Showing posts with label fall foliage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall foliage. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Witness A Millionaire's Creation During the Comstock Load Mining Boom and Enjoy Beautiful Grounds at Bowers Mansion Regional Park

Upcoming Event: Bowers Bluegrass Festival (August 24-27, 2023)
Purchase Tickets

Nestled among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Bowers Mansion Regional Park, only 15 minutes away from South Reno on the way to Carson City.

For 100+ years, people have been visiting this park for its scenic views, swimming pool, mansion, beautiful grounds, history, events, outdoor recreational activities, and more. 

*Experience a pleasant picnic under towering shade trees on a lawn that seems endless

*Swim in a secluded pool in the middle of nature, big enough for everyone to enjoy

*Rent out one of the pavilions for life's special occasions

*Retreat from summer heat under shade trees over a good read

*Take in a piece of history through educational plaques & tours in the most elegant building of its time

*Let the children run wild and free while exploring, swinging, sliding, & climbing at the playground

I'm so thankful to have such a special and beautiful park nearby, a park that has served and continues to as the perfect place to learn, have fun, grow, live life to the fullest, and create precious moments.

2020 hours of operation.  Opening + closing dates are around the same time every year.

Bower's Mansion Tours

Take a trip back in history and walk in the shoes of past millionaires Eilley & Sandy Bowers with a guided tour offered seasonally, usually from Memorial Day through Nevada Day. 

I have yet to take it, but from what I've researched, it's popular and led by people who tell the story of the mansion in an entertaining manner (such as the person in the walk-through video tour below).

The park usually hosts special events like Programs on the Porch (free live music), the Civil War event, & more.

-49 Acre Park
-Due to historical significance, there are no pets allowed in the park, with exceptions to service animals.
-plenty of day use picnic tables with BBQ grills that are spread throughout the park on a first come, first-served basis
-There are two pavilions on each end of the park that are big enough for special events like weddings.  Comstock Picnic Pavilion & Washoe Picnic Pavilion. Horseshoe and volleyball next to each pavilion
-There are two play (partially shaded) structures on each end of the park
-Plenty of grass for all activities
-There's a trail behind the mansion leading to great views of Washoe Lake and the Bower's family cemetery. Up some stairs and less than 5 minutes up on a dirt trail
-The swimming pool always keeps a lane open for lap swimmers. There's a new gated splash pad for toddlers, easy entry ladders and hydraulic lift available.
-There are plenty of trees around the property that change during fall
-An amazing spot for photos
-Great shade in the summer
-Davis Creek Regional Park is only a couple of minutes away and is family friendly, with trails ranging from easy to difficult, camping grounds, picnic areas, and a place to fish when water is abundant. 
-I love taking my kids to the Chocolate Nugget Factory after a long day of fun and exercise just down the street, about 3–5 min. away
-The park is surrounded by farmlands.  You can easily drive around Wahoe Lake and find lots of farm animals to look at. 
-flushable toilets available
-Huge parking lots, one on each side

My kids learned how to bike here.

©Katherine Fung,
All rights reserved.

***Information subject to change.  All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Arrowcreek Park- A Small Great Park with Unique Play Structures, Great Views, and Access to Lower Thomas Creek Trail

2950 Arrowcreek Parkway, Reno, NV 89511

Park Ranger Office: (775) 849-2511

Arrowcreek Park is situated at a slightly higher elevation and is surrounded by beautiful views of mountains.  This park may not be big, but for its size, it really packs a punch, with great play structures a short and scenic loop (with options for branching off to more trails), and a nice park feel.   

Being tucked away and so close to a gated community, the park is not well known by others outside of the area and makes for an great option for those who are looking for a park with low crowd levels.

The park is more on the modern side, with unique play structures suited for all age levels.  There is a big and small structure, some bouncy seats, a climbing structure, a merry-go-round and a couple of features for imaginary play.

At the top of the grassy area, you will witness gorgeous views of aspens lining Lower Thomas Creek and a little patch of the GSR area of the city.  

The grassy area is hilly and has a little dirt trail surrounding it.  It's a welcome change from the usual flat grassy areas at parks and can be highly enjoyable for picnics with great views of the mountains and the playground below should you want to keep an eye on your children.

Arrowcreek park is well kept and charming.  Try visiting the park during fall to see the beautiful changing colors of the trees, in spring when wildflowers are in bloom, and in winter when the sun is pleasant. 

When time is limited, instead of hiking the whole Lower Thomas Creek trail, my family hikes up until we see two large round containers (hard to miss) and turn left, on the flat dirt road back to the park.  After 5 minutes or so, turn left toward park when you see the pavilion.

The trail is soothing, with sounds from the creek that runs parallel to the trail and breathtaking with snow-capped mountains that surround the area in winter and changing leaves in the fall.  It's a short and sweet trail that we come back to often.  

Click to Enlarge.  Short 15-25 minutes Lower Thomas Creek loop.  Start at Arrowcreek Park and follow dotted line to two white circles on map then turn left onto dirt road back to park. Pictures from trail below in early spring 2021. 

You can gain access to the Lower Thomas Creek Trail, a 4.7-mile out-and-back trail found toward the side with views of the GSR (look for sign) and is best used from March until October (snow accumulation in the winter can make walking difficult).

Lower Thomas Creek Out and Back Trail
-11 acres
-I always check accuweather for hourly weather- (temperature, wind, sun intensity, & percipitation) before every trip so that I can plan accordingly
-In early spring, trail can be covered in snow and make for some slippery parts.  In late spring, snowmelt can make trail muddy. 
-Shade found only at pavilion
-no restrooms
-BBQ Pavilion available. Non-reservable.
-small dirt trail around grass area
-a few picnic tables and benches spread throughout park
-great views of mountains
-great for photography, esp. in fall and in spring (wildflowers)
-Download the app AllTrails to access more information, reviews, pictures, & directions for Lower Thomas Creek Trail.  You can track yourself on their trail maps, taking the risk of getting lost out of the picture. Trail access is at top of grassy area. Look for sign.
-horseback riding, equestrian parking
-I like to bring my portable travel potty and liners everywhere I go, esp. to parks that don't have restrooms.  The kids can play without having to worry about leaving to find a toilet.
-Visit early mornings or at sunset time during hot summers

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)

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Pictures below taken during fall 2020

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.

-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)

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.