South Yuba River State Park at Bridgeport
Visitor Center is located at 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd., Penn Valley
Dedicated park professionals, docents and volunteers acting as park interpreters offer a variety of recreational activities; wildflower walks, hiking and biking trails, swimming, fishing bird watching, gold panning and more. The Visitors Center is rich with both cultural and natural history exhibits. The covered bridge built in 1862, at 251 feet, is the longest single span covered bridge in the United States. The newly refurbished historic barn is home to several conserved wagons that, along with interpretive panels, that tell the story of transportation during the gold rush era. Enjoy “living history” programs such as the “Ghosts of Bridgeport,” that tell the full story of the exciting history of the area.
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
23579 North Bloomfield Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
Created in 1965, Malakoff Diggins preserves the exciting and controversial story of hydraulic gold mining during the California Gold Rush. The park is the site of California’s largest “hydraulic” mining site. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the gold mining technique of washing away entire mountains to find the precious metal. The park also contains a 7,847-foot bedrock tunnel that served as a drain. The visitor center has exhibits on life in the old mining town of North Bloomfield. Enjoy the hiking trails and panoramic views.Guided Town Tours are offered. Refer to the website for park schedule.
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 East Empire St., Grass Valley, CA 95945
The Empire Mine was the richest hard rock mine in the State of California, producing 5.8 million ounces of gold in its operating history of 106 years (1850-1956). The Park is noted for its historical tours of the Bourn Cottage, the mine yard and “living history” events. In addition, the Park museum has a scale model of the underground workings of the Empire/Star mine complex, a “gold room” which displays ore samples from local mines, an Assay Office and an extensive mineral collection. Each year a Springtime Open House is held on Mother’s Day Weekend, featuring “living history” programs, food service and entertainment. Stroll the lovely 13-acre grounds, considered a showplace in the mining world. Wedding & events facilities are available by reservation.
Donner Memorial State Park
12593 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161
(530) 582-7892 Reservations: (800) 444-7275
Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking. In winter, visitors can cross country ski and snowshoe on trails and enjoy the season’s beauty. The park encompasses Scallenberger Ridge to the south of Donner Lake. In and around the park you can see some of the Sierra Nevada’s geologic history. Visitors are welcome year round at the Emigrant Trail Museum and the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who immigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800’s.