AWAITS YOU ON THE FRESNO COUNTY BLOSSOM TRAIL
by Jenny Graber - images by Ryan Watamura
ushers in Spring quite like the bountiful blossoms
of the Central Valley. From late February through
March, curtains of color and fragrant breezes
delight your senses as you meander through the
Fresno County Blossom Trail. Nestled within the
trail you will find the quaint little towns of
Reedley, Dinuba, Kingsburg, Selma, Sanger, and
Orange Cove and each has something unique and
exciting to offer its visitors.
its conception in 1988, The Blossom Trail has
bloomed into a multifaceted, multicultural event
for people of all ages and all walks of life.
It has been said that visitors have come from
as far away as Japan and Australia just to witness
the beauty of the Fresno County Blossom Trail.
According to Linda Terry, Chairperson of the Blossom
Trail Organization, “the idea for the Blossom
Trail began during discussions about how to educate
and market Fresno County agriculture on an international
level.” When someone at the meeting pulled
out a sample brochure featuring blossoms, Linda
says the conversation and focus shifted to “how
the group could put together a trail linking orchards
full of spring time blossoms.”
effort to move the idea of the Blossom Trail from
paper to reality was a huge undertaking. A plethora
of groups and individuals were involved in the
“birthing.” According to Ms. Terry,
these included, but were certainly not limited
to, The U.C. Cooperative Extension, The Fresno
County Department of Agriculture, The Fresno County
Farm Bureau, and the Fresno County Blossom Trail
Committee (which included volunteers from the
aforementioned groups as well as representatives
from the Fresno County Convention and Visitors
Bureau, Kiwanis Clubs, and the Sanger and Reedley
Chambers of Commerce). Additionally, volunteers
from agencies such as the Fresno County Probation
Department, El Capitan Debris, and the Department
of Public Works helped to clean up the route at
no cost, assisted in designating turnouts, and
erected the first Blossom Trail signs.
contests were launched in 1991, and photo contest
were added in 1995, says Ms. Terry, as a way of
“further involving the community…
and creating community pride.” Souvenir
type merchandise was created to better market
the Blossom trail and some items can still be
purchased today. While some of the contests have
changed and the souvenirs have been scaled down,
the mission of the Blossom Trail remains the same:
to draw people to our community to experience
the natural beauty of Fresno County’s agriculture
and local points of interest.
year the official Blossom Trail Kick-Off will
be on Friday, February 3rd at the Victor Lopez
Community Center in Orange Cove. A recent addition
to the Blossom Trail is the Orange Blossom Trail
Option. The 26 miles of this trail add a refreshing
zing of citrus scents to the original Blossom
Trail. The Orange Blossom Trail departs from the
Blossom Trail at Hwy. 180 and Frankwood Avenue.
It winds through the sweet smelling orange blossoms
which blanket Orange Cove and reconnects to the
Blossom Trail at Manning and Alta Avenues.
there you can continue west on Manning or head
north on Alta. If you take the west bound route,
you will come to the City of Reedley, “The
Fruit Basket of the World.” The possibilities
for exploration are numerous. You can visit the
Mennonite Quilting Center, The historical Reedley
Opera House, or just have a peaceful picnic by
the river at Cricket Hollow Park. Reedley is also
home to the Lions Club Blossom Bike Ride which
is held on the 1st Saturday in March (see story
for more info).
you leave Reedley on Manning, the trail will lead
you to Lac Jac Avenue where you may want to stop
at Luke’s Almond Acres and try some of their
tasty treats. Luke’s is a family owned orchard.
They have a great gift store where you can sample
and purchase an assortment of dried fruits, nuts,
and gift packs.
munching on some snacks, continue on the trail
toward the charming communities of Kingsburg and
Selma. Stop in Kingsburg and experience a little
bit of the Swedish Culture that is integrated
into the restaurants and businesses. Or travel
further north and visit Selma, The Raisin Capital
of The world, and one of the fastest growing communities
in the valley. Both offer unique shopping and
dining experiences, sure to meet the needs of
you make your way back to the Blossom Trail, by
way of Manning and Mendocino, you will travel
through the city of Parlier and into the City
of Sanger, the “Nation’s Christmas
Tree City.” Sanger also hosts the Blossom
Days Festival and Annual Blossom Trail 10K Run
on the 1st Saturday in March (Call the Sanger
Chamber of Commerce for more information).
Sanger, travel west on Jensen to Clovis Avenue.
Here you will find Simonian Farms, dubbed the
“official start of the Blossom Trail.”
Simonian Farms is a 3rd generation working farm
and has much to offers it’s guests. You
will find nuts, fruits, gifts, and memorabilia
as well as clean bathrooms and picnic areas where
you can have lunch and a rest.
it’s time to jump back on the road again.
Take Jensen east to Fowler Avenue and head North
to Belmont. This part of the trail will take you
through some beautiful countryside covered with
blossoms and orange trees. As you wind through
the towns of Centerville and Minkler you can choose
to head back to Orange Cove and the Orange Blossom
Trail on Hwy. 180 or to continue on the Blossom
Trail and back to Reedley.
trail you choose to end your Blossom Trail experience,
you will not be disappointed. “Natures Masterpiece,”
as it’s called by Rick Bentley of The Fresno
Bee, will leave you breathless. The Orange Blossom
Trail will fill you with the sweet aroma of citrus.
While the blankets of blossoms on the Frankwood
part of the Blossom Trail will create a dazzling
last impression. So come and celebrate the season
by exploring the unique points of interest in
these communities and participating in some of
the local Blossom Trail events.