Bidwell Park: Lower, Upper, Middle…is there even a middle?

Written by Cathy Fung

The technical terms for  Five Mile Recreation Center are debatable. It is overall an extensive park with plenty of activities available to keep you active with enough space to make your excursions nearly endless. Currently, the total park size is 3,670 acres ( nearly 11 miles in length), making it the third largest municipal park in California.

Lower Bidwell is located on the side of downtown, giving people the option to go back and forth from small town excitement to being amongst the trees, the greenery and nature breeze.

In the entire plot of Bidbidwell-parkwell, there are multiple swimming holes, it may be too cold to take a swim during the fall and winter but the scenery will not cease to amaze you. There are swimming holes in Upper Bidwell, Five Mile Recreation Area, and the well-known pool at One Mile Recreation area. Word on the street is the pool gets cleaned every Wednesday. Taking a dip during the weekend eve will not leave you feeling swampy.

A bike ride along the trail can lead you to see the beautiful colors of the trees. During the fall is a great time, to notice the transition in color. If you just want a place to journal or sit and breath the crisp air, there are single tables by along side of the trail for just for people do to that or have a picnic and listen to the sound of the Chico creek as the water is running. It is possible to ride a straight through trail from One Mile all the way to Five Mile recreation area.

Lower Bidwell also has a fire pit area for larger groups and gatherings, almost like camping, (but with the convenience of being in town, and still get to enjoy making s’mores and feeling toasty by a fire).

The community puts on many events all year long at one mile recreation. When visiting on a good weekend, you might be able to check out an event. During the summer nights on Saturdays, all ages can come and enjoy a free movie under the stars.

picnic-benchCaper Acres is a fun place for kids. Not only is it a playground, it is an entire play area safely devoted for children. Rules of the park made the play area for children under 12 and require children to be assisted, making it safe for children to roam free. There are swings, multiple slides, sand, and intricately designed playgrounds.

For those into more extraneous activities Upper Bidwell will satisfy that desire. Often many go mountain biking through their rocky trail or hike up “Monkey Face” and other hills. The Chico Community Observatory (also known as the Anita Ingrao Observatory), just a short drive past 5 Mile off the left side of the road. The observatory is a stellar way to light a visit by stargazing and it’s free.


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About the author

Cathy Fung

Cathy Fung is an international relations enthusiast who enjoys food and adventure. Some of her interests are hiking and going to swimming hole or just exploring different towns. Currently, she's a lifestyles journalist for DayTripper Magazine, just trying to figure out life in between coffee and chaos.

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