount Diablo to the north. It's a 3-mile round-trip hike.

The trailhead is behind Ohlone College off Mission Boulevard in Fremont. Park in the front lot and walk up to the swimming pool area; look for trail signs.

The next 12-mile segment, linking Mission Peak and Sunol, was due to be ready to hike by April. For several miles as the trail threads rolling hills, hikers will be out of sight of surrounding civilization, but they may spot bobcats, coyotes, golden eagles, and great blue herons.

The final trail segment (day-use only) from Sunol, through Ohlone Regional Wilderness, to Del Valle Regional Park near Livermore is due for completion by summer's end.

East Bay Skyline National Trail. You can hike or ride horseback along the 31-mile trail leading from Wildcat Canyon Regional Park southeast through Tilden, Sibley, Huckleberry, Redwood, and Chabot parks. As it skirts the ridgetop above Berkeley and Oakland, the trail takes you through oak, madrone, and redwood groves. Some of the trail is paved for bicycles.

If you want to ride the whole trail, it's best to begin at the north end in the morning; it's mostly downhill from this end, and by starting in the morning you avoid catching the afternoon winds up on the exposed ridge line.

Alameda Creek Trail. You can bike or hike this 12-mile (one-way) trail from the Alameda Creek Quarries Regional Recreation Area, along the creek, through Coyote Hills Regional Park and out along the salt pond levees at the edge of San Francisco Bay.

To reach the trailhead, take the Nimitz Freeway (State 17) to the Decoto Road exit and head east; go right on Alvarado--Niles Road; at the junction with Old Canyon Road, look for signs to the trailhead parking area.

For more information or a free map and guide to the entire park system, write to the East Bay Regional Park District, Development and Public Information Department, 11500 Skyline Blvd., Oakland 94619, or call (415) 531-9300.

Park members receive a monthly newsletter and free parking and swimming passes. If you live in the district, it costs $30 individual, $60 family per year to join; memberships for seniors, students, and disabled persons cost $16.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:East Bay Regional Park District, California
Date:May 1, 1984
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