Trail Mix for Dec. 11: San Joaquin River unveils new online guide; Visalia to unveil pickleball courts

Getting to know the San Joaquin River has gotten much easier with this week’s launch of an interactive online guide.

Available at www.SJriver.org, it provides a map of the 330-mile river that highlights access points for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking and other activities.

There also is information on the river’s history and various cultural aspects.

The guide was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Resources Legacy Fund, The Nature Conservancy and San Joaquin River Partnership.

New pickleball courts  set for opening in Visalia

Two new pickleball courts will be unveiled Saturday morning at Recreation Park near downtown Visalia.

The grand opening is at 10 a.m. The sport, played with a paddle on something akin to a small tennis court, has grown in popularity nationwide in recent years. The city already hosts a fall pickleball league.

Courts will be available for public and private use. Applications for reservations are available through the Parks & Recreation Department business office.

Ski resort still waiting

China Peak remains “cautiously optimistic” about storm forecasts and what they could mean for the Huntington Lake ski resort.

Last week’s storm didn’t leave much, but new fronts are expected starting Friday and carrying into next week.

China Peak hopes to supplement anything the storms supply with artificial snowmaking while targeting an opening date of Dec. 19.

Daily updates are available at www.skichinapeak.com.

Free entrance Sunday at Sequoia, Kings Canyon 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks are waiving entrance fees Sunday to celebrate the 89th annual Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree.

The ceremony at the General Grant Tree is 2:30-3:30 p.m. and will feature the Sanger High choir and Fresno Tuba Christmas Ensemble. An armed forces memorial wreath will be placed at the base of the tree.

A free shuttle will be available at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center, but allow an extra 30 minutes.

Details: www.nps.gov/seki


McKenzie Table Mountain hike is this weekend

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.. Saturday

Where: McKenzie Preserve, north of Fresno

The Sierra Foothill Conservancy is hosting a hike to the McKenzie Table Mountain Table Top.

The hike is about 6 miles round trip with some level walking before the climb to the top. The last mile has an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. It takes about five hours, including a picnic lunch at the top.

Limited spots are available.

Details/registration: www.sierrafoothill.org

Volunteer day to help clean up San Joaquin, ranch

When: 8 a.m. Saturday

Where: Jensen River Ranch

Volunteers are sought to help with weeding and trash pickup on the 167-acre ranch below Woodward Park.

Those interested should bring a volunteer service agreement, wear appropriate clothing (pants recommended along with closed-toe shoes) and carry water and snacks.

Volunteers will meet at the first parking lot off the Friant Road and Fort Washington Road entrance.

Details: www.riverparkway.org

Snowshoeing basics

When: 3 p.m Sunday

Where: Fresno REI, 7810 N. Blackstone Ave.

The REI Outdoor School is hosting a free, 90-minute workshop.

Register at www.rei.com/fresno.