Those wanting to get the kids away from gaming or off their phones should consider getting creative with outdoor and educational activities. There are lots of fun and unique things you can do with your family that everyone will enjoy!
There are many state parks with all kinds of hiking trails to accommodate all types of families. Some are shorter so you can take smaller children and there are some that are designed for the handicapped. The Cannel Meadow trail and the Whiskey Flat Trail, both in Kernville, are popular trails.
There are lots of ways to camp, depending on how much you need conveniences, and the area around Kern River has a variety of options. There are safe areas designated for tent camping and cottages for those who rather have a cabin. Recreational vehicle parks are another good in-between option between roughing it and the conveniences of home. There are also resorts and lodges for people who love nature, but rather have comfort for their family.
If you want to add extra fun and adventure to your camping experience, you and your family can try out things like rafting, rock climbing, and kayaking. Sierra South offers lessons and gear for those sports and more. Rafting includes short, one-day and two-day trips. You can also rent tubing and paddling gear to get out on the river.
Biking is a great sport because anyone of any age can do it. While the most adventuresome bikers prefer the rugged terrain of true mountain biking, there are many less difficult bike trails in and around Sequoia National Forest that make for a wonderful ride. The forest has 56 bike trails including the Jawbone Canyon Road Trail as well as trails through the trees.
The Southern Sierra Bike Trails Guide Book is a great place to start when planning a bike ride. There are also topography maps of the area so you know what to expect as you ride. That is really helpful if you are unfamiliar with the area or want to plan a long ride.
Fly fishing is one of the most popular sports in the area and there are plenty of places to practice casting a line. The rivers and lakes all provide good spots to try it out. The U.S. Forest Service regularly stocks trout in Hume Lake. There are both half-day and full-day excursions available for those who need some extra help or gear. Those 16 years old and older are required to have fishing licenses.
There are fly-fishing services in the Kern Valley that participates in guided catch and release programs. Some offer guided fishing services to handicapped individuals and wounded veterans. Look for licensed and bonded companies when looking at fishing services.
The Kern Valley Museum and Historical Society offers a lot of education and insight into the West from Native American history, to the mining villages, along with the lifestyle of settlers and cowboys. Its’ exhibits feature a 19th-century general story and an exhibit on the Edison Company.
A good way to show the younger family members some of California’s wildlife is to visit the Audubon Kern River Preserve. There are self-guided nature trails that run about a mile. The center is open sunrise to sundown seven days a week, so you can come and visit at your own pace.Those interested in taking the family birding will find the river preserve is a good place to see birds like woodpeckers, chickadees, and kinglets. However, you will need to get there early for the best viewing because most advise being in place to see these birds about 30 minutes before sunrise.Those more interested in cranes and waterfowl should check out the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.The types of birds migrating depends on the time of year, but there are plenty to watch even in the winter.
Families who spend time together will make memories that will last a lifetime. Making it an outdoor adventure will also teach your children skills, educate them about wildlife, encourage family cooperation, and improve communication skills.