Someday my kids will be able to tell future generations that they threw rocks in the Kern River that one year that it actually rained in the San Joaquin valley.
We have enjoyed an unusual rainy season this year in California where...it actually rained. Because of that, the Kern River is actually a flowing river through Bakersfield! There is a pretty decent bike trail that runs from Enos Lane (near I-5) all the way to the intersection of China Grade Loop/Alfred Harrell Hwy (21.4 miles). We've biked several different parts of it before, but never when there is a river.
A great thing about this bike trail is that there are several playgrounds along its path. We started out at one in the River Oaks neighborhood near Allen Rd.
From there we rode west for about a mile to check out the river and made our first of many stops along the bike trail. The lil' trek sisters were having so much fun finding rocks and sticks and throwing them in the river that they didn't want to leave, but I promised another playground stop if we kept going. I wanted to check more of the river out! We turned around and went back towards town as that's where the playgrounds are.
Our next stop was the green bridge near the Park at River Walk. It was great to see the cascading water. It's almost like they purposefully built these viewing platforms to give people a good look at the river. I've never noticed that before... As promised, we stopped at the playground here and played for awhile. Overall it's a very pretty park with 2 large ponds, a stream connecting them, an amphitheater, and many picnic tables. A great place for a picnic. (As a side note, this park is a hot spot for Pokemon Go, as there are many Pokestops and Gyms here. I may or may not have caught a few Pokemon as I let the trek sisters play.)
We spent the rest of our adventure playing near the river. Both sisters were pretty sad that their soccer games were canceled this day due to all the rain, but instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for ourselves, we went outside and had an adventure! Trek Sister 1 said, "This is the best day of my life!"
If you look closely in the background of some of the river pictures, you can see snow capped mountains! The area around Bakersfield really is quite a beautiful place. (I'm saying that with no sarcasm, really!) The problem is, we just usually can't see it. Biking/running/rollerblading/etc. the kern river trail is a fun activity for kids to do right here in town. Another option, and one we've done before, is to park somewhere along the bike trail (we usually park near the Finish Line store) and bike along the river trail and a short distance into town, burning enough calories to get to Happy Jacks Pie 'N Burger for lunch. Gotta try the pie!