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National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail

San Bernardino National Forest

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

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National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail

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  • Trailhead and parking area at the National Children's Forest.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Picnic area at the National Children's Forest.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) at the National Children's Forest.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • National Children's Forest interpretive trail network.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius) along the trail.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) at the National Children's Forest.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Green manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula) along the National Children's Forest interpretive trail.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • National Children's Forest interpretive trail network with Keller Peak (7,882 ft) Fire Lookout Tower in the distance.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • National Children's Forest interpretive trail network with Butler Peak (8,535 ft) in the distance.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback) along the National Children's Forest interpretive trail.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback) along the National Children's Forest interpretive trail.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
  • Unidentified penstemon species (help us identify it by providing feedback) along the National Children's Forest interpretive trail.- National Children's Forest Interpretive Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short network of interpretive trails. Ideal for kids.
Cons: 
Limited views. Interpretive signage only at the trailhead.
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Region:
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Parking Pass: 
California Adventure Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.80 mi (1.29 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,340.00 ft (2,237.23 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The National Children's Forest holds a special place in California's natural environment and also in its history of forest management. Many trees on Keller Peak perished in the 1970 Bear Fire, but through the fundraising and physical work of grade school students, a large tract of forest was replanted, and it still thrives to this day. Younger trees planted by the children thrive among remnants of old growth forest that survived the fire. The trail network itself was designed by middle and high school students in collaboration with the Forest Service in 1993. You can learn more about this history from the interpretive signs at the trailhead. You can also stop in the visitor center along Rim of the World Highway (CA-18) in Running Springs for information and to find out about guided education programs for kids.

This park is often visited by school groups and summer camps, and it is ideal for a family hike. Rock climbers also frequent the area for its numerous boulders and cliff lines, so you may be able to watch people scale the bluffs near the trail.

The interpretive loop is three-quarters of a mile and paved. Views include impressively large pine trees and glimpses of nearby peaks. For a more adventurous journey, try the nearby Exploration Trail, a 4.5-mile hike that begins near the visitor center and finishes at the Interpretive Trail, bypassing Keller Peak Road. Nearby camping is available at Yellow Post or Shady Cove Group Campground.

See informational photos and contact information at the National Children's Forest website.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

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(25 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(42 within a 30 mile radius)

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