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Lower Bidwell Park, Chico

(4.6/5 based on 360+ reviews on the web)
Bidwell Park is a municipal park located in Chico, California. The park was established July 10, 1905, through the donation by Annie Bidwell (widow of Chico's founder, John Bidwell) of approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2) of land to the City of Chico. Since that time, the City has purchased additional land, such as Cedar Grove in 1922, and 1,200 acres (5 km2) of land south of Big Chico Creek in upper Bidwell Park in 1995. Today, the total Park size is 3,670 acres (15 km2), nearly 11 miles (18 km) in length, making it the third largest municipal park in California and one of the 25 largest city parks in the United States.Bidwell Park is "divided" by Manzanita Avenue. The area west of Manzanita Avenue is referred to as Lower Park and the area to the east is referred to as Middle and Upper Park. Middle Park extends from Manzanita to a point roughly equal to the upstream edge of the Chico Municipal Golf Course. The noticeable difference between Upper/Middle and Lower Park is the terrain. Upper Park is located in the foothills of the southernmost Cascades. It has steep terrain and shallow soils, and contains many rock formations, including the unique Chico Formation sandstone and Lovejoy Basalt rocks. Lower Park is flat and level with a deep soil structure supporting a thick canopy of trees which provide ample shade for the visitor. Special rules also apply in the Upper Park and the road is unpaved for much of its length.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Bidwell Park has something for everyone... a great swimming area, many miles of trails for walking or bicycling, and areas that can accommodate groups.  more »
  • This is actually a series of parks. I run/walk there several times a week year round. It never ceases to amaze me with it's ever changing beauty. Something for everyone here.  more »
  • We came up to check out Chico State and the surrounding area. What a beautiful Park for all ages! There were dogs and flowers everywhere!  more »
Google
  • You can swim, though beware the bottom. It's very slick and most the time I don't want to think what I'm stepping on. However, in the super hot summer this is quite the place to cool off, and is safer than other watering holes as they have lifeguards. Good spot for a family with kids.
  • A very enchanting and unique park, which includes a pool/swimming area that is fed by a natural, year round creek. An added perk of Bidwell Park is the park snack bar. I was quite surprised at the variety of menu choices, i.e. hamburgers, sandwiches, polish dogs, ice cream, etc. as well as hot/iced/blended coffee' drinks. There is a very welcoming feel to Bidwell Park and I can honestly say, it is unlike any other park that I have been to.
  • Nice outing place. Good park. You can have a swim too.
  • Beautiful hikes and area. Good for running and walking or just resting and enjoying the day
  • I absolutely love this park. Beautiful scenery and wonderful weather.