Recreation

Visit the San Joaquin River Parkway’s parks, trails, river access, and visitor centers!

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San Joaquin River Parkway Map

Public Access Brochure

Friant Cove

Friant Cove, located at the intersection of N. Friant Road and Road 206 in Friant, CA, is owned by the Conservancy and managed by California State Parks, Millerton Lake State Recreation Area.  Click here for a map to Friant Cove.  The small site is open 7 days a week, and provides a Park and Ride, hand-carried canoe launch, fishing, picnic tables, and restroom.  For seasonal hours of operation and additional information, contact Millerton Lake State Recreation Area at (559) 822-2332.

FINS and the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery

The Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS) includes the San Joaquin Trout and Salmon Hatcheries, the Small Fry Children’s Trail, and a short section of the Parkway Trail.  San Joaquin Fish Hatchery, owned and operated by the State of California, Department of Fish and Wildlife, is open every day 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  The Hatchery, located at 17372 Brook Trout Drive, Friant, CA, allows the public to view Rainbow trout in various life stages, feed the fish, and watch the fish jump.  Click here for a map to the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery.  For more information, contact the Hatchery at (559) 822-2374.

Lost Lake Recreation Area

Lost Lake Recreation Area, owned and operated by the County of Fresno, is located 19 miles north of Fresno below Friant Dam.  Click here for a map to Lost Lake Park.  Lost Lake provides camping, fishing, play areas, bird watching, picnic tables, and a stabilized boat launch for river access. Lost Lake Park is open daily, year-round.  Lost Lakes overnight Camping Area was just recently improved with help the Conservancy. The Campground at Lost Lake Recreation Area provides for tent, auto, and motorhome camping. Each of the 37 campsites have picnic tables and campfire rings. Water and Restrooms are provided adjacent to the campsites. Each campsite is accessible for vehicles up to 34′ long. They feature two ADA compliant campsites that are reserved for people with disabilities.

The County is working on an application to the San Joaquin River Conservancy requesting additional funds to complete the environment documents in order to adopt the Lost Lake Master Plan.

There is a $5 fee for vehicles to enter the park, and camping fees are $25 per night.

Winter Hours: October 1 – March 31 from 7 AM to 7 PM
Summer Hours: April 1 – September 30 from 7 AM to 10 PM

(Note: When Campground is open, All campers must check-in prior to close of park) , visit the Fresno County Parks website or call (559) 600-3004 for more information.

Ball Ranch

Ball Ranch may be visited by joining the various supervised activities of any of our stewardship groups.  Please visit our Partners page to view a list of our nonprofit and educational partners. If your group is interested in stewardship of this area, please let us know

Coke Hallowell Center for River Studies

Coke Hallowell Center for River Studies, owned and operated by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, is located at 11605 Old Friant Road, Fresno, CA.  Click here for a map to the River Center.  The River Center provides exhibits, a gift shop, gardens, seasonal nature walks, and canoe trips.  Restrooms, a drinking fountain, Historic Ranch House, Hidden Homes Nature Trail, and the northerly terminus of the Lewis S. Eaton Trail are also on the grounds.  The River Center hours are as follows: grounds are open daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; the Historic Ranch House is open weekends, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; and the Hidden Homes Nature Trail is open weekends, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; and weekdays, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  For more information, visit the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust website or call (559) 248-8480.

Lewis S. Eaton Trial

Lewis S. Eaton Trail is operated by the City of Fresno and open daily, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., April – October, and 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., November – March.  The trail’s southerly terminus is located at Highway 41; the northerly terminus is located at the Coke Hallowell Center for River Studies.  Trailhead parking for vehicles and horse trailers is provided inside Woodward Park for a $5 vehicle entry fee, and free parking is provided at the Coke Hallowell Center for River Studies.  Additional points accessible by foot or bicycle along N. Friant Road are located at the intersections of E. Audubon Drive, Fort Washington Road, and E. Champlain Drive.  Trailhead parking is available at E. Copper Avenue.  A spur trail at the E. Copper Avenue access point connects to Copper River Ranch.  Click here for a map to the Lewis S. Eaton Trail.  Currently 4 miles long, the trail provides convenient access for walking, running, cycling, horseback riding, and nature observation along the bluffs of the San Joaquin River. Some portions of the trail have appropriate slopes for wheelchair access.  For additional information, contact the City of Fresno, PARCS Department at (559) 621-2900.

Woodward Park

Woodward  Park, owned and operated by the City of Fresno, is located at 7775 N. Friant Road, Fresno, CA.  Click here for a map to Woodward Park.  The park offers restrooms, picnic sites with barbecues, several ponds and streams, the Shin Zen Friendship Garden, three playgrounds, and access to the Lewis S. Eaton Trail and Jensen River Ranch.  The park is open daily, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., April – October, and 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., November – March.  There is a $5 fee for vehicles to enter the park.  For more information, visit the City of Fresno, PARCS Department  website or call (559) 621-2900.

Jensen River Ranch and Tom MacMichael Sr. Trail

Jensen River Ranch and the Tom MacMichael Sr. Trail are owned by the Conservancy and operated by the City of Fresno with assistance from the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.  Jensen River Ranch is located on the San Joaquin River in Fresno, adjacent to Woodward Park and visible from Highway 41 and N. Friant Road.  Diverse floodplain habitats are being restored on the 150-acre site.  The MacMichael Trail is a 1.5 mile hiking trail designed for walkers, runners, bikers, and equestrians. Half of the trail is paved and provides Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access. Click here for a map to Jensen River Ranch and the Tom MacMichael Sr. Trail.  You can access Jensen River Ranch on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback from the Lewis S. Eaton Trail or Woodward Park.  Jensen River Ranch and the MacMichael Trail are open daily, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., April – October, and 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., November – March.  There is a $5 vehicle entry fee to park in Woodward Park.  For more information, contact the Conservancy at (559) 253-7324.

Pathways of Our Ancestors

Pathways of Our Ancestors is a Native American Garden owned by the Conservancy and maintained by Many Lightnings American Indian Legacy Foundation.  The garden, showcasing local indigenous culture, is located at Jensen River Ranch (described above), on the west side of the property adjacent to the San Joaquin River.  All of the plants in the garden, including oak trees, elderberry, deer grass, native grapes, and sage have a medicinal, food, or ceremonial purpose.  The garden can be accessed on foot or by bicycle from the Tom MacMichael Sr. Trail (described above).  Click here for a map to the Native American garden. For more information, contact the Conservancy.

Wildwood Native Park

Wildwood Native Park is owned and operated by the Conservancy, and includes a restroom, picnic tables, and an ADA accessible trail.  Located along the San Joaquin River, east of Highway 41, the park is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays from 7 a.m. to dusk.  Click here for a map to Wildwood Native Park.  Wildwood is a great place for hiking or mountain biking access to Sycamore Island (below). For more information, contact the Conservancy.

SYCAMORE ISLAND

Sycamore Island, owned by the Conservancy and managed by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, is a 600-acre natural area with river access and multiple ponds conveniently located in Madera near Valley Children’s Hospital along the San Joaquin River.  Click here for a map to Sycamore Island.  Sycamore Island is home to a variety of fish: bass, trout, catfish, blue gill and crappie, and is open to anglers of all ages.  Visitors can also enjoy canoeing, picnicking, and walking trails to enjoy nature and observe wildlife.  Equestrians may also utilize the trails.  The site provides a number of stabilized boat launches to access various ponds and the San Joaquin River. Click here for a park map.

The site is open February 1 through November 11, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays, opening at 6 a.m.  Closing time varies with the season: 5:30 p.m. February – March; 7 p.m. April – May; 8:30 p.m. June – August; 7 p.m. September; and 5:30 p.m. in October.  The entry fee is $9.00 per vehicle and $5.00 per horse or boat trailer (no gas-powered motors allowed).  For more information, please visit the Sycamore Island Facebook page or call (559) 801-8690.

Scout Island

Scout Island, owned and operated by the Fresno County Office of Education, is located on a gated, private road at 7695 N. Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA.  Click here for a map to Scout Island.  Scout Island offers field trips year-round to school groups and educational organizations to explore the San Joaquin River watershed, geology, flora, fauna, and cultural history.  For additional information on programs and fees, visit the Scout Island website or call (559) 265-4062.  For information on River Camp at Scout Island, visit the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust website or call (559) 248-8480 ext. 107.

Bluff Pointe Golf Course and Learning Center

Bluff Pointe Golf Course and Learning Center is a privately operated, 9-hole golf course and driving range, open seven days a week, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.  The operator leases Conservancy land on the river at Milburn Avenue in Fresno.  Click here for a map.  Call (559) 275-0600 or visit the Bluff Pointe Golf Course and Learning Center website for additional information.

Riverside Trail

Riverside Trail is approximately one-mile long and is owned and operated by the City of Fresno.  The trail is accessible from the Riverside Golf Course parking lot in Fresno.  Click here for a map to the Riverside Trail.  The steep, paved trail descends to the river bottom, where visitors can enjoy a sandy beach at the river’s edge.  For more information, contact the City of Fresno, PARCS Department at (559) 621-2900.

 Camp Pashayan

Camp Pashayan is owned by the State of California, Department of Fish and Wildlife and the San Joaquin River Conservancy, and is usually operated seasonally. Unfortunaetly, with the construction of the High Speed Rail bridge across the San Joaquin River and the liited operations funding of the Conservancy, this site remains closed to public access at this time. It may be visited by joining the various supervised activities of any of our stewardship groups.  Please visit our Partners page to view a list of our nonprofit and educational partners. If your group is interested in stewardship of this area, please let us know. Camp Pashayan is located along the San Joaquin River immediately east of Highway 99.  Click here for a map to Camp Pashayan. For more information, contact the Conservancy.

Additional Information About San Joaquin River Parkway Recreation

Paddling the River

Visitors to the San Joaquin River Parkway may paddle the river by canoe, kayak, and paddleboard, provided they launch and take out at launch sites open to the public, such as those at Friant Cove, Lost Lake Park, Fort Washington Beach (privately operated), Sycamore Island, and Camp Pashayan.  On-the-water travel time between these launches can be 4 hours or more.  Use proper floatation devices.  Beware of high flows, shallow side channels, obstructions, and snags.  Paddlers inexperienced on this reach of the San Joaquin River should paddle first with well-experienced guides, such as those listed on our Partners page.

Nature Walks and Stewardship Programs

There are many areas of interest within the Parkway that are open only to supervised groups.  Join nature walks, conservation activities, educational programs, and boating trips offered by the nonprofit groups listed on our Partners page.