Showing posts with label Biking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biking. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, NV - Wilbur D. May Museum, Arboretum, Botanical Garden, & More



Click to Enlarge Trail Map


Wilbur D. May Center
1595 N Sierra Street
Reno, NV 89503

Museum: (775) 785-5961
Arboretum: (775) 785-4153
Park Ranger Office: (775) 785-4512

Helpful Links
Wilbur D. May Arboretum Brochure (map and descriptions of areas)

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is Reno's largest and most dynamic park.  The park is home to Reno's Great Balloon races, Wilbur D. May Museum, Wilbur D. May Arboretum, multi-purpose fields including off-leash dog areas, miles of hiking trails, Herman's Fish Pond, reservable pavilions, and many special events like the Dragon Lights Festival.

In the park, you can find Wilbur D. May Museum, a pretty special part of Reno, with it's neat gift shop and historical and traveling exhibits.  The museum preserves the life of Wilbur D. May, a world traveler who collected thousands of artifacts throughout the span of his life and brought them back to his home here in Reno.  Though small, the museum is packed with so much to see and is a favorite among locals.  The Hall of Heroes, Dragons, and old-fashioned video game-themed events are only a few of the many events you can find here, some recurring and some only passing through, only happening once. 

The Arboretum (right next to the museum) is tranquil and beautiful, with lots of labeled trees and plants.  Paved trails and shade in the Arboretum area provide relief from the blazing hot summer sun, allowing for families to enjoy the outdoors for extended amounts of time.  There are many beautiful gazebos in the arboretum area and a beautiful waterfall that contribute to it's tranquil atmosphere. 

In the same area, you can travel back in time with the kids and play at the Dinosaur playground with huge dinosaur swings and a slide (next to the restroom area).  Big trees shade the area and make this playground among the top playgrounds on my list.  Also available is a wood playground close by next to the pond and one next to the large open grass field next to the second parking lot, further away from the park entrance on North Sierra Street.

The park's wide-open spaces and amenities make this park ideal for large and small gatherings, events, outdoor sports, and more.   

I always encounter people from all walks of life here- joggers, hikers, nature lovers, dog walkers, couples, families and it's no wonder why.  It has everything one would look for in a park and more.  We are so lucky to have this special park in our big little city.  

Notes:
-Stroller and wheelchair friendly
-Museum-Wildlife Displays, African Primitive Art. Ta'an Dynasty Pottery, Egyptian Artifacts, European Silver
-Indoor Garden Features- A centerpiece waterfall, a koi fish pond, seasonal flower gardens, rotating exhibits
-available for weddings and parties
-Call park to reserve pavilions for parties
-25 acre off leash dog park(bring towel as they can easily get dirty)
-Rose Garden in Arboretum
-Large Grassy Areas ideal for kite flying
-larger children's playground near grass field, playground next to Herman's Pond, Dinosaur playground next to museum parking lot
-Gazebo
-Exercise course around grass area
-filled with wildlife
-No dogs allowed in the Arboretum
-Shade is mostly in the Arboretum area
-A small creek runs through the park
-ideal for photo shoots 
-Ideal for parties
-Great for picnicking. Tables with BBQ located next to playground, next to open grassy field.  





Thursday, January 7, 2021

Damonte Ranch Park- Biggest Playground in Town, Epic Sunsets & A Flat and Enjoyable 3 Mile Paved Loop Trail

1950 Steamboat Pkwy
Reno, NV 89521

When I first moved to Reno, I was determined to find the coolest playgrounds in town for my kids to enjoy, and Damonte Ranch Park was what Google considered most worthy.  Google knows best, so I made a trip out to the park and since have been visiting it often for six years.  With the little experience I've acquired throughout the years, me and my family can enjoy the park year-round with no inconveniences at all.

If I could find a park that really has something for everyone, I'd say that this is the park. Wildlife watchers, wetland lovers, flat trail walkers, eager joggers, playground heads, parents-only club, dog walkers, hill rollers, epic sunset seekers, beginner bikers, skaters on wheels, bridge enthusiasts & picnic go-ers are some of the types of people I see here all the time; that pretty much covers everyone.

Notes:
-3.1 mile, no elevation gain, loop trail
-8 acre park
-completely exposed so in the summer, making it out at early morning and before sunset will be ideal, unless you're looking for some heat and a tan.  Sunscreen is always a good idea, esp. being at a higher elevation here in Reno where the sun is more intense.
-Enjoyable in the winter at any time of the day 
-There are no water fountains so don't forget to bring water
-There are two play structures. One for smaller kids and one for bigger kids.  swing set- 2 baby swings, 2 big kid swings. 4 way seesaw, chimes, tic-tac-toe, climbing structures, many slides, sliding pole, balancing steps.
-This park is very popular and can get busy during weekends, after school hours and holidays.  When the weather is cold and windy, you can have the park all to yourself.
-1 picnic shelter with 4 tables, BBQ, Year-Round Restroom nearby
-Basketball court with two - 1/2 opposing courts
-Stroller 
-There are a couple of cute hills that my kids love running/rolling up and down.  During winter, when snow is abundant, it's the best place to sled down.
-There are nice open grassy areas ideal for flying a kite and playing fetch with dogs.  Though the grass is pretty stripped so when it gets wet, it can get a little muddy. 
-great for photography. beautiful views of epic sunsets, snow covered mountains, nature & wildlife
-During peak hours, parking lot can fill up. In this case, you can park along the street.
-in the summer when the plants are tall, there's a fun maze kids love to run through.
-Keep an eye out for yearly events hosted at the park, under normal circumstances of course, like 4th of July where they put on a grand display of fireworks, set up tents that hand out treats, and provide live music.  Or in winter, meet with Santa and trunk or treat during Halloween.
-The trail is perfect for bicycle family riding or those learning how to use bikes.  paths are wide.
-The trail is lined with people's backyards. 
-Poop bags available at a couple of places.
-There's a plaza down the street with Mc Donald's, Starbucks, Home Depot, Pizza, Subway, Kid's Haircut Place and a soon to be Safeway, if you're looking to get things done while in this part of town.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Phillip Annie Callahan Park- A Close Getaway Within Arms Reach


15960 Callahan Road
Reno, NV 89511


Park Ranger Office: (775) 849-2511

Phillip Annie Callahan Park is a beautiful and secret park nestled in a forest next to Mt. Rose Highway.  I stumbled upon this park as I was looking for parks in the south to enjoy in the summer with my family.  I was shocked at how a beautiful park like this could be kept as a secret for so long.  In the 5 years I've been visiting, it's always been low-key and peaceful.  I'm guessing that people probably pass it by and head straight to the nearby, well known Galena Regional Park.  

Although the park is on the small side, with one pavilion, limited paved pathways, two play structures, a couple of pretty decent grass areas, and a sprinkling of picnic tables, it also serves as a great place for endless outdoor activities and adventures.  

There's a creek that lines the park that people of all ages enjoy, especially during hot summers (not a bad alternative to swimming, considering the pandemic).  There are multiple access points throughout the park, making social distancing easy to do. A favorite activity me and my kids love to do is to bring a floating toy (think rubber ducks and toy boats) and release it down the creek for the other to intercept.  During dry winters, the part of the creek next to the playground can dry up.  In this case, start walking on the trail to get to the bigger parts if you're interested in water play.  You can't miss them because they are very inviting, with loud sounds.

Shade is plentiful and there's a short loop trail within the park that beginner hikers can access, with the sounds of the creek playing in the background.  There really is nothing better than having both shade and  a beautiful creek accompanying you throughout a hike.  

To access the short loop, follow past the end of the path into the dirt area.  Keep going until you find a bridge. Turn right onto the bridge (before fence) that points back to Callahan Park.  The trail will end at the parking lot of the trailhead of Galena Creek Trail.  You then walk two min back to the parking lot.  Alternatively, you can branch off onto Galena Creek Trail that leads to even more trails of all levels.  The short loop is simple, short, and sweet.  Me, my two kids (4 &2 yrs old) did it today with no problems at all.

This sweet park is a go-to during hot summers, hiking, bike riding, picnics, and small events.  There are no restrooms next to the playgrounds, but a porta-potty can be found at the trailhead of Galena Creek Trail, which is about a two-min. walk back toward Mt. Rose on the left.  For adults this is not a problem but for kids, it could be a different story.  For this reason, I like to keep my portable toilet with liners in my car for when my little ones need relief.  This allows us to enjoy the park without having to worry about leaving for potty breaks.

Notes:
-Beautiful with golden foliage during fall
-Great shade during summers
-no restrooms on site but porta potty two min. away 
-Small play structure is shaded. Big one is partially shaded. Swings for both big and small children available
-wildflowers in spring
-birds and other wildlife 
-ideal for picnics
-ideal for photo shoots
-there's a short paved path that slopes downward that my kids love riding down on their plasma cars and bikes
-horse and dog friendly. Poop bags available.
-mountain biking paths
-horseshoe pits
-Pavilion is non-reservable . BBQ pit available.
-water fountain and benches 
-Brown's Creek Loop is a beautiful longer hike nearby
-download the All Trails app for detailed reviews, trail information, photos, directions. Look up Galena Creek Trail.  The app also navigates you so you don't get lost.
-great for photography 
-kids love throwing piles of leaves into the air. Educational opportunity to teach them about seasons and the water cycle.

Reccomended Gear
-Sunscreen (after trying so many options, this is my family's favorite)
-Water Bottle (definitely a must in Reno's dry climate)
-Portable potty Liners (priceless gadget that makes any hike with kids a breeze)

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