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Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park

The Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park is a 241-acre nature park in the community of Ahwahnee on Highway 49 in Madera County. It serves as a natural oak habitat resource for recreation and education for Madera County and the surrounding counties.

The park land is owned by Madera County, but the day-to-day operation, maintenance, and improvements are the responsibility of the Friends of Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, a non-profit organization formed for this purpose. The Friends is an all-volunteer group that solicits your donation of time or money to help this park provide its many benefits to the public in the future.

Entrance to the park is free for individuals, but a fee is required to reserve space or conduct events. When staffing levels permit, the park will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. until dusk Wednesday through Sunday, with pedestrian access Mondays and Tuesdays via the Wasuma gate. A park host will be in residence or volunteer docents will be on duty at most times when the park is open to the public.

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Ahwahnee Hills Park FAQ


When will the park open to the public?

The park opened on a limited basis on March 15, 2014. Equestrian access remains unavailable until grading work on the equestrian parking area can be completed.

What are the park's operating hours?

8 a.m. until dusk, Wednesday through Sunday. In addition, pedestrians can enter the park Mondays and Tuesdays via the south gate (adjacent to Wasuma Elementary School).

Is there a fee to enter the park?

Entrance is free for individuals, but there are fees to reserve areas of the park for special events. See the reservations page for details.

Where is the park?

The park is located in the Sierra foothills of central California along Highway 49. It's at the north end of Ahwahnee next to Wasuma Elementary School, roughly 5 miles northwest of Oakhurst, 20 miles southeast of Mariposa, and 22 miles outside Yosemite's south entrance. See the map page for more details.

What's in the park?

More than 200 acres of oak woodland; a 15-acre lake; 5 miles of walking/hiking trails (1 mile wheelchair-accessible) and 2 miles of equestrian trail; picnic areas; restrooms; interpretive and study centers. See the activities page and the map page for more information.

How can I reserve areas of the park for private events?

See the reservations page.

What are the park policies on pets, horses, bicycles, and skateboards?

  • No pets, other than dogs, are permitted in the park. Dogs must be kept leashed at all times, and owners are requested to clean up and remove solid waste.
  • Horse travel is limited to the marked equestrian trails.
  • Bicycle and skateboard use are not allowed in the park.

Are fishing, boating, or swimming allowed in the lake?

Boats and swimming are not allowed. Fishing is temporarily prohibited due to drought conditions. Parking at the lake (with an exception for handicapped guests) is prohibited; guests must park in the main parking area.

What kinds of wildlife and plants can be found in the park?

Hundreds of species are native to the area; see the flora & fauna page for details.

What areas of the park are wheelchair accessible?

The Interpretive and Oak Acorn Centers are AMA compliant. The walking trail is unpaved, but much of it is hardened and should be navigable by wheelchairs.

How can I help keep the park open and running?

There are lots of ways to help the park; see the volunteering page for details.

How can I contact park officials?

See the contact page for various ways to reach us. In case of emergency, first call the Park Host at 559-676-2728.