Big Bend is part of the San Joaquin River Trail located at the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area. It is roughly 30 minutes from Fresno. The trail entrance is in the South Finegold Picnic Area. There is a $10.00 fee to park there, however many people park outside the picnic area and walk to the trail entrance.
Getting to Big Bend was 3 miles. The first mile was rough. A level 4 difficulty, strenuous. I literally had to climb because the trail shoots up the mountain side. The trail soon reached to a fork and left is where you need to be on to get to Big Bend. The Second mile was smooth and easy. A level 2, easy to moderate. There was no climbing or going down the mountain side, it was perfect. The third mile was going down the mountain. A level 3, moderate. Big Bend was beautiful. The San Joaquin River trail continues on, but I’ll have to continue the trail some other day.
It’s amazing how the San Joaquin River trail has amazing view to the lake. The weather was nice. The breeze was perfect. The sound of chirping birds and woodpeckers pecking a dead tree all sound very peaceful and to hope to come back again would mean finishing the San Joaquin River trail in one day.
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Pincushion Mountain is part of the San Joaquin River Trail located at the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area. It is roughly 30 minutes from Fresno. The trail entrance is in the South Finegold Picnic Area. There is a $10.00 fee to park there, however many people park outside the picnic area and walk to the trail entrance.
Pincushion is definitely my all time trail to train myself to get better. This trail is rated level 5 strenuous. The trail is roughly 1.3 miles, giving you a total of 2.5 miles round trip. I give kudos to those individuals who ran up the trail. It probably took them many practices and trainings to run. Great job! For people like me, I need more rest time and training. When arriving the fork, take the right trail to Pincushion. Then, head to the next mountain top to the final destination.
The view was breathtaking. I’m able to see the Big Bend, the lake, the picnic area and Sky Harbor road. I would give anyone a thumbs up to go and train there.
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If you are looking for a scenic hiking trail, but don’t want to travel too far, I recommend Willow Creek Trail. Willow Creek is known for its 2 waterfalls, Angel Falls and Devils Slide. This will be the Angel Falls review for this blog. The trail is located in Bass Lake. The trailhead starts at the day use parking lot. There is a parking fee of 10.00.
To get to the trail from Fresno, take the 41 north. Turn right at North Fork Road that leads to North Fork. Make a left turn on Road 274 to Bass Lake and enter to the Bass Lake Recreational to get to the Falls Panic Area. You can also enter Bass Lake through Oakhurst, but I’m not familiar with that route.
I would give this trail a moderate to strenuous level of difficulty. Make sure you are physically prepared for climbing and squeezing through tight spaces. Do a little strecthing if you may. The weather was 37 degrees F. It was cold and sunny, but to know that the trail was moderate to strenuous, I will probably sweat the cold off. Willow Creek has beautiful mosses all over huge boulders. The view was breathtaking and awesome. The trail was wet. Some area on the trail were slippery.
The trail took me an hour to get to Angel Falls and it is roughly about 1.35 miles there and back. The waterfall was great. I sat there for a good 42 min just listening to the waterfall and ate some snacks. I highly suggest this trail to anyone who want to challenge themselves.
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What to wear
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Now that I have planned my hike, studied the map, and packed my hiking gears. It has come down to figure out what is the proper outfit to wear on a short day hike.
Of course it is obvious to wear comfy shoes and clothes, but wearing the right outfit is important for a day hike and it is because after a few trails I took.
Checking the weather forecast will help narrow down the type of outfit. This will definitely help you determine what is the proper hiking outfit to wear.
- I love leggings and I think most women do. Leggings are the easiest pair of pants to put on. The type of fabric does matter on a day hike. Do not wear cotton. Most hiking trails have thorns, pokey leaves bushes and what not, they will get onto your pants. I tried it and it was not pleasant to sit on one or pull them out. You can also find one in the active wear section at the retail store or Amazon.
- For thick pants, I suggest a slight cargo pants for winter, rain or if the weather is humid. It is for protection. Please be aware that some trails may have leeches, ticks, poison oak, and poison ivy. Remember to research the hiking trail and be prepare.
- Shorts are perfect for a hot day hike.
- Short sleeve and long sleeve shirts are some what difficult to find for a day hike. I have notice that wearing a regular t-shirt does not do well. Just a reminder that hiking is a work out. Imagine yourself at the gym. Hiking is same thing. Again, cotton fabric is a not a good idea to wear because it absorbs sweat.
- Sweater is always recommended because the weather may change. The weather can be unpredictable and it is great to prepare. Find a sweater that is breathable. It helps to cool down than to hold in heat.
- Socks must be cotton. I know I have said all the others needed to be cotton free, but your feet is doing the job of taking to your destination. Hiking trails are not paved and is not easily walked on like a sidewalk. All trails are different and it is best to wear the cotton socks than thin socks. It prevents from blistering.
- Jackets are great for winter and rain. Again, no cotton material jacket because they absorb water.
I hope these are great suggestions for your upcoming day hike. Let me know in the comment below how your trip goes and maybe share your experience on certain clothes you may encounter.
The Lewis Creek trail is by far the best trail I have hiked on during the summer. Its natural trees and ferns sprouted lushly on a day hike. The smell of the water running down the stream were fresh and cool. It may seem I am in another city, but the feel of the forest made it seem that I’m not in Oakhurst.
Getting to this trail was easy. You will need to take 41 HWY North. The trailhead is roughly about 7 miles from Oakhurst and is right off of 41 hwy. There will be a huge turnout and can be a parking lot.
My sister in law and brother in law took me to this awesome trail. When they told me their experience with the Lewis Creek trail, I told them immediately to take me there and sure enough, my experience was awesome, fun, and satisfied.
The trail goes on a down slope. Hiking down to Corlieu Falls only took 15 mins without a sweat. The waterfall was beautiful. I love the veiw and the trail has a man made small wooden deck or patio to lean on it. We then continue the trail for about 5 mins to find ourself a big tree. It sure does look like a resting spot. We rest there to look around. There were a few great small pools to swim in. Also, be careful when getting close to the stream.
After a short rest, we continued the trail. There were small section of the trail that were muddy. We had to step on tree stump to cross over. Also, when there is a running stream with trees and ferns, mosquitos are sure to be there too. Bring bug repellent.
We finally rested on a open wide area that has a flat top bolder and a small running stream. That was 1 mile from the trailhead. We didn’t finish the hike because further down leads to a parking lot which was about 3 miles. I guess it was a great idea to start from the top down than to start 4 miles to Corlieu Falls. Going back to the car was a big sweat. It was a challenge going up the bolder stairs. It was worth the workout. I recommend everyone to hike this trail during spring and summer.
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(Featured image was taken by my sister in law.)