Almost at the exact geographic middle of California, Millerton Lake State Recreational Area is 20 miles northeast of Fresno. Many... more » people stop by the park on their way to the famous Yosemite National Park. The lake's cool blue water offers a pleasant escape from the summer heat of the central valley.
The park is dominated by the massive lake and popular among water sport enthusiasts and boaters. There are some hiking opportunities and the best hike is the flat and accessible South Shore trail. Also called Winchell Ridge Trail,the easy and smooth hike offers unobstructed, spectacular view of the lake. The multi-use trail is very family friendly for both hiking & biking. It starts at the Blue Oak Picnic Area, follows the contours of Winchell Bay and ends at the Marina at Winchell Bay. The first two miles run parallel to the road and therefore not very interesting, hence most people start at the South Bay Picnic Area. From South Bay Picnic Area to the Marina is about 2 mile one way and 4 mile round trip.
Almost the entire trail hugs the shoreline, visitors have good opportunities catching a glimpse of the bald eagle soaring over the blue lake as well as other water fowls. The trail is constructed on rolling hill with grassland, chaparral and oak woodland environments. The hills are green in the spring and fall from rain and brown in the dry hot summer. less «