In spring, the Fresno Blooming Trail takes you through some of the best orchards in California central valley. Photographers, bicyclists, and drivers are bound to say “Wow!” as they explore the 62-mile loop.
And it’s no wonder. At the beginning of the spring season, the orchards turn into dreamlike expanses of trees with white, red, and pink blossoms so dense that you can barely see the limbs they grow on. Towards the end of the season, the flowers start to wilt, showering the ground and creating a thick carpet of petals.
Timing your visit correctly is the key to enjoying a scenic drive through Fresno County Blossom Trail. In addition to helping you understand the blossom dates; this guide will show you the trees to expect.
When to Visit the Fresno Blooming Trail
The bloom dates vary depending on the rainfall and temperature. And as any Fresno tree service expert would testify, the view is more spectacular in some years than in others.
In general, however, the blossom season starts between mid-February and mid-March. This means that you have up to a whole month of catching the impressive display on Fresno County Blossom Trail.
Trees to Expect on Fresno Blooming Trail
One of the most enchanting things about the Fresno Blooming Trail is its vast expanses of blossoms carrying similar colors. Some of the tree species you will come across while exploring the Fresno County Blossom Trail include:
- Almond Trees – Almond blossoms feature white petals. California tree experts recommend the planting of two or more varieties in the same orchard to facilitate cross-pollination.
- Plum Trees – Much like almond trees, plum trees have white blossoms. Fresno county has more than 200 varieties of plum trees.
- Apricot trees – Apricot blossoms add a pink color to the Fresno Blooming Trail. Fewer than twelve varieties are grown commercially.
- Peach and Nectarine trees – These trees feature pink to red petals. Blooming at the same time, the trees add variety to the trail. Fresno county carries over 100 varieties of nectarine and peach trees.
- Apple trees – These carry white petals. In Fresno county, up to 6 varieties are grown commercially.
- Citrus Trees – These have white petals, with a very aromatic fragrance. While exploring the Fresno County Blossom Trail, you will come across Valencia and Navel oranges, lemons, and Mandarins.
Touring the Fresno Blooming Trail
You can start your trip at the Simonian Farms, a 1901 fruit stand that has been run by the Simonian family for 4 generations. The farm’s massive red barn encloses a Western town featuring a church, schoolhouse, barbershop, and a saloon.
You get to wander among collections of vintage tractors, antique balloon-tire bikes, and restored gasoline pumps. Before leaving, be sure to pick up dried nectarines and a bag of French burnt peanuts. Also, do not forget to pick up your Blossom Trail driving map.
Driving clockwise, you will soon be at the Blossom Trail café, where you can enjoy meals in cozy booths. In tiny Centerville, you can stop at the local Fruit Station to get a taste of the local honey and the preserves.
If you do not feel like stopping, just keep heading east. The scenery becomes more vivid as you drive further. As the golden yellow mustard blooms beneath the canopy of fruit trees, the snow-clad Nevada glows white in the background.
Just beyond Minkler, you can either turn right and proceed to Frankwood Avenue or extend the loop through the Orange Cove, following the Orange Blossom Trail to the white-flowered orange and lemon groves. When exploring the Orange Cove, do not forget to roll down the car windows to take in the unforgettable aroma of the citrus flowers.
If you choose to head south on Frankwood Avenue, consider stopping at Cedar View Winery. This is an ideal photo stop with acres of peach, nectarine, and almond blossoms. While there, consider sampling the vineyard’s Tempranillo and also learn about the incredibly rare Alicante Bouschet grape.
Whichever road you decide to follow, you will end up at Reedley. If you had brought your young ones along, this should be the perfect place for them to have some fun. The kids can ride miniature steam trains around the Hillcrest Farm’s plum and peach orchards. Quite impressively, the farm owners design and build fanciful train cars, locomotives, and even a track.
Local Tree Experts Overview
In addition to being a tourist attraction, the Fresno Blooming Trail is an important part of the California agricultural industry. The state is a top producer of peaches, plums, and other fruits, along with citrus and almonds. However, before the luscious fruits ripen, the orchards put on an impressive annual floral display.
Perfect timing is the key to enjoying the best petal-viewing. For this reason, you should stay updated about Fresno County Blossom Trail progress in the spring season. If you wait too long, the tree’s flowers will have fluttered to the ground, soon to be replaced with the summer fruit bounty.