Mini family hike to Blue Oak Trail

This weekend I wanted to take the time to spend a beautiful memory with my two toddlers. We went to Millerton Lake State Recreation Area: South Shore Area. It is roughly 20 miles from Fresno. There was an entrance fee of ten dollars.

It was the prefect day to spend quality time with families and friends. The recreation was full of people and the water level was moderately high. I water was perfect for the girls to swim. They didn’t want to get out. They had so much fun.

After their swim, we did a short hike to Blue Oak trail. According to All Trails.com, Blue Oak trail is roughly 6.3 miles out and back. Now hiking with toddlers, there is a limit for them to hike until they wanted to be held. We hiked a total of 1/2 a mile round trip to the trail head.

The trail was decent for them to hike on. There were a few ditches we had to watch out for and the trail is right along the lake with a sheer drop in certain areas. The wild flowers were beautiful. My girls can’t help it, but to hand picked them. The sunset was also amazing.

In any event, I hope one day I would complete this trail with a few girls of mine and review this wonderful trail that is 20 minutes from town. I think it would be fun to enjoy the view of the lake before the temperature rises to the nineties.

Happy Hiking!

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Big Sandy Bridge: San Joaquin River Trail Review

Big Sandy Bridge is located on the San Joaquin River Trail at the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area. Big Sandy Bridge is approximately 12.3 miles from the picnic area by Sky Harbor. Hiking to Big Sandy Bridge will take the whole day to complete, however there is a short 2 mile hike to get there by starting from the San Joaquin River Gorge Recreational Area.

What I like about this trail are the green mossy rocks. They gave me the feeling of being in an enchanted forest. I also like the view to the lake. The water was low during the winter season which you can see the rocks. The view from the bridge was beautiful, calm and peaceful with a little pond and moss.

What I don’t like about this trail is that it is boring. There are no exciting landscape. There are many dog and cow feces on the trail. It was unpleasant. There are a lot of trail runners due to an upcoming marathon event.

Unfortunately, the bridge is not what I thought it would be.  I was hoping the bridge would be like the one at the Gorge with big green railing over my head and crosses the creek. It was a bit disappointing, but I have to remember that every trail is different.

I would rate this trail moderate to the bridge and strenuous back the Gorge. My total hike was 4.83 miles in 2 hours and 9 minutes, burning 409 calories.

Below are links for more information on the Big Sandy Bridge.

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WALUCAN Lightweight Foldable Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack 

 

Himal 1 PCS Folding Collapsible Travel Hiking Walking Stick Trekking Pole with EVA Foam Handle

 

Pincushion Mountain: San Joaquin River Trail Review

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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Buzzards Roost Hiking Trail Review

Buzzards Roost trail is one of the best trails from Millerton Lake in Madera county. In fact, that’s the only trail to a perfect scenic view. The trail is inside the North Shore Campground and there is a park entrance fee of ten dollars. Buzzards Roost trail starts right off the road. However, parking will be off the road.

The difficulty of this trail is moderate to strenuous. I’m giving this trail a 4 out of 5. Let me break down the level’s of difficulty.

  • 1 – easy (straight trail, no rocky hills or bumps)
  • 2 – easy to moderate ( straight trail with little bolder and hills)
  • 3 – moderate (curvy trail and straight trail with little bolder/stair step)
  • 4 – moderate to strenuous (moderate curvy trail with little bolder step with steep trail)
  • 5 – strenuous  (very curvy trail with very steep trail to many bolder steps)

This trail is steep to hike to begin with. I was out of breath when I hiked up 20 steps. So, imagine hiking up the trail. Boy, the hike was worth the beautiful view. Buzzards Roost is 0.6 miles to the destination. When you turn back, the whole trail is about 1.2 miles. The elevation starting was 643 ft and to the end of my destination was 1155 ft elevation. It took me 45 mins to complete this trail.

At the top of the mountain, the view was beautiful. I can see Sky Harbor Road and the massive lake. I recommend taking this trail during spring because there is a small waterfall to see but it was dry. Overall, the hike going down was the best, but make sure to stretch your legs.

Click here to download and print the trail map. (I don’t own the map. It is the link to the state site.)

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Happy Hiking.