Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No wallet required

January 6, 2009
Day Six

For years, the best place to take your kid fishing was the Whitewater Trout Farm.  It was a little place up the Whitewater River where some ponds were built and stocked with trout.  It was great for kids because all you had to do was toss in a line and you were guaranteed to catch a fish.  They kept those fish hungry and you paid by the pound.  They even provided tackle.  All you had to do to ensure your kid had a great day fishing was bring a fat wallet.

Well, the Trout Farm has been taken over by the Wildlands Conservancy and, except for a few specially arranged youth programs, they no longer have fishing there.  However, the offer a lot of other things to make up for it.  There are great picnic areas there.  They have nature walks, star gazing programs, campfire talks and fabulous hiking. 

Follow the rock lined trail about a half a mile until you hit the first trail junction.
At the trail junction, you will intersect with the Pacific Crest Trail.  On the PCT you can pretty much hike as far as you want.  It goes all the way to Canada.  Literally.
A constant flow of water comes down the Whitewater River, fed by the snow capped mountains in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
Following the trail was fairly easy due these large trail markers.  However, I missed the last one and went up the creek bed a bit further than I should have.  Doh!  Too bad I forgot to bring item number one on the list of the ten essentials: a map.  Oh well.  If you always follow the trail you will miss out on a lot of great adventures.
As an example, I found this little corral up about a mile or so beyond where I should have turned right to stay on the trail.  I asked the ranger at the Wildland Conservancy office about it and he said he didn't even know it was there.  Well, now he does and he can go out and have an adventure finding it, too.

Even though you can no longer catch an overpriced trout at Whitewater, I love what they've done with the place and highly recommend it as an outing for the whole family.  I'm really looking forward to going back and next time I may even bring a map.

There is an article about the area in the Desert Sun newspaper.  You can find it here.

Find out more about the Wildlands Conservancy here.

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