The post-pandemic life has many people wanting to explore beyond their living room walls and adventure in the great outdoors. What better way to do that than to unwind and breathe in the fresh air on the many trails Fresno County has to offer.
Kimberly, a fitness enthusiast & trail seeker, has a few tips and information to share about beginning your trail running and hiking journey. Her inspirational Instagram account @trailrose will have you discovering the beautiful scenery that you will find along the trails here in Fresno County.
"What is some advice you would give to people wanting to start running or hiking trails?"
Kimberly: Try to connect to people or groups that are familiar with the area and know the best spots. It’s always awesome to share the views at the top.
"What are some of your favorite trails here in Fresno County?"
Kimberly: My favorite dirt trails are along the San Joaquin River Trail located near Millerton Lake and Auberry. These trails have a three entry point access: Finegold Trailhead/Pincushion Peak Trail, Wellbarn Gate, and the Gorge Bridge, also known as the Pa’San Loop. My favorite pavement trails are Sugar Pine Trail (connects Clovis and Fresno with a bike path), Lewis Eaton in Woodward Park.
San Joaquin River Trail
Fine Gold Trail
Lewis Eaton Trail
"What is the top trail you would recommend to check out?:
Kimberly: The top dirt trail I’d recommend to check out is Pincushion Peak. It is a quick win. Less than 2 miles to a breathtaking summit makes the steep climb worth it. Make sure to go at sunrise or sunset for the trail magic views.
"What supplies or things do you recommend taking on a run or hike?"
Kimberly: My top items for running or hiking are: good running shoes and a small snack and water. I recommend lightweight trail shoes instead of boots, something with good traction. Fleet Feet Fresno is super helpful with fitting you for the right type of shoes for each terrain. I’d also recommend a small snack and water. I use a hydration pack to store water, snacks, keys and my phone so my hands are free while trail hiking/running.
"What are some easy and difficult trails that you know of here in Fresno County?"
Kimberly: In Fresno County there are a variety of easy and difficult trails. The “Fresno Art Run” meets in various areas of Fresno and leads you on a run of 2-4 miles and exposes you to the city’s mural art. The roads are flat and you go at your own pace. If you are looking for a challenge, I’d recommend Big Table Mountain that can be accessed from the Wellbarn Road entry point in Auberry and is located about 1.5 miles down the main fire road. It is a corkscrew trail that is steep and will leave you breathless. Views from the top are phenomenal.
Big Table Mountain
Wellbarn Fire Road
"What are some tips when taking on a long and strenuous trail?"
Kimberly: Make sure to have a watch or app to track your mileage! Listen to your body and keep in mind the distance back to the car when deciding how far to go. Let someone know where you are, and try not to go alone. Stay on the trail, “off-roading” where there is tall grass can lead to snake bites. Trails include snakes, falls, and animals at times and you’ll want to be safe. Carry water, snacks and a phone.
"Usually how long is the drive to reach these trails?"
Kimberly: The drive to reach Tesoro Viejo or the San Joaquin River Trail is less than an hour. For some trails, merely 30-45 minutes.
"What’s a new place in the area you have recently discovered that others should check out?"
Kimberly: A new place in the area that others should check out is Tesoro Viejo. There is an unmarked entry point off of Friant Road between Woodward Park and Lost Lake that has grown in popularity recently. It’s relatively flat and close to the river. It has hills to climb as well. The sunset and interesting trees look amazing there.
Woodward Park; first bridge on Lewis Eaton Trail
"What are some top running/hiking tips have you learned throughout your years of doing trails?"
Kimberly: The top tips I've learned is to be patient with yourself, trail running/hiking can be tough, but it gets easier over time. Be ready for everything. Invest in small gloves, a headlamp, hydration pack, good shoes, a hat, and a mini ice chest in the trunk for a post hike food/drink. And bring a camera; trail magic is the best at dawn and dusk, trust me.
"What’s the best thing about living in Fresno County?"
Kimberly: The best thing about living in Fresno County is the fitness and running community. There are so many groups and fun people who will support you and your goals. The variety of levels and activities are endless. #runfresno.
"What is your favorite thing to do in Fresno County (besides running/hiking trails)?"
Kimberly: Besides running, I love Fresno County’s outdoor scene. From farmers’ markets, to concerts in the park and mall. It’s the best when there are live bands, small businesses and food trucks.