Category Archives: Recreation

Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

Leave a comment’s Getaways names the Yuba River in Nevada County as “Northern California’s best secret swimming spot.” Of course, we knew that all along!

“Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

“18 August 2015

“Who doesn’t love a good secret swim spot? There’s something extra magical about it: the cool, fresh water, the peace and quiet of the woods, the bubbling waterfalls and smooth pools… plus you don’t have to worry about getting splashed by pesky kids hopped up on sugary Popsicles doing cannonballs into the deep end. It’s how nature intended swimming to be: relaxing and refreshing. You can find them hidden in forests and parks all across America, and one of the country’s coolest is located in South Yuba River State Park.

“Of course, like most good hidden swimming holes, you’ll have to do a little work to get there, but the hike through the river is worth it– and kind of fun in its own right. The stream is strewn with boulders that make the hike an exciting challenge. These boulders and rocks are what make the swimming holes as well. Even though the park is a local favorite, especially as the dog days of summer hit, there are so many secluded spots, nooks, crannies, and coves, that you’ll feel like you discovered the place yourself!

“A few tips for hiking up the river: The best time is summer and early fall– the water will be really high and running very fast in the spring and early summer, making the hike more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes. You’re going to be trekking through the river and up, down, over, under, and around rocks, and the right footwear can help make the hike more pleasant. You’ll also want to pack water, snacks, and sunblock, since there’s not a ton of shade along the river. And if you’re bringing a picnic, a camera, or anything else you need to keep dry, make sure to bring a waterproof bag. Also, pack as light as possible! You might find yourself regretting bringing along a huge cooler halfway through the hike. And remember to leave yourself plenty of time to hike to a good location, relax a bit, and hike back.

To see more photos and read the full article, click here.

(Source: Anna Hider,; Photos: Suzanne LaGasa/Flickr, Rick Cooper/Flickr)

Nevada County ranks #28 of 3,111 counties nationally

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The Washington Post published an article that ranks every county in America by scenery and climate, and Nevada County ranked #28 out of the 3,111 counties.

“Nevada County, CA: This county has extremely high natural amenities. Rank: 28 out of 3,111 counties.

“In the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate,” the article said. “The ‘natural amenities index’ is intended as ‘a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.’

“The index combines ‘six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.’ Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

“These ‘natural aspects of attractiveness,’ as the USDA describes them, are intended to be constant and relatively immutable. They’re not expected to change much over time, so the USDA hasn’t updated its data beyond the initial 1999 scoring. “Natural amenities pertain to the physical rather than the social or economic environment,” the USDA writes. Things like plants, animals or the human environment are excluded by definition.

“We can measure the basic ingredients, not how these ingredients have been shaped by nature and man.” I stumbled on these numbers after reading about a recent study linking natural amenities to religiosity. (U.S. counties with nicer weather and surroundings tend to have less religious residents.)

“I’ve mapped all the counties above according to where they rank on the natural amenities index — mouse over to check out how desirable (or not) your own county is.

“You’ll see that Sun Belt counties fare pretty well — especially ones in California and Colorado. In fact, every single one of the 10 highest-ranked counties is located in California. After Ventura County, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Del Norte counties round out the top five.”

To read the full article and view the maps, click here.

(Source: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post; Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

41st Truckee Pro Rodeo this coming weekend

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Join in on the fun and celebrate the 41st year of the Truckee Professional Rodeo on August 22 and 23, 2015 at McIver Arena in Truckee, California. Here’s this year’s schedule:

Kid’s Day at the Rodeo
Friday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon of fun and FREE rodeo themed activities! Kids can learn to rope, have stick horse races, take a pony ride, have a chance to brush a horse, learn about rodeo from our rodeo queens, watch a performance by the Truckee Donner Junior Horsemen Drill Team, and enjoy a free barbeque lunch courtesy of the Truckee Donner Junior Horsemen Association. You can learn more about the Junior Horsemen and what they do here!

Team Penning and Dinner
Friday, August 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Come join us for dinner and watch some team penning! The event is free to attend and dinner tickets are $20. Rodeo sponsors receive free dinner tickets based on their sponsorship level, but are welcome to purchase additional tickets for family and friends. The dinner is also open to the public, so if you would like to watch some team penning as you enjoy a delicious dinner please come by! Dinner will be catered by a local restaurant (TBA) and tickets can be purchased at the gate. It is sure to be a great time with great food! If you would like to participate by riding in a team in team penning, please contact us at (530) 205-6275 or to express your interest. Teams are 3 people, cost is $60 per team.

Rodeo Performance
Saturday, August 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. (gates open at 3 p.m.)

In addition to the traditional rodeo events, we will also have a “boot race” for the kids, mutton bustin’, calf dressing, and a specialty act! You won’ want to miss out on the fun! We ask that you please refrain from bringing coolers into the rodeo venue, we will have libations and food available for purchase.

Rodeo Performance
Sunday, August 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.)

This will be our second rodeo performance, it will also feature the “boot race”, muton bustin’, calf dressing, and our specialty act. It is sure to be just as fun! We ask that you please refrain from bringing coolers into the rodeo venue, we will have libations and food available for purchase.

2015 Ticket Information:

Discounted presale tickets can be purchased online here or at several businesses in Truckee. Premier seating is $45; general admission is $12 for Adult, $7 for Kids 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under.

Tickets purchased at the gate are $50 for premiere seating (space limited); $15 for Adult, $11 for Students (ID required), $10 for Kids 6-12; and free for kids 5 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

- Truckee Pro Rodeo Association

(Photo: Truckee Pro Rodeo Association)

New video of the 2015 Nevada County Fair

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The Nevada County Fair continues through this Sunday. Watch a video from this year’s fair, here:

(Video: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Video of the Nevada County Fair

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The 2015 Nevada County Fair begins tomorrow! Check out this cool video courtesy of

Hiking trails in Nevada County CA

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Nevada County is ranked #47 in the nation for America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities, and ranked #6 for California’s best counties in outdoor activities, according to a 2015 survey by Niche. We have hiking trails for all levels of abilities and interests.

Choose your trail from more than 50 trails listed on our updated Hiking page, including Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Condon Park Trails, and Penn Valley Bike Trail. Grab your hiking boots and check them out!

The Bear Yuba Land Trust is also a great resource for all things hiking including photos from all of their listed trails.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine)

2015 Nevada County Fair discount tickets available now

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Tickets for the 2015 Nevada County Fair are on sale now. Purchase your admission, carnival tickets, and arena event tickets before the Fair begins and save money! Fair Office to extend its hours and be open the weekend before the Fair for discounted tickets!

The Fair Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be open specifically for ticket sales on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. You can also save time by purchasing your Fair tickets online at

Buy your admission tickets before August 11 at 5 p.m. and get an admission ticket for $6. Or, purchase a “Be a Kid Again” adult admission ticket for Thursday of the Fair for only $4. You can also take advantage of other pre-sale offers, including a five-day Fair pass with unlimited entry for $30; an event parking pass for $25; or a carnival ride bracelet, good for unlimited rides for any one day, for $23.

Now is the time to also purchase your arena event tickets – including tickets to this year’s Destruction Derby, hosted by Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs! Tickets are now on sale for the Flying U Extreme Rodeo on Wednesday and Thursday night; Monster Trucks and Tuff Trucks on Friday and Saturday night; and Rotary’s Destruction Derby on Sunday night.

There are several ways to get your Fair tickets early. Purchase them on-line at or stop by the Fair Office on McCourtney Road by Tuesday, August 11, at 5 p.m. Or you can call the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217 by August 10 at 5 p.m. The Fair Office at Gate 1 is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will also be open on Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

After August 11, admission for the Fair is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children
6-12, and free to children under the age of 5.

This year’s “Catch the Fair Bug!” Nevada County Fair is August 12 – 16. The Fair’s Office is located on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. The phone number is (530) 273-6217 and the website is

- Nevada County Fair

Nevada County Fair planned for August 12-16, 2015

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The Nevada County Fairgrounds confirmed this week that the 2015 Nevada County Fair will continue as planned on August 12-16, 2015.

While the Fairgrounds are currently being used for a command post and fire camp, the Fair team is busy behind the scenes preparing for its biggest event of the year – the Nevada County Fair.

“There have been rumors of the Fair’s cancellation, but that was never part of our plan,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “While we are happy to be able to assist our community and provide a place of rest for our heroic firefighters, we are still busy preparing for this year’s Fair, which opens in less than two weeks.”

To date, the Fair has received more than 7,000 entries for community exhibits, discounted tickets are being sold, and entries for special contests are being accepted.

Additionally, the Fair confirmed that Community Involvement Day – a day to donate items to non-profit organizations, while also receiving free tickets to the Fair – will take place in the Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3. This year, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is teaming up with the Food Bank of Nevada County, Foothill Lions, Story Club, Nevada County 2-1-1, Sierra Harvest, NEO, and BloodSource for Community Involvement Day. These organizations will be set-up at the Fairgrounds Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3, from 1 to 6 p.m., to receive donations of items.

“The fire camp will still be on the grounds during Community Involvement Day, but we’re ready to host the event, which will cause little disruption to the fire camp,” said Callender.

While the Fair will take place as planned in two weeks, the grounds are currently closed to pedestrians and bicyclists; and RV camping is limited. The Fairgrounds will notify the community when these services are open again to the public.

The Main Office will continue to sell advanced sale Fair tickets, and continues to be open during normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

“On August 12, we will be ready to open our gates to the community and welcome them to the 2015 Nevada County Fair,” said Callender. “At that time, we’ll also take the time to celebrate our community and thank our firefighters for their efforts in keeping us all safe.

For information about the Nevada County Fair, August 12-16, call 530-273-6217 or visit

- Nevada County Fairgrounds

(Photo: Kial James)

Blue Moon Trek for Families

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The Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) invites families to spend an evening at Burton Homestead to watch the rising of the Blue Moon.

Blue Moon Trek for Families will be held from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 31 at Burton Homestead, Lake Vera Drive. The event is part of BYLT’s ongoing Encounter Nature programming.

During the Blue Moon Trek, families will hear stories and sing songs, learn about blue moons, take a short 20 minute moonlight hike, and lie under the stars under a magical Nevada City night. The event is open to families and children of all ages.

“My passion is for kids to encounter nature. My favorite season is summer because of the late nights and warm air. Come join us for an event that only happens once every three years. Come learn why we have the saying, ‘once in a blue moon.’ Spend time with your family and explore the magic of Burton Homestead as we look to the sky as it slowly changes colors and await the arrival of the blue moon,” said Christy McCracken, BYLT’s Youth Programs Manager.

Bring flashlights, blankets for sitting on and a light sweatshirt. Cost is $20 per family. Register at

A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon.

BYLT is a community-supported nonprofit organization now in its 25th year that has worked to permanently protect 9,000 acres, build and maintain more than 35 miles of trail and provide nature programming that gets people of all ages outdoors.

- Bear Yuba Land Trust

Video of hiking the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail in three minutes

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This video shows the entirety of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike from the US/Mexico border to the US/Canada border across 2,660 mi / 4,200 km through California, Oregon, and Washington. More information about the Pacific Crest Trail is HERE.

(Video:; Source: