Get you hike on at low cost with minimal driving with the Turlock Lake State Recreation Area. The hiking area is only about an hour and a half drive from Fresno. This hiking area is great for camping, fishing, swimming, water skiing, boating, and even picking wild berries. The hiking area has short half-mile loops and also longer areas.
There is amazing area that is about a mile squared around the hiking trail with lots of blackberries and grapes. The berries are right near the river edge which makes for amazing hiking. The area also has some historical areas to enjoy. The hiking trails take you by an area where there was gold panning and dredging. There are some remnants of the structures. There are also some amazing older building remnants to enjoy too.
You may want to bring some trimmers or a walking stick because there are several areas of the path that have little to no maintenance. The result is that the area can be tough to navigate especially when there are overgrown thorny berry bushes.
If you drive north on highway 99 you can reach the hiking trail area by then driving east on Highway 132 which is also known as Yosemite Blvd. T=You will continue driving 21 miles to Camp Road prior to going right across a beautiful old bridge. After you cross the bridge you turn left onto Lake Road that take you into the Turlock Lake State Recreation Area. The hiking trailheads begin around the campground. One of the easiest ways to access the trails is to park near the entrance and then walk to the campgrounds. The trailhead I like the most states behind Campsite 6. Make sure to watch for trailheads because the hiking trails are either not well marked or not marked at all. It is advisable to bring trail markers to help you avoid getting lost. Additionally bring long pants to help avoid scratches on the legs and bugs since both are very prevalent on the hiking trail.