For the Patterson Irrigator
Explorers and adventurers of all ages took to the hills west of Patterson to take part in the “strenuous” of three hikes offered by the city of Patterson’s Hikes, Bikes, and Kayaks program on Saturday, April 14. The program, now in it’s fifth year, aims to get folks active and outdoors, taking in all that the region has to offer on the roads and trails, waterways, and mountains.
The West Side’s late rain fall this year helped add a splash of color to the Minnear Day Use Area 12 miles up Del Puerto Canyon road where the hiking portion of the program takes place.
The roughly 3-mile round trip hike took hikers downstream along Del Puerto Creek, and up slick rock canyon’s natural breccia cement rock display before shooting straight up an 800-foot hill where a lunch break was observed amongst the blooming California Poppies and calochortus wildflowers and the shade of majestic oak trees.
From the peaks of the Minnear Day Use Area, the hikers were then led back along a ridge line before dropping into the back end of the day use area and the North Fork of Del Puerto Creek, which was followed back out to the roadway.
Besides the usual wildflower displays, hikers were also able to observe the remains of an ancient Native American Yokuts indian oven once used to bake bread and cook the fish and wild game of the area. It may possibly be the oldest man-made object to remain in Stanislaus County.
The hikes are offered on the second Saturday of February, March, and April, and while the hikes have concluded for the year, the city of Patterson still has upcoming dates for the bicycling and kayaking portion of the program.
A hard bike ride is set to depart this Saturday, April 19 at 8:30 a.m. from the Hammon Senior Center, and a difficult kayaking experience is scheduled for April 26 with the same meeting time and place. Kayakers are asked to provide their own kayak or canoe but can rent life jackets through the city.
Any questions regarding the program can be directed towards the city’s parks and recreation department at 209-895-8080.