Summer days are here and many people are looking for fun weekend adventures or easy ways to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Plus, with school out for the summer, parents are ready to find local hotspots that the whole family can enjoy. For Antioch residents and their Contra Costa neighbors, a day at Contra Loma Regional Park and Swim Lagoon is the perfect solution to summer.
*Featured Photo by Instagram – @healthyandnuts
Celebrating 85 years with Free Park Fridays
To celebrate the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th Anniversary, the Park District has planned a number of special events and programs, including FREE park Fridays, FREE Concerts in the Parks, and a FREE multicultural festival. The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest park district in the nation with 25 million visits annually and over 122,000 acres preserved for habitat and outdoor recreation.
Park entries are free every Friday in 2019 from April to December to celebrate the Park District’s 85th Anniversary. Fees will be waived for park entrance and the below:
- day use parking
- horse trailers
- boat launching
- fishing permits
Fee waiver does not apply to special event permits/reservations, camping, and associated fees, or state fees such as fishing licenses and watercraft inspections.
Fee waiver also does not apply to District concessions. Park entrance is subject to available occupancy.
Free Concerts in the Parks
Family-friendly music events with food and beverages available for purchase. Free Concert Day for Contra Loma Antioch is Friday, August 23, 5:30 pm.
The East Bay Regional Park District
The East Bay Regional Park District is made up of a beautiful series of parklands and trails woven throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. There are over 73 parks, 1250 miles of trails and over 122,000 acres of land. The East Bay Regional Park District is focused on preserving natural and cultural resources throughout the East Bay for people to enjoy today, and long into the future. With great management and wonderful preservation strategies, the parks are a perfect, affordable way to enjoy an afternoon while learning about our local environment. Plus, with biking, hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, boating, swimming, camping and golfing, the park district has something for everyone to enjoy. At Contra Loma, hiking, swimming, biking, boating and picnicking are just a few of the ways you can enjoy the beautiful city of Antioch.
Hiking and Boating At Contra Loma Regional Park
Contra Loma consists of an expansive 780 acres and an 802 acre reservoir for year round hiking, biking, picnicking, and boating. Hiking trails throughout Contra Loma are all well-marked for novice and more experienced hikers. It is always recommended that you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water with you, but trails vary from simple, paved paths to more robust and advanced trails off the beaten path. From Contra Loma, there are trails that can connect the more adventurous hikers to Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
The reservoir contains a variety of fish for local fisherman. Catfish, black and striped bass, bluegill, trout, and red-eared sunfish are in the reservoir throughout the year. However, a Daily Fishing Access Permit is also required and available for purchase at the park entry kiosk. For boaters, visitors may launch boats up to 17 feet into the reservoir. Only boats with electric motors are permitted. Windsurfing and kayaking are also permitted activities in the reservoir.
Swim in the Lagoon
Another unique aspect of Contra Loma Regional Park is the swimming lagoon. The reservoir is actually considered a backup water source for emergencies, so activities are restricted to ones that do not permit physical contact with the water. For swimming, a visit to the lagoon is what should be on your daily agenda. The swim lagoon is a get-away without having to leave the comfort of Antioch.
Arrival at the lagoon will welcome you to a sandy beach, restrooms, a concession stand as well as a green lawn for soaking in the sun and picnic tables for lunch and dinner. The lagoon has multiple lifeguards on duty all day and offers free life-jackets for all swimmers who are not confident swimmers. Swimming is limited to hours where there are lifeguards on duty and is not open throughout the year like the rest of the park.
Schedule A Visit
Contra Loma Regional Park District, located in Antioch, CA is open seven days a week. Make sure you check the website to confirm hours of operation. However, a general rule of thumb is that the park’s hours are similar to the hours the sun is in the sky. Summer months have the park open as early as 6am for people who like to catch the early fish in the reservoir or run the trails in the brisk morning air. Closing time is as late as 8pm in the summer and as early as 6pm in the winter months. Contra Loma is an accessible park – with parking, paved trails, and even a wheelchair lift the swimming lagoon.
A small park fee is collected for parking, at the boat launch and to enjoy the day at the Swimming Lagoon. However, to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park district, Friday’s at the park are free!
Antioch has many beautiful parks that are ideal to pass the day. Contra Loma is one that offers an extraordinary amount of amenities that can be enjoyed year long. However, as the summer days approach, a visit to the reservoir or swimming lagoon should not be overlooked. For more information on Contra Loma, visit www.ebayparks.org