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.