7 Ways to Enjoy Fresno County’s Outdoor Bounty
By BARRY EITEL
With more than 300 sunny days per year, Fresno County is a wonderfully abundant region for those who love the outdoors. Not only does it offer world-class hiking, boating, mountain biking and other activities, it is both extremely affordable and refined, with a wide assortment of restaurants and lodging options. Adventure lovers, here are seven ways to enjoy Fresno County’s natural bounty outdoors.
Boating and Jet Skiing
Pine Flat Lake is a rustic spot and there is no better way to experience it than renting a boat and hitting the water. Companies rent out boats and jet skis right at the marina, so visitors can just pony up to the lake expecting to paddle or motor around. Several beautiful waterways crisscross the area – and A1 Recreation provides boat and jet ski rentals to several great locales, including Bass Lake, Millerton Lake, Pine Flat Lake and Shaver Lake. If you’re interested, just stop by locations in Clovis or Fresno, hitch a boat to your vehicle and you’re off.
With wide-open spaces and sunny days, Fresno County is a favorite location for disc golfers, who stream in from around the region and nation. Disc golf, which eschews clubs for Frisbees, is played in several parks, including the Fresno Flight Center and the Woodward Legacy Disc Golf Course. Players chuck discs toward chain-covered “holes” over an entire course.
With all the sunshine and natural scenery, one of the best ways to see Fresno County is atop a bike. The Fresno Cycling Club has severalgreat suggestions and provides free, printable guides. Some of the most cycled trails include the Millerton Store to Fresno loop, the Shaver Lake to Huntington Lake loop and the Auberry to Pine Flat Lake loop. You can also enjoy a healthy adventure in Clovis on over 10 miles of walking and cycling trails.
Considering that three major national parks are within a 90-minute drive of Fresno County, the hiking around Fresno County is world-class. Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are must-visits for any sojourners to Fresno with hiking boots, and there are even public transit options like YARTS and Big Trees Transit. Outside of the national parks, hiking can be found all over Fresno County – other great spots are Huntington Lake and Florence Lake.
Fresno County has miles of trails for casual bikers, but it also has options for those looking for something a bit more extreme. Mountain Bike Skills Park is a unique place to start – it has trails for beginners, intermediate bikers and experts. Covering over 10 acres, the park even features wood-slat bridges and other obstacles to shake up your skillset. Another mountain-bike-centered park is China Peak Mountain Bike Park, which features a beautiful desert-like setting. Mountain-bike rentals – and helmets -- are available at both.
If you’ve brought a 4-by-4 or ATV, Fresno County has plenty of options for you. Miles of off-road trails crisscross Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and Sierra National Forest. These areas are perfect whether you are quadding around or bouncing through in a Jeep.
Celebrate Fresno County’s Wild West past by jumping on a horse and riding out into the sunset. Explore the beautiful rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas from the saddle of a horse at Wonder Valley Ranch and Resort or you can experience guided horseback rides at Shaver Stable in nearby Shaver Lake from May 21 to October. The breathtaking views of the lake are a fantastic way to spend a few hours, and all ages are welcome. Horseback riding is also offered at other nearby areas, including Huntington Lake.
Visit Fresno County, California’s year-round playground!