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Woodward Park

Woodward Park in Fresno is a traditional, wonderful city park that provides a magnificent venue for fitness, cultural activities, and opportunities to reconnect with nature for Fresno residents and tourists. In 1968, Ralph Woodward donated the majority of the park’s property. This 300-acre urban paradise along the San Joaquin River’s south bank is the largest of Fresno’s 80 parks, including a huge lake, ponds, and wooded parts, including a redwood glen. Ralph Woodward, the son of early Fresno civic leader and financier Oscar James Woodward, once owned much of the park. The park is a location where you may be as active or as peaceful as you choose. Picnics and grills attract a large number of families to Woodward Park. The park has two cross-country courses, one 5,000 meters long and the other 10,000 meters long, as well as paths that link to the Lewis S. Eaton Trail System along the San Joaquin River Parkway. Because of its diverse species, including colorful wood ducks and even the rare bald eagle, Woodward Park is also a birding destination. At the Woodward Park BMX track, daredevil riders love to capture air and take on the banked turns, while mountain bikers of all abilities may test themselves on the downhill and jump at the Woodward Mountain Bike Skills Progression Park. Others come to Woodward for a round of 18 holes at the wooded and hilly Woodward Legacy Disc Golf Course. Many residents visit the park for concerts and events in the Rotary Amphitheater, a 3,500-seat open-air facility with both covered and lawn seating. The diverse list of musicians includes country, jazz, and Latin music. The serene Shinzen Japanese Garden is Woodward Park’s most exotic location. Return to a tranquil environment that varies with the seasons, with camellias and ume trees (Japanese apricot) blooming in the spring and maples’ scarlet leaves putting on a spectacular show in the autumn. The realistically constructed garden contains a Japanese red cedar teahouse and lovely areas to soak up the Zen atmosphere, such as the stone Double Moon Bridge, which looks out over a pond filled with brightly colored koi. Every November, the CIF and CCCAA Cross Country State Championships are held here. The Fresno State Bulldogs’ men’s and women’s cross country teams use it as their home course. The Woodward Shakespeare Festival – for Shakespeare in the Park – is also held in Woodward Park. The shows are held on the WSF Stage at the Friant/Fort Washington Entrance and include a variety of well-known titles. The troupe has performed at the park over 311 times and is now in its 11th season.

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