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East Bay's Creepy Critters

Celebrate Halloween with tarantulas, scorpions, bats, and more spooky species at local parks.


Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Alliance

Some people love Halloween for the smiling jack-o’-lanterns and children trick-or-treating in cute costumes, while others enjoy the touch of paranormal activity provided by ghost tours and haunted houses. But if you’re looking for a naturally spooky way to spend your October, head to our region’s parks to see the East Bay’s creepiest creatures.

Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore will host its annual Creature Feature event on October 27, offering an up-close look at a variety of critters that live in the park, including spiders, owls, and bats. Games and a marshmallow roast are also on the agenda, and guests are invited to wear costumes.

Speaking of spine-chilling beasts, male tarantulas emerge from underground burrows on Mount Diablo for their mating season from August through October. These notorious spiders are among the creatures hikers might glimpse on the October 26 Halloween Trek organized by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and Greenbelt Alliance. Over the course of the two- to three-mile evening walk, coleaders Ken Lavin and Liz Watson also highlight a range of birds that live on the mountain, plus various species of bats and scorpions.

“There isn’t a real justification for people to be afraid of creatures such as tarantulas and scorpions,” Watson says, though she cautions that both critters (and wild animals, generally) should not be approached. “The potent venom of the local tarantulas and scorpions is mostly harmless to humans—normally, no more than a bee sting.”

The hike promises to be a one-of-a-kind outing for local adventurers. “The Halloween Trek is a unique event for people to celebrate Halloween,” Watson says, “because they potentially get to experience creatures that have inspired some of the [holiday’s] legends.”


For details, visit ebparks.org/parks/del_valle and mdia.org.


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