If you are looking for a feel good easy walk in the mountains, check out the Children’s Forest Trail.
Located in the San Bernardino Mountains, off Highway 18 just East of Running Springs, this is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Just 3/4 of a mile long, the mostly level walk will get you some high mountain clean fresh air.
The park itself is a looming 3400 acres of some of the most beautiful backcountry which includes massive boulders, chaparral, oak and a regenerating pine forest. Part of the area was badly damaged in the 1970 Bear Fire, but the local children were the hero’s in this story.
Volunteering their time, they worked together to clear the area, replanted trees and built this lovely trail. The visitors center is closed for the season, but will reopen in the spring. At the center you can find out more about the Environmental Education and the Youth Leadership Volunteer Program.
For those wanting a more energetic walk, the 4.5 mile Exploration Trail is one of the most popular in the area. Also located at the top of Keller Peak Road, it is mostly downhill, but will still get the heart rate up starting out around 7000 feet in elevation and dropping down to around 6,000 feet.
This longer hike requires more effort, as you step over tree roots and rocks, but the huge rock monoliths and towering trees make for beautiful scenery along the way.
If you have the time, stop in and visit the Keller Peak fire lookout station before your hike. It is manned by volunteers that welcome the company and are enthusiastic to share their breathtaking views.
Here are a few more pictures taken along the Exploration Trail:
This is also a popular trail for mountain biking.
I have to pinch myself as I realize just how lucky I am to have all of this in my own backyard. Mother Nature at her finest!