Kern River Valley looking for ways to attract tourists

KERNVILLE, Calif. - It has been a rough summer for the Kern River Valley and community leaders are looking for ways to attract more visitors.

The low levels in the Kern River have really taken a toll on businesses this summer. That's why community leaders want people to know there's still plenty to do in the mountain towns.

One day, that's all it takes to soak in the sights and sounds of the Kern River Valley.

“This is probably the finest river forest left in the Southwest. It's got some of the highest diversity of birds and other wildlife. It's a real gem,” said Reed Tollefson with the Kern River Preserve.

If nature and the outdoors aren't calling your name, capture the areas beauty in an art class and those needing a jolt of adventure can hop on a bike and go for a ride.

"So whether you're just wanting to go hang out by a creek and relax or do a little more exciting like get on a dirt bike and ride around the track or do some mountain climbing there are those opportunities in the forest,” said Cody Norris, spokesperson for the Kern River Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest.

But fewer people took advantage of those opportunities this year because of the shorter rafting season.

To keep Kernville alive the town is holding a Whiskey Flat Fall Festival at the end of October.

“This one is all about the pumpkins so we're really excited. We're going to encompass this park with all kinds of kiddie activities, haunted maze and an encampment,” said Cheryl Borthick, President of the Kernville Chamber of Commerce.

It's also a way to showcase the nearly two million dollar makeover that will be complete when crews finish the sidewalk through Riverside Park.

Borthick told 23ABC crews will construction on September 9th.

The Whiskey Flat Fall Festival will be held October 25th through the 27th at Frandy Park Campgrounds in Kernville.

For more information call 760-376-2629 or visit




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