Downtown Fresno, hemmed in by highways and lacking any large parks, isn’t glorious for running. However, if you’re staying in central Fresno and want to go for a decent run right out the door, the best bet for running is the residential streets in the Tower District and Fig Garden just north of downtown. Rather than mapping a specific route, here’s a guide to the best areas for running in central Fresno, which can be stitched together in various ways:
- Downtown: Combine a route downtown incorporating the Fulton St. pedestrian mall and Courthouse Park. Then run on E. Huntington Blvd. east of Highway 41, which has a nice canopy and a grassy median for 1.5 miles east to Roosevelt High School.
- Tower District. Just north of downtown, the Tower District is also known for its early twentieth century homes, many of which have been restored in recent decades. Be sure to run by the historic Tower Theater, corner of Olive & Wishon.
- Fig Garden. From Fresno High School, Van Ness is a wide, graceful boulevard for 1 mile north up to W. Shields Ave. North of Shields, the Fig Garden district has quiet, shaded residential streets for running with nice homes. It’s 2.5 miles from Shields to W. Shaw Ave. (Whole Foods). Overall it’s 4.5 miles from downtown to W. Shaw Ave.