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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Big Bend: San Joaquin River Trail Review

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: 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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Pincushion Mountain top trail review

There are many un named trails on the Pincushion Mountain, however the trail I took today leads to the table top. The trail took 45 mins to reach there and back. The trail starts on Sky Harbor road by the cow gate.

The trail starts off intense. I mean, the trail literally starts off using your legs and if you’re planning to go, stretching your legs and squatting would definitely be a great idea. The trail goes on roughly about 100 feet and it merges onto a dirt road. The dirt road shoots up the mountain side until we reach a flat surface, where I generally take water breaks. Then the dirt road goes on for another 100 feet and the climb to the mountain top was tiring. The scenery was beautiful. Too bad I didn’t have my canon camera with me. I would of took a perfect shot of the view, but my phone camera will do for now.

The closer I get to the top, the more bolders to step on. I finally reached the flat top of Pincushion Mountain. The view was amazing. The only thing that was there is a loney tree and a couple hundreds of huge rocks around it. There was no trail other than the cow trail. So I walk on it only because everywhere else was rocks. Eventually, I had to walk on the rocks to the edge of the mountain. Be careful when walking onto the rocks, it can be dangerous if tripping over it.

I would give this trail a 4 out of 5 difficulty level. A moderate to strenuous hike. So to make this easier, the harder you breath for air and rests you make, the level of difficulty goes up. Although the trail was intense, I made sure I kept hiking until I reach a flat ground surface.

I would definitely come back this trail again when spring comes. It’s a great time to see all the greenery and colors.

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