By: Kevin Rouse
With an extensive and well-maintained trail system, Kernville boasts some of the best riding around, offering a varied assortment of trails suitable for all styles of riding. All mountain rides take the spotlight however, as Kernville serves up some amazing climbs and descents. Speaking of descents, Kernville's Cannell Plunge trail serves of 32 miles of singletrack, and in one section, drops 5,000 feet in just 8 miles. Can you say bomb fest?
The KV Bike Park
Recently opened, the park boasts one of the toughest BMX courses in the western U.S. as well as a massive pump track, replete with an enormous wall ride. A skills section rounds out the park, though plans for a dirt jump area and beginner's singletrack course are in the works as well. Located right in town, the park is also a great way to warm up/kill time while you're waiting for that shuttle up to the trailhead.
Yes, we already mentioned the killer trails as a reason to come ride Kernville, but "Just Outstanding" is just that—outstanding, and is worth a mention all its own. Incredibly smooth and fast, the trail just flows, plain and simple. Highlights include an epic manzanita tunnel and ear-to-ear grins as you pick up insane speed.
Kernville Wants You
Kernville's local economy depends largely on the rafting tourism generated by the Kern River, as well as the fishing and boating afforded by nearby Lake Isabella. However, with plans to rebuild the dam on Lake Isabella, the rafting business stands to be heavily impacted. As such, the Kernville Chamber of Commerce has made it a priority to focus on drawing in mountain bikers by providing funding towards projects like the Kernville Bike Park. Additionally, the local Bureau of Land Management is greatly supportive of improving and expanding the existing trail network. Moreover, the extremely dedicated local trail-building community stands poised to take advantage of this, with multiple new trails already in the planning process.
The Bottom Line
As it stands, Kernville is on the brink of becoming one of the western U.S.' top mountain bike destinations. For lodging, a fully stocked bike shop, demo bikes and (soon) shuttle services, check out the Ride KRV bike shop and guesthouse: (760) 376-8600. For current shuttle options check out Mountain River Adventures: (800) 861-6553.