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Merced County blossom trails

The Issue

Merced County is looking for ways to increase visitors and promote the area as a great place to visit, live and do business. Agriculture would benefit from a positive image among the urban population. Many of the most beautiful parts of the county are visible only when you travel far off the main roads.

What Has ANR Done?

Farm advisor Maxwell Norton developed four "blossom trails" that feature agriculture at its best and show off some the of scenic portions of Merced County. Two almond blossom, one peach blossom and one almond/dried plum blossom route were developed. During blossom time, the trails are posted on the front page of the UC Cooperative Extension website and the tourism center website. The rest of the year they are available on a web page featuring tourism development resources that was created to assist locals who are interested in developing visitor-oriented businesses.

The Payoff

Visitors are drawn to the road less travelled

Every year, many people download the maps and descriptions. The trails have cast Merced County and its agriculture in a positive light. Visitors and locals have learned that the county has some very scenic areas if they take the time to visit them. In just March 2011, the visitor center had 400 downloads of the maps. For spring 2011, the UCCE sites had 448 downloads.

Clientele Testimonial

"Thanks to the work done by Maxwell Norton in creating the blossom trail for the Los Banos area, we were able to take that map and create a brochure that is easy to use for people who stop by the chamber office looking to explore the area. We are hoping to take this map and ultimately create an annual blossom celebration that will highlight agritourism in our area."

- Rhonda Lowe, Los Banos Chamber of Commerce


Supporting Unit: Merced County

Maxwell Norton, (209) 385-7403, mnorton@ucdavis.edu