Woodward Park got its name from Ralph Woodward, a long-time Fresno resident, who donated a large piece of his estate to the City of Fresno in 1968. His generous gift was intended for the City of Fresno to develop a bird sanctuary and a regional park. Starting with 235 acres, the area now consists of over 300 acres and is the largest regional park in California’s Central Valley. Before 1970, the area mostly consisted of rural residential developments, orchards, and farms.

The Woodward Park neighborhood is located on the northern edge of Fresno. The area has turned into a thriving residential community with recreational facilities, parks, trails, restaurants, schools, and various commercial spaces. It also has vast open spaces where Fresnans can bike, jog or just relax and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

The unique homes of Woodward Park 

Woodward Park has a variety of housing types, including single-family, apartments, planned developments, and large estates. The homes are interspersed with various commercial properties, making it a convenient place to live because of its easy access to shopping and amenities. 

Many of the homes in the community are single-family homes, however, condominiums and apartments constitute approximately 35% percent of the housing units in the neighborhood. Many of the apartments are upscale and concentrated close to various restaurants, gyms and shopping centers.

What do locals love about Woodward Park?

Residents of Woodward Park rave about the proximity they have to the largest regional park in the area, also called Woodward Park. 

Many people enjoy visiting the Shinzen Japanese Garden within the park. It is a serene environment that changes in scenery throughout Fresno’s four seasons. The Japanese apricot and plum trees blossom during spring. During autumn, the maple leaves display a brilliant red color. The garden also has a beautiful teahouse that is made of Japanese cedar. It also has beautiful spots for visitors to relax and enjoy its zen nature, including the Double Moon Bridge made of intricate stone, which overlooks a large pond full of magnificent koi.

Many locals also flock to Woodward Park for various outdoor performances and concerts at the Rotary Amphitheater, an open-air venue with lawn areas and covered seating. The theater hosts an eclectic lineup of performances that is sure to reach every interest in the community. 

If you are into biking, riders in Woodward Park love navigating the terrain. Mountain bikers of all skill levels like challenging themselves with its numerous jumps, hills and trails. For those looking for a more mellow activity, many people like playing disc golf at the Woodward Park Legacy Disc Golf Course. The area also has 5,000 and 10,000 meter cross-country courses. 

When locals really want to relax, you can find them lounging around the park with family and friends. It is a popular place to enjoy barbecues and picnics. The trails found in Woodward Park are connected with the San Joaquin River and the Lewis S. Eaton trail system, which is a fun way to spend a day. Woodward Park also has a fairly large dog park for those furry friends!

Key highlights

  • The Woodward Park neighborhood occupies approximately 8,290 acres of land
  • The community surrounds Woodward Park, which provides residents and visitors with a beautiful, natural environment to enjoy all year around
  • The park sits on 300 acres of land, including forested areas, ponds, trails, and a large lake
  • The trails in the park connect with the San Joaquin River and the Lewis S. Eaton trail system
  • The neighborhood has different types of housing units, including single-family homes, planned developments, large estates, apartments and condominiums
  • Has an intimate Rotary amphitheater with a capacity of 3,500
  • The Shinzen Garden has a rich natural beauty that consists of beautiful sculptures, bonsai and a koi pond
  • The neighborhood is easily accessible via Highway 41

Things to do in Woodward Park

Woodward Park is an urban oasis that promotes a well-balanced life. You can quickly escape into nature, be active and, most importantly, have fun. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Woodward Park:

Enjoy the great trails

Woodward Park has more than 22 miles of trails with amazing scenery. You can hop on your bike and enjoy a cruise through the area or a walk amongst the many trails. The trails in the area are safe for the entire family to take a stroll and take in the scenery.

The Shinzen Garden 

The Shinzen Garden is absolutely beautiful! It’s home to various sculptures and bonsai, creating a unique zen vibe. You can experience the serenity of the garden, complete with a large koi pond and the peaceful sound of water flowing over rocks. It is a favorite escape for many people in the Woodward Park community and throughout Fresno.

The Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater

The Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater is an open-air venue with a seating capacity of 3,500. It hosts an eclectic mix of performances, making sure locals are entertained all year long. The performances sometimes include Latin, jazz, country and even orchestras. 

Woodward Shakespeare Festival

Every summer, the Woodward Shakespeare Festival hosts theater performances in Woodward Park. This event typically runs from June through September. The performances range from classical works to Shakespearean plays. During the spring, the local library partners with the Shakespeare Festival to enlighten the community about the history and beauty of Shakespeare through performances, discussions, and readings.

The Woodward Park Regional Library

Designed by famed local architect, Arthur Dyson, this breathtaking library is a great place to get away and immerse yourself in literature, especially during those Fresno summer days. The space is something you must see for yourself, with its large open foyer and natural lighting – it’s definitely not your typical library!

Bird watching

If you’re an avid bird watcher, Woodward Park is a great place to view various types of  bird species that congregate by the lake and river. It’s no wonder why Ralph Woodward donated this land to create a bird sanctuary!


Elementary schools

Woodward Park has access to sixteen public and private elementary schools. The most popular elementary school is Maple Elementary School, rated as the best school regarding student academic performance, college readiness, and student communication skills. Other elementary schools include Lincoln Elementary School, Mountain View Elementary School, and Valley Oak Elementary School.

Middle schools

There are eight middle schools close to the community. Most of them are top-rated, with quite outstanding student achievements. The most popular middle school is Granite Ridge Intermediate School, which has a 98% transition rate of its students to high school. Other top middle schools include Kastner Intermediate School, Tenaya Middle School, and Ahwahnee Middle School.

High schools

High Schools in the Woodward Park region are plentiful. Many are not only great academics, but also in sports, and the arts. Many of the high schools in the area have won various awards. The most popular high school for residents of Woodward Park is Clovis North High School. It is a top-rated school due to its 99% transition rate of students into colleges and universities. Clovis North has received several awards for maintaining consistency in academic performance. The other top high schools in Woodward Park are Clovis West High School, Herbert Hoover High, and Buchanan High.

Neighborhood safety

Woodward Park is one of the safest areas in Fresno. It has a very low crime rate compared to many of its surrounding neighborhoods. The residents understand the importance of safety and look out for each other. Because the area has one of the lowest crime rates in Fresno, the median property value of a home in Woodward Park can be quite expensive compared to surrounding neighborhoods.

Why Woodward Park?

If you are looking for a quiet urban oasis with options for outdoor activities, Woodward Park is a great option. It is the safest neighborhood in Fresno and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The opportunity to live in a neighborhood close to the largest regional park in Fresno allows for a peaceful, yet active lifestyle. 

If you are interested in exploring homes in Woodward park, get in touch with our agents at The Dehlan Group today – we’d love to show you around!