BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Bakersfield isn’t exactly known for its beautiful scenery or abundant nature. On the contrary, it is called the arid land between the big cities.
Although Bakersfield doesn’t have the Pacific Northwest forests found in Oregon or Vancouver, there’s still plenty of nature to see at home.
Keep reading for the best running, biking, and walking trails in Kern County.
Overlooking the oilfields synonymous with Kern County, the Bluffs offer a scenic drive surrounded by nature and wildlife. A moderately difficult trail, according to AllTrails, the 3.2-mile hike typically takes an hour and 15 minutes. It is an ideal place to walk, run or cycle. You can even bring your dog for his daily exercise.
“It’s a perfect combination of peace and not being too crowded. I really like it,” wrote AllTrails user Eric Minkes.
If you’re looking for something a little longer, Hart Park is a great option. The 6.5 mile hike takes about three hours and offers an array of trails to follow. It is recommended for those wishing to hike, mountain bike or travel the trails in a motorized vehicle. Dogs are also welcome here but must be kept on a leash at all times.
“Excellent hiking or climbing workout with amazing scenic views from any vantage point. A gem of Kern County outdoor activities,” Joel Lopez wrote on AllTrails.
Kern River Boardwalk Trail
This trail allows you to explore Bakersfield in its entirety. It stretches for 30 miles along the River Kern from Lake Ming Road to Enos Lane on State Route 43. Technically a bike path, it is still open to those looking to walk or run it. The trail will take you from rural parts of town to more urban locations. It’s a great place to spot wildlife like birds, roadrunners, coyotes, hawks, and rabbits.
“Each side has its own type of beauty. The trail is mostly paved and very well maintained. I really like that there is no room on the trail for cars to cross so you don’t have to stop for traffic,” one user wrote on TrailLink.
Wind Wolves Reserve
The largest non-profit nature preserve on the West Coast, Wind Wolves Preserve spans 93,000 acres. Now, you won’t be able to cover everything on foot. The public access area, which includes all trails, is located in and around the San Emigdio Canyon. It covers a distance of 9 to 10 miles, according to education manager Ann Wempe. Spring is the perfect time to see all the colorful flowers, such as mullet ears, poppies, lupine, gold fields and blue-eyed grass, bloom on the Wildflower Loop Trail, according to the Visit website. California. According to Wempe, the most commonly spotted wildflowers are fiddle, blue cockle, lupine, and owl clover.
Those hoping to encounter wildlife in their natural habitat will want to hike the True Elk Trail or San Emigdio Canyon. About a mile into the 4.6-mile True Elk Trail, you’ll spot the reserve’s herd of more than 200 Elk, according to visit California. The San Emigdio Canyon Trail is a great route for viewing wildlife, such as coyotes, mule deer, and roadrunners. It’s unlikely, but you might spot bobcats, black bears and the endangered San Joaquin fox on your journey through the trail, according to Wempe.
will lead hikers to a watering hole for wildlife, which includes kit foxes, bobcats, coyotes, deer, and even the occasional black bear.
“Wind Wolves Preserve is one of Kern County’s best kept secrets!! It’s a fun place to exercise and see some of Mother Nature’s beauty at the same time. Plenty of hiking trails for everyone ranging from easy to moderate,” wrote one Tripadvisor user.
This is a day trail that takes about seven and a half hours, according to AllTrails. The trail is described as an out and back trail that is 16.1 miles near Frazier Park. It is moderately difficult and popular among hikers, backpackers, and campers. The 3,000 foot elevation makes it the perfect way to escape the heat and enjoy cooler temperatures.
“Love this trail, it’s so quiet and usually pretty green. At the beginning of the year, it generally keeps a little snow on the sides of the mountains. Great hike for beginners and dogs. My husband and I needed a little more challenge so we kept walking to the next peak of the mountain. So if you’re looking for more, there’s definitely plenty of room for that,” Alejandra Durand wrote on AllTrails.
TMTA Lehigh Trail Loop
Rated moderate, this 17-mile loop trail takes about four and a half hours, according to AllTrails. Admission to the trail is $5 or $35 for an annual membership. The fee goes towards annual insurance, general trail construction and other operating costs, according to its website. Be warned of gusty winds and wildlife like cattle and snakes.
“The trails are excellent with several options for hiking. The wind was a bit gusty, but manageable,” Matthew Kabel wrote on AllTrails.