In the March 2008 Sunset Magazine is an article entitled "7 (Hidden) Wonders of the West", Environmental Awards 2008. On page 30 is a box within the article on the "Most Unexpected Wilderness". They are talking about the Wind Wolves Preserve at the foothills just to the south of us here in Bakersfield.
Were it not for that article we would have never heard of it. They are open to the public on weekends, so last Saturday my husband and I packed a little picnic lunch and took the short drive to see what it was all about.
The name "Wind Wolves" is a referral to the long prairie grasses as they wave in the wind. It is a 97,000 acre nonprofit preserve managed by the Wildlands Conservancy. There is a beautiful new Visitor Center with helpful employees. Informational pamphlets are available to visitors to advise on the abundant wildlife, plant species, and hiking trails. There are a couple of new campgrounds and picnic areas. If it hadn't been for the valley smog the views would have been spectacular.
Although the preserve has been in existence for about 10 years, some of the camping areas are new this year. Below is a photo of a restroom. The picnic tables are as yet unmarred by graffiti and I hope it stays that way. Maybe this place will be too "out of the way" for those vandals and it will remain a place that nature lovers can enjoy.
My husband and I stopped at one of the picnic areas near the trail heads. We enjoyed our Chianti, peppered salami, and triple cream blue cheese next to a little pond. There was one other family at another area just 50 yards away. We saw another family come in and take off on one of the hiking trails.
It was peaceful and quiet. And clean.
Camping is allowed and we hope to be able to take advantage of that one day soon. You sure can't beat the price of entry: FREE! It's nice to have something so nice so close and available to us. This definitely won't be our last visit to the Wind Wolves Preserve.