In honor of National Camping Month, we wanted to highlight the wild spaces that are practically in our backyards, and to give you a brief introduction to John Muir, who is credited with ensuring that Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, among other sites, became protected National Parks.
The East Bay Regional Parks District
The East Bay Regional Parks District comprises nearly 125,000 acres in 73 parks, including over 1,250 miles of trails and 55 miles of shoreline. The Alameda County Library has partnered with the East Bay Regional Parks Districts to offer Discover and Explore Backpacks! The backpacks can be checked out for three weeks at a time, and a library card is required for checkout.
Here’s a video that tells you all about them. These waterproof backpacks contain:
- 1 parking pass
- 1 EBRPD family park pass
- 1 pair of binoculars
- 5 folding guides in a pouch, including trail maps, and laminated brochures with pictures and descriptions of local trees, birds, butterflies and mammals. There are also instructions on how to use the binoculars.
We encourage you to borrow a backpack and explore a park or two! If you discover something spectacular, please share it with us by texting (510) 806-7868.
John Muir National Historic Site
John Muir has been called the father of the National Park system. You can visit his home, and his gravesite, in nearby Martinez for free! The National Park Service has preserved his home at the John Muir National Historic Site. You can take a self-guided tour, or go on one led by a National Park Service ranger.
While you are there, take some time to explore Mount Wanda—named after John Muir's eldest daughter. Mount Wanda is a small but very attractive park just across Highway 4 from the John Muir House. John Muir took his kids for walks here. The park features a scenic hilltop meadow.
Happy National Camping Month!