Woodward Regional Park
At 300 acres, Woodward Regional Park is the largest regional park in California’s Central Valley. Among its attractions are a bird sanctuary, a large lake, three ponds, a fenced-in dog park, a Japanese garden, a BMX track, and a 2,500-seat amphitheater. There is truly something for everyone here at this park situated at the northern edge of Fresno, with multiple picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, and amenities provided for visitors and their families. If you’re a fan of outdoor theater, make sure your visit coincides with the Woodward Shakespeare Festival held every summer.
Address & telephone number: 7775 N Friant Rd, Fresno, CA, +1 559-621-2900
Oso de Oro Lake Park
Designed to be fully usable and accessible by everyone, this park has been the recipient of numerous innovation and design awards for the endeavors taken to accommodate those with disabilities. Adaptations include a wheelchair basketball court, two interpretative mazes for the visually impaired, specially designed playground structures, and the use of slopes instead of steps throughout its nine acres. A number of features inspired by the early history of California, including an antique riverboat and recreations of a rail cart, mining town, and fort, are also on show.
Address & telephone number: 5550 N Forkner Ave, Fresno, CA, +1 559-456-3292
Businessman M. Theo Kearney’s success in the agriculture industry of the late 19th century was in part due to the ranch he operated on the outskirts of Fresno. This ranch, bequeathed to the city of Fresno in Kearney’s will, now constitutes a 230-acre park of rolling grassland with ample space for picnicking. In addition to the greenery there are horseshoe pits, soccer and softball fields, and four playground areas. The historic home of Kearney, which sits on the edge of the park, is now a well-maintained museum filled with period furnishings.
Address & telephone number: 7160 W Kearney Blvd, Fresno, CA, +1 559-488-3004
Roeding Regional Park
There are plenty of picturesque spots in Roeding Regional Park to relax by, from its arbor and gardens to Lake Washington and the surrounding groves of trees. For those wanting a little more action, there are dance pavilions, handball courts, a zoo, and two amusement parks for children: Playland has rides, paddle boats, and a splash park, and the fairy tale-themed Storyland is made up of interactive exhibits. Also within the park is the Nisei War Memorial, dedicated to the American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who lost their lives in World War II.
Address & telephone number: 890 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA, +1 559-621-2900
Trolley Creek Park
By using the same accessibility features found in Oso de Oro, the team behind Trolley Creek Park have ensured that handicapped visitors are integrated with their peers and that everyone can enjoy the park’s attractions. Miniature versions of Fresno landmarks celebrate the city’s history, as does an original 1920 trolley car that was used for transporting residents around in the early 20th century. An observation deck adjacent to the pond allows nature lovers to peer over and catch a glimpse of the aquatic wildlife and vegetation.
Address & telephone number: 5110 E Huntington Ave, Fresno, CA, +1 559-360-3985
By Josh Wright