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Community support has been integral to the creation of the Sugar Pine Trail and Clovis Old Town Trail, two adjoining rail-trails that link the communities of Fresno and Clovis. Joggers, cyclists, businesses and multiple environmental organizations all came together to support the rail-trails, which connect many existing area resources, including shops, restaurants and parks. Through tree planting efforts organized by the Coalition for Community Trails, about 4,400 trees planted along the trails offer users shade and beautiful scenery.
The Sugar Pine Trail begins on Nees Avenue under Yosemite Freeway (State Route 41), near the Shops at River Park, a large mall complex. The trailhead is under the overpass and is equipped with benches and a drinking fountain. There is ample parking and a wide choice of eateries at the mall across the street.
Continuing northeast, the trail parallels Cole Avenue and Shepherd Avenue through residential parts of northern Fresno on a wide and spacious corridor bordered by mature trees. Underpasses carry the trail through busy intersections. Additional restaurants and stores are within walking distance of the trail along Shepherd Avenue.
At Willow Avenue, the trail turns south, eventually meeting the Clovis Old Town Trail between Teague Avenue and Nees Avenue. Take that trail to continue southeast into Clovis, and you will be afforded convenient access to the community's historic downtown and rodeo grounds. There's also a trail segment that travels north along Willow Avenue, passing Clovis Community College and Clovis High before ending at Copper Avenue. Work is underway on a connection to the Copper Avenue Trail.
To reach the northern trailhead in Fresno, from State Route 41, take Exit 135 (Friant Road/Blackstone Avenue). Go south on Friant/Blackstone 0.5 mile and turn left on Nees Avenue. The trailhead is on the left under the freeway overpass. There is no parking at the trailhead, but you will find ample parking at the Shops at River Park, on your right.
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