Take a journey by canoe down the San Joaquin River Parkway. River guides will show you the rich diversity of life along the river corridor, and let you experience the river as it was navigated by Native Americans and early valley explorers. Additional offerings include hiking along the San Joaquin Parkway trails, seeking out new varieties of local flora and fauna at the Rank Island Ecological Reserve, or conducting scientific experiments at the Parkway's River Camps. Fish, picnic, hike or canoe at Camp Pashayan (April-Oct) Herndon & Hwy 99. San Joaquin River guided Canoe Tours (May-Oct). 11605 Old Friant Road, Fresno, CA 93730 (559) 248-8480.
Tom MacMichael Sr. Trail
Part of the San Joaquin River Parkway, this trail connects to the Lewis S. Eaton Trail and down to the banks of the river. River access is available via this trail accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, which runs between the two pastures, along the riverbank, and then back toward the bluffs. While you're on the loop trail, be sure to look for Mexican Elderberry bushes, host to the endangered Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle. Parking and access to the trail can be found on the northeast side of Woodward Park.
Lewis S. Eaton Trail
With five miles of trail finished, the Lewis S. Eaton Trail continues to be a popular destination for hikers, joggers, bicyclists and equestrians. Once completed, continuous multi-use trails will extend 22 miles from Friant Dam to Highway 99. This trail begins on the Northwest corner of Woodward Park ( Friant Road and Audubon Drive) and runs parallel to Friant Road offering views of the Sierra Nevada and the San Joaquin River Bottom connecting to the San Joaquin River Parkway’s River Center. The trail provides convenient access to walking, running, cycling, horseback riding, wheelchair access, and nature observation along the San Joaquin River.
China Creek Nature Trail
China Creek Park is an undeveloped Fresno county park. It has no structures for the convenience of people. What is does have is nature. The vast majority of plants here now grew naturally when the only people in the area were native Americans who traveled up and down the Kings River and no doubt camped, hunted, gathered, and fished in this area for hundredsperhaps even thousands of years. To find out more about this wonderful park go to the El Rio Reyes Trust Web site or the California Native Plant Society.
Coalinga Mineral Springs National Recreation Trail
To find this trail, take the Coalinga Mineral Springs County Park exit off of highway 198.
Park vehicles in the county park, and walk to the far end of the park. Cross the creek, and you will
see a trail heading up and out of the park. Climbing gently at first, the second half of the trail
climbs fairly steeply through a series of switchbacks. Views are wonderful all through the 2.24 mile
hike, but particularly when you reach the upper ridge leading to Kreyenhagen peak. The rocky outcrops
at the top make a nice lunch or snack stop. (559) 488-3004
Fresno – Clovis Rail Trail (Sugarpine & Clovis Old Town Trails)
This 13-mile route between Fresno and Clovis is also known as the Clovis Old Town and
Fresno Sugarpine Trails and offers a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees for the many joggers,
bikers, and families just strolling to enjoy. The Fresno-Clovis Rail-Trail begins in the City of
Fresno at Fresno Street and Nees Avenue and runs along Friant Road to Shepherd, then east to Willow.
The trail continues south along Willow and runs southeast into the City of Clovis. The trail is paved
and includes over 4,400 trees. Walking, jogging, biking and in-line skating are permitted on the trail.
The trail is wheelchair accessible. (559) 621-2900.
John Muir Trail
The John Muir Trail is 211 miles long and runs from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney. The John Muir Trail
passes through spectacular mountain scenery in a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of lakes in
the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. It's also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest
climate of any major mountain range. The John Muir Trail runs through 3 National Parks:
Kings Canyon and
Sequoia, and through Forest Service land,
including the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness areas.
Lost Lake Park Audubon Trail
The Fresno Audubon Society established an easy trail in this 305 acre county park that is ideal for
birding and just getting out of the city for a break. The trail is suitable for anyone capable of a
short walk. Walkers will see a fine example of the native riparian environment along the banks of the
San Joaquin River. Located along the San Joaquin River
below Friant Dam, the Lost Lake Park’s trailhead is at
the far southwest end of the picnic area. The trail itself splits and then reconnects with itself as it
meanders along the bank of the river. The footpaths are easy to see. The entire trail is only a mile or
so long. It is hemmed in by a high bank on the left, the river on the right. Following one of the many
paths downstream further you will find thickets of scrub oak and blackberries. Tall oaks and other
native trees shade the entire area. Along the trail you’ll witness a variety of bird life as well
as Native American grinding holes in the boulders bordering the river. Straight across the river from the
south end of the picnic area, you will see a tree that is home to a large flock of black-crowned night
herons. Snowy egrets, Great Blue Herons and even an occasional bobcat can be spotted in the undeveloped
areas of the park.
Reedley Rail Trail
This beautifully landscaped two-mile trail provides pedestrians, bicyclists and roller bladers with a
direct route from downtown to the high school and Reedley Community College.
San Joaquin River Gorge (Squaw Leap)
This scenic area straddles the San Joaquin River
just upstream from Millerton Lake State Park and
includes lands in both Fresno and Madera Counties. Hikers and horseback riders who use the San Joaquin
River Gorge Trail will have access to several thousand acres of public land. Wildflowers are
spectacular when in season. There is a wide range of wildlife present throughout the San Joaquin River
Gorge area which can be enjoyed by the sportsman and the naturalist. The list of species includes the
California mule deer, quail, band-tailed pigeons, waterfowl, Audubon cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel,
and mourning dove. In the spring and early summer, when Millerton Lake is nearly full, anglers can catch
catfish and stripped bass from the shoreline. But note that there is no vehicle access to the upper end
of Millerton Reservoir in this area. You have to hike in on somewhat primitive trails which are steep
and slippery in places.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park Trails
Together, Sequoia &
Kings Canyon National Parks contain 140 miles
of roads and 800 miles of trails. The hiking trails go from easy paths to steep mountain trails and
include such well know sights as the Roaring River Falls & Zumwalt Meadows, General Grant Tree,
Little Baldy, and the Congress Trail (General Sherman).
Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway
The 70-mile long Scenic Byway begins in Clovis proceeds along State Highway 168 from Old Town Clovis,
past the foothill communities of Auberry, Prather and Tollhouse; through the mountain resort town of
Shaver Lake; to beautiful
Huntington Lake, and continues
up Forest Route 80 to Kaiser Meadows.
View foothills, wildflowers, grazing cattle, wood cutting and logging. Visitors may stop along the
route at the many shopping areas, historical sites and campsites, as well as enjoy fishing,
horseback riding, backpacking, hunting and off-highway vehicle driving. (559) 855-5360.
San Joaquin River Parkway (Lakes & Rivers)