Showing posts with label forest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forest. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Hidden Gem Alert-Crystal Peak Park, Verdi.

561 Crystal Park Road, Verdi, NV 89439

Park Ranger Office: (775) 828-6612

Crystal Peak Park Trail Map

One thing I cherish about living in Reno is its proximity to boundless beauty, and Crystal Peak Park perfectly embodies this. Just ten miles from Reno, this picturesque park is nestled amongst mountains and the Truckee River.

What Makes This Park Special:
- Abundant shade from large trees
- A beautiful 0.5-mile scenic nature trail loop alongside the Truckee River
- Two fishing ponds (permit required, stocked with Lahontan Cutthroat Trout)
- Numerous climable boulders
- Grassy picnic areas equipped with BBQ facilities
- Restrooms for convenience
- Informative interpretive signs
- Plenty of nearby trails for hikers and cyclists

Additional Information:
- A paved parking lot with roads leading to the trailhead
- Non-reservable group areas

For a sneak peek at the beauty of Crystal Peak Park and to delve into its history, check out this video crafted by Outdoor Nevada.

Crystal Peak Park offers a fascinating journey into history, inviting you to discover the Verdi Glen Resort (1923–1938), a former commuter stop. Explore remnants of the Verdi Lumber Company, which, in 1860, made Crystal Peak the home of an old sawmill. The lumber produced here played a crucial role in constructing Virginia City and railroad tracks.

Named after the peak towering behind it, Crystal Peak Park is an ideal spot for enthusiasts to search for quartz deposits (bring a shovel for a more immersive experience). The peak, situated approximately 11 miles up a one-way dirt road, offers intermittent pull-over spots.

While attempting the ascent in my minivan, I faced challenges in the last three miles—a rugged, uneven dirt road with deep depressions. It became evident that an off-roading vehicle or SUV is recommended (as observed during the journey). Despite this, the scenic views on the way up were enjoyable, evoking a sense of adventure.

Along the ascent, I noticed trailheads and interpretive signs to the left, providing opportunities for exploration. While reaching the peak might require a vehicle better suited for rough terrains, the rewarding panoramic views at the summit, as highlighted by Outdoor Nevada, make the journey worthwhile.

Recommended 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)
-hiking backpack (great for kids, storage, nap-friendly, shade)
-carrier (more affordable, light weight, shade, storage for keys)

*As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.  Thank you to all that visit and support my website. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Take A Beautiful, Short and Educational hike at Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop

Just after having my newborn baby a few years ago, I longed to go out for a walk, preferably somewhere beautiful in nature where the whole family could have a good time. It was a mission of mine to search for the perfect place — a place with great views, a short trail, a stroller-friendly path, with some shade and easy to get to. I was lucky to have found Tahoe Meadows, as it has come to be one of my family's favorite hikes.

There are some interpretive signs around and the path is very enjoyable for the kids with lots of nature to explore. Best of all, in spring, it is loaded with wildflowers and soothing sounds of nature from babbling brooks to chirping insects.

-The trailhead is about a 30 min. (beautiful) drive up a the mountain toward Lake Tahoe from South Reno

-Stroller/kid/wheelchair/dog friendly
-Fairly flat
-1.3 mile loop, 49 Feet Elevation Gain
-Restrooms available seasonally
-Partial Shade
-good for snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter (may need chains when driving up to get up the mountain depending on weather. check weather and road cameras before making a trip out)
-AllTrails App is great for information, directions, and reviews
-when weather is wet, paths get muddy

Getting There:

The parking lot is in the beginning part of a long stretch(to the left) past the Mt. Rose Summit Trail parking lot. If gates are open, drive downhill until you see restrooms.

Tahoe Meadows trail is best enjoyed from May until October (snow accumulation in the winter makes getting around difficult). For those looking for more intense hikes, Mt. Rose Summit Trail (10.7miles) is a little ways back toward Reno(a few min. to the parking lot) and has been described as beautiful and worth the effort and time.

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)
-hiking backpack (great view for kids, storage, nap friendly, shade)
-carrier (more afordable, light weight, shade, storage for keys)

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

Categorized under "Family Friendly Hikes"