Bakersfield has many parks within it’s city limits, but none of them have the same feeling of being out in nature that Hart Memorial Park has. Hart Park is one of Bakersfield’s oldest parks at a whopping 86 years old. Don’t let it being one of the oldest parks in Bakersfield make you not want to visit Hart Park, it is one of the best parks in Bakersfield to take your family to for an afternoon of fun. No other park in Bakersfield is as quiet, serene and beautiful as Hart Park. Hark Park is packed full of history, which is another good reason to take your family to visit it. At one time it hosted a water slide, a carnival, a train and more. None of those things are there today, but Hart Park still has plenty to offer it’s visitors.
Bakersfield’s Hart Park has two lakes that are filled with trout, catfish, and bass, plus the majestic Kern River is right by Hart Park, which adds to it’s beauty and allure. You do need a fishing permit before you go casting your line into the lakes or river. If fishing isn’t something you like to do, you can take your family to feed the ducks and geese that live at the lake. The geese aren’t shy about letting you know that they want you to feed them and will come right up to you, this may scare younger children so you can either have them sit on your car or play on the playground that is right by one of the lakes. If you’re not sure what to feed the ducks, they enjoy eating any type of bread plus it’s an inexpensive way for your family to have fun.
Hart Park has several playgrounds that have been recently replaced with newer playground equipment to make sure your child will be safe while playing. Water fountains and bathrooms are available for use. Picnic tables are placed in several areas in the park, some by the playgrounds, shaded areas and some close to the river so that your picnic experience is sure to be a good one. Most picnic tables have a BBQ by them so that you can cook your meat while you are at the park. If your family or club is having a party or other special event at Hart Park, you may call and reserve a space with extra seating.
Wildlife such as ducks, geese, skunks, kit foxes, musk rats, raccoons, possums, white egrets and blue herons live at Hart Park and it’s surrounding areas. You’ll also see peacocks and cats at Hart Park, the peacocks mainly stay in the far corner of Hart Park by the park ranger’s station and the cats come out more when it’s closer to dusk. Bring your camera as you’ll have plenty of great photo opportunities of the wildlife at Hart Park.
The Kern River has trails that you can walk along but take extreme caution as the currents are quite deadly if you get swept into them. The river looks shallow in some areas but it’s not and you could easily get caught in the current. Watch your children carefully because it can only take a second for someone to fall in and lose their life. The Kern River does have a fence that runs along Hart Park but it’s easy to climb through so take extra caution if you have your children on that side of Hart Park.
Not far from Hart Park is Lake Ming, a campground and CALM (a local wildlife zoo). You can do boating activities at Lake Ming and they have a playground that children can play at. The campground is lush and green and would be perfect to use for a family fun weekend.
It does take a little extra time to get to Hart Park, which is located at the outskirts of Bakersfield on Alfred Harrell Hwy but Hart Park is well worth the drive. If you’d like more information on Hart Park in Bakersfield, call the Hart Park Field Office (661-872-3179) 7:00 am-3:30 pm.