The rich agriculture, abundant wildlife, and spacious acres of Fresno’s parks make them the perfect getaways from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There, visitors can have a picnic while immersed in the some of California’s most gorgeous scenery. Read on to discover beautiful parks that the whole family will enjoy in Fresno.
Located in Northwest Fresno, Oso De Oro Lake Park is a beautiful nine acre park with an early California theme. At the park’s entrance, visitors are greeted by a lovely Margaret Hudson California Grizzly Bear sculpture. The park’s features are arrayed at three different elevations because it is actually an evacuated storm water retention basin. The upper street level tier features picnic pavilions, little and big kids’ play areas, swings, and other old California-themed play areas. The middle tier has an open turf play area, a wheelchair basketball court, and two interpretive mazes. Both the middle and upper tiers also have wide, gently sloped walkways. On the lower tier, there is a permanent lake that provides stormwater capture and groundwater recharge. Visitors can also get a great view of the aquatic habitat and wildlife in the observation docks over the lake. Since it opened in June 1995, the park has received both National and State awards for innovation and design excellence.
Oso De Oro Lake Park, 5550 N. Forkner Ave, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 456 3292
Named after the late Ralph Woodward, a long-time Fresno resident, Woodward Park is composed of a major part of its namesake’s estate, bequeathed to the city in 1968 to provide a regional park and bird sanctuary in Northeast Fresno. Initially 235 acres, the City later acquired additional land to add to the park, bringing it to a current total of 300 amazing acres. In the park’s Southeast corner, numerous bird species are at home, offering bird enthusiasts an excellent opportunity for viewing. The park also has a multi-use amphitheater that seats up to 2,500 people and is a popular spot for Shakespeare in the Park. In addition, there is a beautiful authentic Japanese Garden, a fenced dog park, exercise par course, three children’s playgrounds, a lake, three small ponds, seven covered picnic areas available for reservation, and five miles of multipurpose trails that are part of the San Joaquin River Parkway’s Lewis S. Eaton Trail. There are also many uncovered picnic tables that are available on a first come, first served basis.
Woodward Park, 7775 Friant Road, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 621 2900
Beautifully landscaped with cool blue lakes, huge groves of trees, rolling green lawns, and dotted by flower gardens, Roeding Park contains eight championship tennis courts, two dance pavilions, horseshoe pits, slides and playgrounds, and many picnic areas complete with picnic tables and barbecue pits. The 159 acre regional park attracts about 600,000 visitors each year, thanks to the gorgeous grassy acres that include a lake, several ponds, and groves of ash, cedar, pine, eucalyptus, maple, and redwood trees. There are numerous children’s playgrounds, as well as 96 picnic tables and five picnic shelters scattered throughout the park. In addition, the park is home to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and the Rotary Storyland and Playland family amusement park, which features a walk-through of Mother Goose stories and fairytales, 12 rides, paddle boats, and a splash park. There is also a great dog park and the Japanese War Memorial dedicated to the American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who lost their lives in World War II.
Roeding Park, 890 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 621 2900
In 1949, Kearney Park became the first County park when an agreement was signed with the Regents of the University of California, who inherited it from M. Theo Kearney upon his passing in 1906. The park is 225 acres, is home to the famous Kearney mansion, and draws the greatest number of visitors among the all of the parks in the regional park system. It includes one playground, 11 group picnic reservation areas, two softball fields, two soccer fields, picnic shelters, two dance slabs, and two horseshoe pits. The park is clean, and there is beautiful lush green grass and shady trees to help visitors cool down during the hot Central Valley summer days. It also doesn’t fill up as much as most of the other parks in Fresno do, making for a peaceful and quiet getaway. Lots of employees keep the grounds well-kept, and the wide open space is perfect for running through the park or games of frisbee. The park also hosts a fun renaissance faire every year, as well as a pirate festival.
Kearney Park, 7160 W Kearney Blvd, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 488 3004
From the end of February through the middle of March, the Fresno County Blossom Trail is not to be missed. This self-guided motor or bicycle tour, organized by the Fresno Blossom Trail Committee, celebrates and features the beauty of Fresno County’s agriculture, as well as a few historical points of interest. The panoramas of orchards full of fruit trees alive with fragrance and bursting with blossoms are a nature lover’s dream. On their website, you can find a map of the trail, which takes visitors through the historic town of Sanger, the Reedley river town, Orange Cove (home to the scenic Orange Blossom Trail), the Raisin Capital of the World Selma, Old Town Clovis, Kingsburg’s Swedish Village, downtown Fowler, Kings River, and the Simian Farms. Along the way, travelers have the opportunity to see beautiful white almond blossoms, plum blossoms, pink apricot blossoms, peach and nectarine blossoms, along with aromatic white citrus blossoms and apple blossoms.
Fresno County Blossom Trail, Fresno, CA, USA, +1 559 600 4271