November 17th is National Hiking Day or as some refer to it, “Take a Hike!” day.
Protip: Do NOT tell your boss to “Take a Hike!” unless they are wearing hiking boots or you work at REI and even then, use an abundance of caution.
The nice thing about hiking is that it’s outdoors and it’s what you make of it. You don’t have to go for the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles long!), you can start with a walk in Woodward Park, right?
Although if you have done the PCT or John Muir Trail – we’d love to talk to you! (really!)
Here’s 7 hiking spots we’ve written about in the past:
Trail #1 The Bridge Trail @ River Gorge: Wildflowers, the beautiful San Joaquin River from the San Joaquin River Trail Bridge, Big Sandy Creek, oak forest, and if you’re lucky, grazing cattle. In the fall, you may also see tarantulas! They are big, cool to look at, and non-aggressive – they prefer to stay away from people – so fear not if you’re an arachnophobe. I too have a healthy fear of spiders, but tarantulas are so large and move so slowly they are surprisingly less alarming than other spiders when you see them in the wild.
Trail #2 Lewis Creek Trail: This trail is well-traveled and you’re unlikely to be the only group hiking in the area. The trail is beautiful and offers a spectacular view of a waterfall that you can enjoy watching from a redwood observation deck and bench built into the trail. This trail can get a bit tricky in a few places if it’s muddy or if tree limbs are hanging low, and sometimes these tricky places can be in a narrower or steeper spot, so you’ll definitely want to keep a close eye on young children to ensure they have steady footing.
Trail #3 Rancheria Falls: This trail is at a higher elevation than the other two, so there is a possibility of icy or snowy conditions early in the fall season. The hike to the falls is pretty much all uphill and the hike back is naturally downhill. Keep an eye on pets and children near the falls, as it can be steep and rocky directly to the side of the trail.
Read more about these three at
Trail #4 Brown’s Ditch Trail – Bass Lake: This trail isn’t a true “trail” in that it’s not recognized by the parks service and maintained as a trail, however it is said to be easily accessible, relatively level ground and easy hiking and a truly unique experience. This trail is partially a well-marked, dirt foot path meandering along the ground in the mountains above Bass Lake, the other part is made up of a 2-foot metal walkway that travels along the flume that carries snow melt down the mountain!
Trail #5 Natural Bridges Trail – Vallecito: This trail is a bit further drive from the Fresno Area, but it looks SO cool! I would like to take on this trek during the summer, hopefully on a weekday when it’s less crowded. Essentially, the highlight of this trail, located in Vallecito, CA just above Sonora is a swim/float through CAVE mid-trail! In fact, there’s even a second cave that’s supposedly even prettier (and less crowded) but a little more difficult to get to. This trail is a known swimming hole for people living nearer, so it can get busy so plan your visit accordingly.
Trail #6 Tokopah Valley Trail to Tokopah Falls – Sequoia National Park: Tokopah Falls is the highest waterfall in the Sequoia National Park, located South East of Fresno. One of the things that really intrigues me about the trail is not just the falls, but also the many reports made within the hiker comment section on All Trails (website/app for discovering hiking trails) about the marmots and black bears that live in the area. I would love the chance to see wildlife while hiking (though I’d definitely brush up on my bear safety tips again before going on this hike) and I have never seen a marmot, and supposedly there are TONS of them on the way to the falls.
Read more about these three at
Trail #7 Pincushion Peak Trail: The trail goes uphill from the very beginning and it is definitely steep. The plan was not to kill ourselves (at least not this time around) so we ran up a bit, walked a bit, stopped some, took pictures and sat at the top for a while to enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Millerton. Read more about it at https://www.fresyes.com/fresno/pincushion-peak-trail/
We’ve assembled a few family oriented hikes. Not too hard, not to easy, with plenty to see and explore. There’s a list below the map or if you like, click on the boot and a popup should tell you a little more about the hike and what to expect.
What about National Camping Day?
Get your tents out, it’s November 19th!