Get Outside: Hiking Trails to Explore In and Around Bakersfield
No matter how dedicated you are to hitting the weight room or how much you love your BodyPump instructor, sometimes you need a break from the usual workout routine to try something different. We recommend getting outside; nothing beats the fresh air and cool autumn breeze, especially when you pair it with an endorphin inducing walk or run. To that end, we’ve created a new series to help you Shape Your Life Outside. In our first installment, we put together a list of our favorite hiking trails in and around Bakersfield to inspire you to get outside and hit the trail.
Hart Park Trail
A two-mile loop located near the Kern River on the east side of town, Hart Park Trail is a kid and pet-friendly trail that meanders through Hart Memorial Park. Easy to get to and accessible year-round, this trail is a quick escape from the city hustle and provides challenging and rocky terrain in some areas, so be sure to wear proper footwear. There are also many offshoots from the trail providing ample opportunity for exploring. In addition to hiking Hart Park Trail offers children’s playgrounds, fishing spots and even an equestrian trail for those looking to make a day of it.
Kern River Parkway Trail
Spanning the east-west length of Bakersfield, the Kern River Parkway Trail is a 21-mile path that’s perfect for bike riding or a scenic walk through town. Following the Kern River, the trail starts in a rural area off Highway 43 that will make you forget you’re still within city limits. Offering a variety of landscapes as unique as Bakersfield itself, the trail takes you through a mix of nature preserves, neighborhoods, parks and even the Kern Oil Field.
Wind Wolves Preserve
This hike isn’t within the city, it’s about an hour south of Bakersfield proper, but is totally worth the drive. With 93,000 acres of pristine landscapes and over 5,000 feet of elevation change, there’s plenty to explore from ancient oak trees and lush grasslands to ponderosa pines and pinyon forests. Wind Wolves is the west coast’s largest non-profit preserve offering free admission to visitors, endless hiking (and biking) trails and well-maintained facilities including restrooms, campgrounds and shaded picnic areas. An incredible weekend escape or day trip for families and solo hikers alike, Wind Wolves Preserve is a must-visit.
Kern Canyon Trail
Another hike that requires a bit of a drive, Kern Canyon Trail is referred to by locals as “California’s best kept secret.” The trail begins in Keyesville Recreation Area in Sequoia National Park and boasts an incredible display of wildflowers from mid-March to late April along with beautiful hillsides and oak trees year-round. The main trail is 9.4 miles long and has about 1,500 feet of gradual elevation gain and people visit from all over to see the amazing views of the Kern River and surrounding landscape. After the hike, nearby Lake Isabella has campgrounds and a number of outdoor activities to make the most out of your weekend.
About an hour from town, Tecuya Mountain is another hidden gem with panoramic views for nearly the entire hike. Featuring a rigorous ascent, downed trees overlaying the trail and a few switchbacks, this hike is for intermediate to advanced hikers but well worth the effort (we promise). Once you make it to the ridge, the spectacular views include the San Emigdio range, Tehachapi Mountains and even the San Gabriels in the distance.
What are your favorite hiking trails in and around Bakersfield? Show us by tagging your social posts with #InShapeAttitude.