Sunol Regional Wilderness is closed starting Friday. Photo: Emilie Raguso

The East Bay Regional Park District has announced a raft of new park closures — which will limit both parking and trail access — to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The EBRPD said, in an announcement Wednesday shortly after 6 p.m., the closures would limit crowds and address safety needs for staff and the public. The announcement came one day after the park district told Berkeleyside dog owners would have to keep their pets on leashes in the interest of public safety. In the past week, Marin County closed all of its parks and the California state parks closed a number of parking areas in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

With increasing restrictions placed on what sort of activities are allowed under the shelter-in-place order that began last week, community members have been bracing for more bad news. Wednesday’s new rules from the EBRPD are set to last through at least April 30. “Park visitation and park use will be monitored closely,” the park district said, “with additional closures possible.”

Starting Friday, the Tilden Botanic Garden, Sunol Regional Wilderness and the Castle Rock Recreation Area will be closed completely.

The Tunnel Road entrance to Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is closed, but other access points are open.

The main parking areas at Point Isabel and Roberts Regional Recreation are closed, so there is walk-in access only. It’s the same story at Shadow Cliffs. The Otis Parking lot is closed at Crown Beach. The upper parking lot is closed at Black Diamond Mines, but parking is available at Sidney Flat.

Del Valle will only have trail access from the Arroyo Staging Area. There’s limited parking for trail access at Diablo Foothills. Meyer’s Garden is closed at Garin/Dry Creek. The Redwood Gate is closed at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park.

Only boarders will be allowed into Piedmont Stables to care for their horses. At Contra Loma, trails are open from Frederickson Lane.

See a list of the new closures as well as those the EBRPD had already announced.

Guidelines from the EBRPD

  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people
  • No groups, gatherings or meetups (only immediate households should be together)
  • No picnicking (walking, hiking, running, horseback riding, biking and fishing are allowed)
  • Bring water and hand sanitizer, and use restrooms at home (bathrooms and water fountains are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • Be aware of high-touch points (trail access gates, parking machines, etc. — use hand sanitizer or gloves)
  • Keep dogs on leash — even dogs should social distance during COVID-19
  • Pack out all trash, including dog poop bags (there is NO trash collection)
  • Park properly (parking restrictions will be enforced)

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...