Recently we hiked within the Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, a gorgeous swath of land between the hamlets of Friant and Prather, about a 40 minute drive from Fresno.

For those who say Fresno, the nation's 34th largest city has nothing to do, they are wrong. For those who have access to transport, including a bicycle, they are doubly wrong. This organization is one reason why.

The Conservancy is one reason why - it manages several once-private lands that complement the regional county, state and national parks nicely. And the properties it manages balance the needs for local sustainable development and preserving the stellar landscape. In the case of the McKenzie preserve, it had been, and still is to an extent, used for ranching.

But cattle, along with native flora and fauna, co-exist blissfully. We saw that when we saw remnants of the super blooms that have blanketed much of California this spring. The Conservancy recently had an open day on this preserve, during which we could go on an organized hike or strike out on our own. We chose the latter, and the day was awesome.

Membership is affordable and well worth the small fee - the Conservancy organizes many hikes in the spring, and may schedule a few this fall. If you happen to travel to the San Joaquin Valley and can join one of their hikes, don't miss the chance - most of these preserves are closed the public, for obvious reasons.

Image credit: Leon Kaye

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Along a stream at the McKenzie Reserve

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

The views of Tabletop Mountain were alluring

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Always time for a selfie

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

The recent rains left a spell of green

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Wild poppies were everywhere

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Climbing up wasn't easy

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Be sure to bring your sling shot

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

To see views like this make the climb worth it

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

We did not want to leave

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

The 45-degree angle left some trying moments

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Wild flowers were abundant

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.