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Kern County Parks And Recreation

County of Kern
Parks and Recreation
Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions
How can I reserve a park or picnic area for a company party, family reunion, birthday party or other special event?
You can visit our Web site, and click on our link Parks and Recreation. Download the Group Picnic Reservation form, complete it and fax it to us at 661-868-7001. You can also visit the Parks Department, 2820 M Street, Bakersfield, CA or call at 661-868-7000. Downloading, completing and faxing us the reservation for is the most efficient method, and we highly recommend you use it for the best possible service.
Can I bring a bounce house to other play equipment to my children's birthday party in the park?
We permit bounce houses, etc. in group picnic areas including Hart Park, Stramler Park and the Kern River County Park. You must reserve a bounce house from a company on our list which is available at the Parks Department office. Note that most of our parks do not have electricity so be sure to ask your bounce house provider for a generator.
Can I have a wedding at any County park?
Yes, you can have a wedding at almost any of our County facilities, depending on your preferences. For example, you could have a large outdoor wedding at Camp Okihi in a dramatic, tree canopied setting next to the scenic Kern River. Also, our recreation and veterans buildings provide an affordable alternative for weddings and receptions. Many of our buildings have the added benefit of full-service kitchen facilities. (You could save hundreds of dollars on rental costs and splurge on a fabulous wedding - or honeymoon.)
Where can I use my jet skis?
You can jet ski in a section of the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area and on Lake Isabella.
Where can I swim?
You can swim in a section of the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area and in Lake Isabella. Swimming in the Kern River is strongly discouraged because the currents are very strong. Every year, people are swept to their deaths by the mighty currents. Life jackets are strongly recommended even for playing near the river. Note that there is no swimming in Lake Ming.
Where can I fish?
Lake Ming - only from the shoreline. You can fish from the entire shoreline from October 1 through March 31. From April 1 through April 30, you can fish from the undeveloped lakeshore areas. Contact the Department of Fish and Game regarding when it stocks the lake with fish at 559-243-4005.
Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area. In November through March we stock Lake Evans with trout and charge $6.00 for adults and $1.00 for children to fish. You can fish year-round at Lake Webb, the other lake in the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area.
Lake Isabella
You can also fish in the following streams and river:
  • Lumreau Creek
  • Bear Creek
  • Cedar Creek
  • McFarland Creek
  • Peel Creek
  • Basin Creek
  • Kern River
  • Mull Creek
  • Poso Creek
  • Alder Creek
  • Sandy Creek
  • Little Creek
  • Caliente Creek
You can purchase a fishing license from most sporting goods stores and Walmart.
Can I bring my dog to any County park?
Dogs are allowed at County parks. You must use a leash and be in control of your dog at all times.
Do you have any off-leash dog parks?
Yes. There is a dog park located at Leroy Jackson Park, 300 E. French Street in Ridgecrest. This park was opened sometime in November, 2014.    View Dog Park Rules
Do you have camping at County parks?
You can camp at the Kern River County Park (first come, first serve). You can reserve sites at the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area and the Tehachapi Mountain Park. There is also camping near Lake Isabella not operated by the Parks Department.
Can I have a campfire while camping in a County park?
You can have a campfire in the campsite's fire ring. You will need to bring wood for the fire. Propane stoves and lanterns are permitted in the camping parks.
When can I sail on Lake Ming?
You can sail on Tuesdays and Thursdays after 1:30 pm and on the second full weekend each month. You can also sail Lakes Woollomes and Isabella.
Where can I get a boat permit?
You can get a boat permit at:
Parks Department
2820 M Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
You can purchase boat permits online at
The concession stand at the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area
Any marina at Lake Isabella
You will need to bring your current boat registration and drivers license. The fee is $60 for all Kern County lakes and $45 for Lake Isabella only.
Are air soft or paintball guns allowed in any County park?
No guns of any type are allowed in the County parks.
Do you have senior passes for camping?
No. The U.S. Forest Service has a golden age pass for the national parks and forests. But, there is a discount of camping fees for all campsites at Kern County campgrounds of two dollars ($2.00) less than the charge set forth for that site in the applicable uncodified ordinances for persons sixty-two (62) years of age or older and for disabled individuals.

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