The heart of Chico is arguably Bidwell Park. This park is named for the town’s founders, Annie and John Bidwell, who subsequently bequeathed this land to the city at the start of the 20th Century. Today this park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country, spans over 3,618 acres and stretches over 11 miles. The park had two distinct areas, Upper and Lower Park. The Lower Park is more developed, housing paved roads, sports facilities, playgrounds, etc. The Upper Park is less manicured and more “wild” making it popular for hiking, mountain biking and trail riding.
Bidwell Park features a The Chico Creek Nature Center, several playgrounds including a Children’s Park, a public golf course, swimming pools, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and picnic areas, just to name a few of the amenities. The extensive trails that stretch from the Lower Park up into the Chico Creek Canyon that defines much of the Upper Park is popular for hiking, horseback riding and biking. Skaters and joggers often frequent the paved roads in the Lower Park.
Chico Creek runs down from the canyon and through the whole of the park. In Upper Park many find natural water holes, while the less adventurous chose to take a dip in the “Five Mile” or “One Mile” areas that are dammed off in the summer months to create public swimming pools. And a brave some even challenge the chilly waters of the One Mile annually on New Years Day with a polar bear swim. If you’re into nature this is one Chico gem not to be missed.
Phone: (530)895-4972Website: http://www.bidwellpark.org/