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. Saturday and Sunday.

Attractions will include magic shows, cider pressing, corn husk crafts, blacksmithing demonstrations, rides on the farm's unique horse-drawn railroad, and corn harvesting. 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. The entry fee for the festival is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62 and older, $6 for children ages 4 through 17 and free for children 3 and younger. Parking is free.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2797.

TILDEN: At Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley, there's a family nature walk planned from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. These are easy walks to learn about the park's plant and animal life.

Meet at the Environmental Education Center at the north end of Central Park Drive. Due to ongoing construction work around Indian Camp, the center may be accessible only by foot traffic. For information and current status, call 510-544-2233 or visit www.ebparks.org.


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hikes galore: If you have energy to spare, you could spend all of 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; 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. Saturday, 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 5 miles east of San Pablo Dam Road in Orinda Village.

Trail Gail specializes in more strenuous hikes. She's leading an 8-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 up; 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 of charge. For information, call 510-544-2233.

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