Showing posts with label reno hiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reno hiking. 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.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Take A Short and Scenic Stroll by the Truckee River at the Oxbow Nature Study Center

3100 Dickerson Road, at the Truckee River

Open Year-Round from 8AM to Sunset

To schedule a field trip or program at Oxbow Nature Study Area, please contact the regoinal wildlife coordinator, Jess Heitt, at or (775) 397-1762

Directions, more pictures and reviews on Yelp

Oxbow is the perfect park for families and for those who want to retreat to nature without having to leave Reno.  With it's beautiful scenery, tranquility, wildlife, picnic worthy spots, soothing sounds of nature, short and scenic shaded looped trail (0.8 miles), and position right next to the Truckee River, this park will keep you coming back for more.

I took my little ones here to get some fresh air and I fell in love right away with the feel of the park. Tall trees, ramps, interpretive signs, a little visitor center, American Robins, picnic tables, and nature sounds were what welcomed me.

Upon Entering, I noticed a NO DOGS ALLOWED sign.  It seems that the city aims for wildlife to be uninterrupted so as to allow an ideal habitat for wildlife to thrive. If I were to take a field trip to this area as a kid, I would be so excited to learn about nature.

The beginning of the trail was very inviting, with it's narrow, tree-lined entrance and sounds of birds nearby.  Up on the observation deck, I could spot three nests.

Shade is a big plus for me and my family as it provides relief from the blazing sun during the summer. You will find many shaded areas throughout the trail. As you may already know, because of Reno's higher elevation(4,506ft), the sun is much more intense.  Sunblock is always good for protection in any case.

There was no problem with getting around with my stroller, but I could imagine that during a rainy and wet day, conditions may not be favorable, as the trail would be too muddy to get around.

Toward the end of the trail (after the last bush tunnel), there are long tree logs laid out to create a bridge to get to the other side. It's not completely flat, so crossing with a stroller/wheelchair may pose a problem.  Turning back and going the way you came is what I'd suggest. Anyway, the path after crossing the log bridge is only a few min back to the same path you took to get to the bush tunnel. Note that there's a fork at the end before the bush tunnel. The path with a tire and stick leads to a dead end. Take the fork to the right.

I love that within the 0.8-mile looped trail, you get to experience all sorts of different areas-the the river, open areas, tree/bush tunnel areas, and the picnic study area located at the entrance.

Me and my little ones had a blast walking the trail, reading the educational signs, checking out the river, checking out wildlife, listening to the train nearby, and snacking near the river.  I'm so thankful for this precious area that has been preserved.

As others have suggested, visiting the park during busy day times is ideal, as it is well-lit, safest, and easy to get around.  I have not yet visited during fall and would imagine that it would be even more stunning to see the trees change colors in such a sweet spot.

-Restrooms and water fountain available during business hours.
-benches laid out throughout the trail. You can find two benches in front of the river.
-To get to the deck in front of the river,(facing the park)take take the path all the way to the left.  This path connects to the main path.
-Bring some chairs or a blanket to enjoy a picnic or just relax on the deck in front of the river or anywhere else in the area

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.

Below are Pictures taken during the end of winter 3/2020

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 (priceles gadget that makes any hike with kids a breeze)

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"