The official Olympics are over, but the staff at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont is staging a less formal one, featuring events that predate even the original competitions between ancient Greek city-states.
It's the Stone Age Olympics and Knap-in, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. Visitors 8 and older can compete in dart and rabbit stick throwing, matchless fire starting, and other skills dating back to prehistoric times.
The knap-in has nothing to do with sleep. People skilled in the craft will show how to knap rocks -- shape them by chipping them into Stone Age tools.
Coyote Hills naturalist Dino Labiste is the organizer. Dino also will host a series of programs in October on how to make fire, cordage and flint tools.
Coyote Hills is an appropriate venue for the Stone Age Olympics, because it is the site of a Native American village that was inhabited for 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. The visitor center contains artifacts and displays highlighting Native American culture.
The Olympics and Knap-In will be at the Dairy Glen campsite. When you drive on the park road that leads to the visitor center, you'll see signs pointing to the Old Quarry parking lot and Dairy Glen. To reach Dairy Glen, start from the Old Quarry parking lot and walk about eight minutes toward the Bay along the Bayview Trail.
The park is located at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway, just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. There's a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. Admission to the Stone Age Olympics is free. For information, call 510-544-3220.
Tarantulas, those hairy, leggy spiders active this time of year, are the focus of a program scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 22, at Sunol Regional Wilderness, led by Melissa Tarnowski. Designed for ages 5 and older, the program is a chance to meet a tarantula up close and personal.
Sunol Wilderness is located on Geary Road off Calaveras Road five miles south of Interstate 680 in southern Alameda County. Melissa's program is free of charge, but registration is required.
For information or registration, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 30181.
The Wednesday Walkers, an informal group of hikers who explore a different regional park almost weekly, will take on Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in San Ramon on Sept. 26.
This will be a short but strenuous three-mile hike along Las Trampas Ridge. It starts at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot at the north end of Bollinger Canyon Road off Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon.
The leader is naturalist Chris Garcia. I've walked this route often myself. It's steep, but the payoff is great views of Mount Diablo and the San Ramon Valley.
For more information on this and other Wednesday Walks, call 510-544-3282 or e-mail email@example.com.
Historic Rose Hill Cemetery will be the destination of a half-mile hike from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 23, at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, led by naturalist Eddie Willis.
Rose Hill is the final resting place for many of the miners and their families who lived and worked in the region's coal fields in the 19th century. Their stories were often tragic. Some of the monuments marking Welsh miners' graves are inscribed in the Welsh language.
Eddie's hike is free, designed for ages 6 and older. Meet in the parking lot at the upper end of Somersville Road, five miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch. Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended.
For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, naturalist Kevin Damstra will lead a full moon hike at Black Diamond from 6 to 8 p.m. in celebration of National Public Lands Day. The group will climb some of the park's high hills to see the sunset and view the public lands around Mount Diablo.
Because the trail is steep and uneven, the hike is for ages 13 and older. It's free, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program 30204.
Birds galore and history lore are the attractions for a Monday bird-watching stroll scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 24, at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond, led by naturalist Anthony Fisher.
Pt. Pinole is home to shorebirds along San Pablo Bay and has an interesting past as a center for dynamite manufacture.
The hike is free. Pt. Pinole has a parking fee of $3 per vehicle, and it applies only on weekends. Meet Anthony at the entrance parking lot on Giant Highway near Richmond Parkway. For information, call 510-544-2233.
After that, the next Monday birding will be at Crockett Hills Regional Park on Oct. 1.
Fun for the whole family will be in store at an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at The Little Farm in Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley.
It's a chance to help with the chores, harvest garden vegetables, make wool crafts, walk a goat and visit the farm animals. Naturalist James Wilson and the other interpretive staff will be on hand to lead activities.
The Little Farm is located at the north end of Tilden's Central Park Drive, accessible via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley. Entry is free. For more information, call 510-544-2233.
The Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes says that all the rivers run into the sea. You can learn how that works in the Bay Area during a program led by naturalist aide Victoria Baird from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, She'll talk about how our streams, rivers and San Francisco Bay are all connected.
It's a free program. Crab Cove is located at 1252 McKay Ave. off Central Avenue. The center has displays relating to Alameda's colorful history and aquariums full of fish from San Francisco Bay. For information, call 510-544-3187.
Ned MacKay writes about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.