by Kathy Eide Casas
Even though the weather has been wet, wetter, wettest … you can still enjoy all that the trails in Clovis and neighboring Fresno have to offer. Between the winter showers and gusts of wind, the air is fresh and clean, offering a stunning view of the foothills and Sierra; a refreshing reminder of why we love the Valley!
Whether you are on walking, rolling or biking, pushing a stroller or walking your dogs, there’s a pathway for you!
Clovis has traditionally made their trail system a high priority. That tradition continues into 2023 and beyond. Careful consideration has been given to the designs, which integrate with the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. In some parts of the city, neighborhoods literally have a trail running just beyond their backyards. Some even have a gate on their backyard fence to have easy access to ‘their’ trails.
There are several dimensions to the local trails, which actually link the communities of Fresno and Clovis along some of their paths. Depending on which trail you choose to visit, there are interesting sites and stops along the way: statues, benches, shopping, food and drink, and notable selfie and group photo opportunities!One of the newest and most progressive aspects of the trail system is the Dry Creek Trailhead, located at Sunnyside and Shepherd Avenues in northern Clovis. This area was designed as an efficient bicycle/pedestrian trailhead, and rest area as well. The trailhead area covers approximately three acres and includes a parking lot, seating wall, landscape plantings, irrigation system, tables, benches, lights, pedestrian trail bridges, water fountains, bike racks, and restrooms. This area provides access to the regional trails system and is notable for its water efficiency and low maintenance, serving four trails with close to two million visitors a year. It was successfully designed to be the centerpiece of the trail system. The park features drought tolerant plants and trees, enjoys low maintenance costs, and encourages the community to use the nearby trails for a number of positive reasons, including improving overall health and reducing air pollution.
The Dry Creek Trailhead also includes concrete trail paths that lead to the adjacent Dry Creek and Enterprise Canal Trail Systems. According to Trail Link, the eastern trailhead has parking, restrooms, a few tables, and a bicycle repair station. Enterprise Canal Trail is just east of the eastern trailhead, and can be accessed by a short ride along the bank of Enterprise Canal to N. Fowler Avenue.
More information and a short video from the City regarding the Trailhead can be found here: cityofclovis.com/planning-and-development/engineering/dry-creek-trailheadThe western trailhead connects with the Clovis Old Town Trail, one of the most popular trails in this area. The trail runs east and north, passing along Cottonwood Park, Dry Creek Park, and the Clovis Botanical Gardens, a must-see stop along the trail.
The Clovis Old Town Trail actually has a southern beginning near the Fresno Airport on the southern edge of Clovis and continues north along Clovis Avenue. As visitors to the Old Town Trail head north, they will pass businesses and neighborhoods, as they approach the Sierra Vista Mall at Shaw Avenue. Continue on the trail and you will soon be in Old Town Clovis, the trail’s namesake. Follow along and just west of the trail, you will experience opportunities for shopping from unique antiques to ultra-modern fashions and jewelry. Hair and nail salons, coffee shops, and restaurants offer a variety of selections for every penchant, featuring a mix of old time charm and contemporary tastes. In its midst you will also see a historical train depot, relocated from its original home approximately one mile south in Tarpey, on display at 4th Street and Clovis Avenue, in the heart of Old Town Clovis.Additional highlights along the trail include the Clovis Rodeo Grounds, home to the Clovis Rodeo held every year on the last weekend in April. This year’s rodeo, the 109th, will feature jackpot roping, ranch rodeo, the much anticipated annual blood drive, PBR bull riding, and concerts featuring country stars: LOCASH, Nate Smith, and Michael Ray. The Rodeo Parade, on the Saturday morning of Rodeo weekend, is a Clovis tradition and cherished by the young and young at heart. Enjoyed by multi-generations, this parade is a cavalcade of all that Clovis has to offer! For more information on the Clovis Rodeo, you can go to:clovisrodeo.com.
From Old Town Clovis, The Clovis Old Town Trail officially becomes the Sugar Pine Trail on Willow Avenue between Nees Avenue and Teague Avenue.This segment travels north along Willow Avenue, passing Clovis Community College and Clovis High before currently ending near Copper Avenue. Along this segment, you will be treated to new developments of residences, shops, eateries, and entertainment.
During the spring and summer months, there are a host of activities centered along the Clovis Trails. Breweries have found that the trail offers a new and near perfect mix for those over twenty-one wanting to combine fresh air with the homemade taste of hops and brews, tacos and taps, or just plain fun! For more information on trail-centered events, please visit: oldtownclovis.org/craft-beer-crawl.