If you have energy to spare, you could spend all day Saturday on guided hikes in north Contra Costa regional parks.

This is because naturalist "Trail Gail" Broesder is leading a hike from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day at Crockett Hills Regional Park in Crockett. The route leads along a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail through historic ranch lands to panoramic views of San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait.

Ages 14 and older, please, and bring a snack to share. Meet at the staging area on Crockett Boulevard just south of Pomona Street in Crockett.

Then from 4 to 6 p.m. that day, naturalist James Wilson will lead a short sunset hike to explore the beauties of Briones Regional Park. Meet James at Briones' Bear Creek staging area. It's off Bear Creek Road about five miles east of San Pablo Dam Road in Orinda Village.

Trail Gail specializes in more strenuous hikes. She's leading an eight-miler from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 18, at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. It's a ridge-to-ridge loop. Again, it's for ages 14 and older; bring a snack to share.

For this hike, meet Gail at the park's Canyon Meadow staging area off Redwood Road in Oakland.

All three hikes are free. For more information, call 510-544-2233.

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    The pleasures of a 19th-century autumn celebration will come to life again during the annual Harvest Festival at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13.

    Attractions will include magic shows, cider pressing, corn husk crafts, blacksmithing demonstrations, rides on the farm's unique horse-drawn railroad, and corn harvesting.


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    Bring your own bags to take home your harvest of organic Indian corn and popcorn. You can also buy a pumpkin at the J.E. Perry Farm pumpkin patch.

    Dan Engle and Ray Frank will play lively 19th-century music, and David Maloney will lead a children's singalong session.

    Entry fee for the festival is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62 and older, $6 for children 4-17, and free for children 3 and younger. Parking is free. Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2797.

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    Thirty-minute discussion sessions on issues facing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta continue at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. There's one from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

    It's free, but registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 3896.

    And the park visitor center offers a program of Delta discovery games and activities from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October.

    Big Break Shoreline is at 69 Big Break Road off Main Street in Oakley. The phone number is 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

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    Naturalist Trent Pearce leads evening excursions that combine bicycling and bird watching, designed for ages 12 and older.

    The next one is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 through Wildcat Canyon. Meet at the Lone Oak Picnic Area in Tilden Regional Park. It's on the Tilden Loop Road off Central Park Drive.

    The ride is six miles long, mostly flat, on a gravel surface. Bring a bicycle, helmet and binoculars. For information, call 510-544-2233.

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