Ball Ranch, which until the mid-1980s was a popular fishing spot on the San Joaquin River north of Fresno, is once again welcoming anglers and boaters.
The 358-acre property was purchased by the San Joaquin Conservancy in 1999 for $6.8 million but has never been open to the public. Until now.
Ball Ranch will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fees are $6 per vehicle. Trailers cost an extra $5.
The property features a large quarry pond suitable for bank fishing or from a small boat. There is no ramp, so only hand-carried boats are suitable. Visitors should bring their own water and snacks.
There is no public river access from Ball Ranch.
Until the mid-1980s, the property was owned by the Ball family, which allowed public fishing. Access was cut off when a housing development and golf course were proposed for the land. The development was rejected, which helped spur the creation of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.
The Parkway Trust now manages the property. Details: riverparkway.org or (559) 248-8480, ext. 101.
Blossom Trail Run & Ride
Where: Downtown Sanger (Run) and Reedley College (Ride)
There's no better way to celebrate spring's impending arrival than with a run or ride.
The Blossom Trail Run features a 10-kilometer main event at 8:15 a.m. that is worth 30 points in the Valley Runner of the Year Series. The schedule includes a 2-mile run/walk (8:20) and a slew of kids' races, all starting and finishing near Sanger City Hall. Adult registration is $25 today and Friday, $35 on race day. Details: fblinks.com/blossom
The Blossom Trail Ride features routes of 20, 40 and 63 miles, all starting from Reedley College. Courses open at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $50 and includes lunch and SAG support. Details: blossombikeride.com
News & notes
-- Get your bike running smoothly in a free maintenance seminar at 2 p.m. Sunday at REI. Register at rei.com/fresno
-- Yosemite's Badger Pass ski area will get new decks and upgraded locker rooms for next season. DNC Parks & Resorts, the park concessionaire, is paying for the project. Construction will take place this spring and summer.
-- The Sierra National Forest is requesting public input for this year's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHV) grant application in a March 14 open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at its Clovis headquarters at 1600 Tollhouse Road.
-- Recreational groundfishing opens May 1 on the Central Coast and closes Dec. 31. New regulations allow anglers to retain shelf rockfish while fishing inside cowcod conservation areas in waters shallower than 20 fathoms.
-- Wildflowers are beginning to make their annual appearance at Death Valley National Park. The Furnace Creek Wash currently boasts the best colors.