Cyclists living in Fresno County should count themselves lucky. The San Joaquin Valley has many public trails that complement the area’s mountain ranges, historical cities, and famed fertile farmland. Heck, you could even get your weekly shopping done while riding on a few Fresno County biking routes! People who live in or around Fresno have plenty of opportunities to break out their bikes and ride.
No matter how inexperienced you are on a bike, you’ll find a route to suit your needs in Fresno County. Here’s a shortlist of some of the best trails to check out close to the center of Fresno.
- Take A Trip Downtown: Clovis Old Town & Sugar Pine Trails
The relatively new Clovis Old Town and Sugar Pine Trails have helped connect local cyclists and joggers to all of historical Clovis’ hotspots. Measuring roughly 13 miles in total, these paved rail-trails offer guests plenty of shade, excellent protection from traffic, and easy access to attractions in the town’s center. Riding on these trails is a superb “stay-cation” idea if you’re interested in taking advantage of all the shops and restaurants of Old Clovis.
For those traveling from Fresno, you’ll find the start of the Clovis Old Town Trail just north of the intersection between N Clovis and E Shields avenues (not far from the Fresno Yosemite Airport). From this starting point, the trail travels north along Clovis Ave and brings riders straight through the center of historical Clovis. When you reach the intersection of Nees and Teague avenues, however, Clovis Old Town Trail turns into the Sugar Pain Trail and leads riders all the way to the River Park Shopping Center.
There isn’t a designated parking area for these trails, but you could find plenty of safe spots along the route. Please check out this map put together by the City of Clovis to help you better plan your biking excursion.
By the way, about 3,000 locals planted all of the 4,400 trees you’ll see along these trails. The city of Clovis now proudly boasts a Guinness World Record for this inspiring feat.
- Optional Side-Trip: Dry Creek Trail
If you’ve traveled along Clovis Old Town a few times, then you should know this trail links up with another well-known cycling path called Dry Creek Trail. Anyone interested in taking a side-trip on this paved trail could easily find the entrance on N Minnewawa Avenue just behind the City of Clovis Fire Station 3.
The highlight of Dry Creek Trail is riding through two exceptional parks: Cottonwood and Dry Creek. Interestingly, Dry Creek Park is home to the fantastic Clovis Botanical Garden, so don’t forget to stop by if you’re interested! After about 2.5-miles of riding, you’ll reach the Dry Creek Trailhead by E Shepherd Ave.
If you’re only planning on taking a journey on Dry Creek Trail, it’s a good idea to park in the trailhead’s convenient parking lot. Punch this address into your GPS and you’ll have no trouble finding the Dry Creek Trailhead: 4999 E Shepherd Ave #4971, Clovis, CA, 93619.
- The Parkway Trail Network: San Joaquin’s Herculean Task
The Parkway Trail Network is shaping up to be one of San Joaquin Valley’s most ambitious public works projects. When completed, city leaders expect this trail to measure around 22-miles and connect the Friant Dam with Camp Pashayan at 7633 N Weber Ave in Fresno.
Although it’s not complete yet, cyclists can now enjoy a 6-mile stretch of the Parkway Trail Network known as the Lewis S. Eaton Trail. This portion of the trail runs through and around Fresno’s Woodward Park and offers guests easy access to other trails like the Thomas MacMichael Sr. Loop Trail. If you travel along the Lewis S. Eaton Trail all the way to its northern extreme, you’ll end up by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust building at 11605 Old Friant Road.
The official parking lot for the Lewis S. Eaton Trail is located at 7775 Friant Road in Fresno. You will have to pay $5 to park your car here.
For more information on Lewis S. Eaton Trail, check out this webpage put together by the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust. You could also learn more about the Parkway Trail System by visiting this official website.
- Reedley Rail Trail: A Fine Trail Through A Calm City
The town of Reedley, only a 35-minute drive southeast of Fresno, has roughly 3 miles of paved trail simply called the Reedley Rail Trail. Currently, this trail reaches its southernmost point between S. Buttonwillow and Olson avenues and extends through the center of town towards Reedley College.
You will have to cross a few streets along this route, so always pay attention while you’re cycling. There is, however, a bit of greenery planted along this route to offer you plenty of shade on your journey. If you need to take a quick breather, there are also dozens of benches here.
If you want to take a quick side-trip, you could easily reach Pioneer Park or explore Reedley College’s campus on a trip through the Reedley Rail Trail. There may not be as much to see here as in Clovis, but it’s a refreshing ride nonetheless.
There’s no official parking lot for the Reedley Rail Trail, so it’s often advised you park your car at or near Reedley College. If you have trouble getting into the college campus, consider parking in the large shopping center by West Manning Avenue. Check out more details on Reedley’s trail on this city’s official webpage.
- For Nature Lovers: The Lost Lake Park Nature Trail
Bikers who really want to get close to nature should look no further than the Lost Lake Park Nature Trail in Friant. About a 30-minute drive north of central Fresno, this moderately difficult trail only measures about 1 mile, yet it’s surrounded by lovely greenery and pleasant views of the San Joaquin River.
The standard hours for Lost Lake Park are as follows:
7AM – 7PM between October 1 – March 31
7AM – 10PM between April 1 – September 30
If traveling by GPS, the official address of Lost Lake Park is 16385 N. Friant Road, Friant, CA 93626. There is a $5 entrance fee for vehicles that park in Lost Lake Park.
Interested in learning more about Lost Lake Recreation Area? Be sure to visit this official website put together by Fresno County.
Get Involved With The Fresno Cycling Club
Another nice thing about living in Fresno County is that it’s home to one of California’s most respected bicyclist advocacy groups. Established in the early 1960s, the non-profit Fresno Cycling Club is one of the Golden State’s most influential organizations dedicated to improving cyclist safety.
Throughout the year, the Fresno Cycling Club hosts dozens of fun cycling events for athletes of all skill levels. Experienced cyclists should definitely look into the annual 155-mile “Climb to Kaiser” event in June. Other fun events include the Bass Lake Double Century in October and the Annual New Years Day Ride.
Besides hosting epic rides, members of the Fresno Cycling Club sponsor many fantastic educational events throughout the year. Anyone interested in learning more about joining the Fresno Cycling Club should definitely visit https://www.fresnocycling.com/.