By Lorie Ham
The Fresno County Blossom Trail is one of the most beautiful sights you will find in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and this year it celebrates 33 years. According to the Blossom Trail website, blossom season begins in February and runs through March, or early April. When you travel this trail, you will find orchards full of fruit trees bursting with blossoms.
The Blossom Trail is a self-guided 60 mile long motor or bicycle tour organized by the Fresno County Blossom Trail Committee, a partnership between the County of Fresno and the Chambers of Commerce in Sanger, Kingsburg, Reedley, Orange Cove, Selma and Fowler, to celebrate and feature the beauty of Fresno County’s agriculture and a few historical points of interest.
The blossoms come in white and various shades of pink (some are almost red) and are found on almond, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, apple, and citrus trees. The Blossom Trail has been named one of the top blossom attractions in the world by British Travel Magazine, and has been featured in many other magazines and newspapers through the years. It is estimated that this free showcase brings more than 20 thousand visitors to Fresno County during the concentrated 4-5 week period of beauty each year.
Each season starts off with an opening ceremony held at one of the cities involved. This year’s ceremony was hosted by Reedley, but due to Covid, it was done virtually. Some other events are up in the air as to whether they will still take place this year, including the Annual Blossom Days Festival and Car Show, and the Orange Cove Blossom Festival.
One of the events sadly not happening this year is the Annual Reedley Lions Club Blossom Trail Bike Ride, but they hope to be back in 2022. For the Bike Ride you can choose to take either the 60, 40, 20, or 10-mile route. The 10-mile one is considered the “family fun run.” The 60-mile route takes you up Elwood Road through Wonder Valley. Even though there isn’t an official event this year, you can still go out on your own, or with family, and enjoy riding through parts of the trail.
Another fun event each year is the Blossom Trail Train Ride, which takes place in early March, and this one is still happening! “The Blossom Trail Train will be running the first three weekends of March from 10-5, with Reedley Rail Fest on the third weekend,” shared Sean Batista from Hillcrest Farms in Reedley. You can find the details and purchase your tickets on the Hillcrest Farms website.
There is also a Blossom Trail Bus Tour put on by the Sanger Chamber of Commerce each year. According to Tammy Wolfe, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sanger District Chamber of Commerce, it is an amazing day of wine tasting, shopping, and good food. While this event will sadly not be happening in 2021, Sanger also has the Blossom Trail Run that is a 10k run that will be held virtually this year from March 1-April 4. More information can be found on the chamber website.
While sadly many events are not taking place in 2021, it is never too early to plan to visit the Blossom Trail in 2022. In the meantime, you can enjoy the virtual events, and go out and enjoy the trail on your own, whether on your bike, driving, or walking parts of the trail. Check out the Blossom Trail website for a map of the trail, and to keep up to date on whether more of the events will be going virtual this year, and if others might still be happening in person. You can also follow them on Twitter @GoBlossomTrail.
If you do check out the trail, you are encouraged to share some of your blossom photos with the Fresno County Blossom Trail through their website, and you can share them with us on the Mennonite Insurance Facebook page.