Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hiking in Big Bear

Trying to figure out what to do next?  Well, here in the Big Bear Valley, we are surrounded by acres and acres of National Forest land - actually over a million acres!  We have all levels of hiking trails from a very easy, self-guided, interpretive trail, to several difficult trails, to sections of the Pacific Crest Trail meandering throughout the Valley.


Also, as mentioned in a previous blog, there is a very easy hike sponsored by our local Big Bear Lake Discovery Center that takes place on weekends - originating at the center and taking only about 30 minutes.  A great place to get started on learning about our local flora and fauna.

Next in difficulty would be the Woodland Trail, which is an easy 1.5 mile loop trail just east of the Discovery Center.. It is a good trail for the beginning hiker, old, young or in-between! You pick up a brochure at the beginning of the trail and, at your leisure, match the numbers on the various posts to the number in your brochure and you can gain all kinds of knowledge on the botany, geology and wildlife of our mountain area.  You also get some fantastic views of different points of the surrounding mountains and the lake.

Four of our other, more popular trails: Castle Rock, Cougar Crest, Gray's Peak and Pineknot Trail are listed as "moderate to difficult".  The Sugarloaf National Recreational Trail is a longer, more difficult trail - listed as "difficult". And of course the Pacific Crest Trail that goes from Canada to Mexico, winds through our Valley on it's way north or south!


Information on any of our hiking trails can be found at the Discovery Center or the Forest Service office, both of which are on the North Shore of the lake.  They have hiking maps and all kinds of good information on hiking Big Bear.  You can also access their information on the web at:  http://mountainsfoundation.org/big-bear-discovery-center
or http://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/sbnf/about-forest/contactus

You can bring along your furry family member(s) as well!  Just make sure you pick up after them and keep them on leash!  Once you decide on conquering one of our trails, be sure to take lots of pictures and "pack out what you pack in"!  Respect our forest and take care of it for future hikers!  Happy hiking!


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