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 kayak/canoe launch, fishing, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. For seasonal hours of operation and additional information, contact Millerton Lake State Recreation Area at (559) 822-2332.
FINS and the San Joaquin Hatchery
The Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS) includes the San Joaquin Trout and Salmon Hatcheries, the Small Fry Trail, a children’s exploratory trail, and section of the Parkway Trail, California native vegetation, wildlife viewing, and connection to the neighboring Fresno County Lost Lake Park. The San Joaquin 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, located at 17372 Brook Trout Drive, Friant, CA, allows the public to view Rainbow trout in various life stages. 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 funding from the Conservancy. The Campground at Lost Lake Recreation Area provides for tent, auto, and motorhome camping with river views. 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.
Sumner Peck is located at 14439 N. Friant Road, Friant, CA 93626. This stunning property includes a half-mile of river frontage and wildlife habitat in addition to farmland. Open 7 days a week from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, during Solitary Cellars’ daily operating hours, offering wine tasting and refreshments. U-Pick fruit is offered at various times of the year.
River Center – 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, 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, the Art of Life Garden, 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
Currently closed for improvements.
Planned for opening in the spring of 2024, Wildwood Native Park, is owned and operated by the Conservancy, and includes a restroom, picnic tables, and a short, paved trail. Located along the banks of the San Joaquin River, east of Highway 41. Click here for a map to Wildwood Native Park. For more information, contact the Conservancy.
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, fishing license and fishing regulations apply. Visitors can also enjoy canoeing, picnicking, and walking trails or cycling 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 mid-January through mid-November every day 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, 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, a beautiful 9-hole golf course located on the banks of the river 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’s Eaton 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.
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 Sumner Peck. 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.