Category Archives: Recreation

Nevada County, Grass Valley and Truckee named among “America’s best” in new analysis

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Nevada County is ranked one of America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities in America, according to a new analysis by

Placer County ranked #36, Nevada County ranked #47 and El Dorado ranked #49 in the nation, according to Pittsburgh-based Niche, which runs a ranking and review site. The methodology for the rankings, which also include cities, towns and neighborhoods, is here.

In California, Placer County ranked #3, Nevada County ranked #6 and El Dorado County ranked #7 in outdoor activities. Calaveras County ranked #1.

The 2015 Niche rankings “takes into account key indicators of a location’s environment and surroundings, including air quality, local weather, and access to natural amenities and outdoor recreation, in an attempt to measure an area’s quality of and access to the outdoors,” according to the website.

In addition, these locales in our region ranked in the top 100 as the nation’s best places for outdoor activities: Auburn (#40), North Auburn (#42) Grass Valley (#54), Lake Wildwood near Grass Valley (#62), Alta Sierra near Grass Valley (#80), South Lake Tahoe (#48), Placerville (#30) and Pollock Pines (#41).

In California our local towns ranked high for outdoor activities: Placerville was #2, Lake Tahoe was #7, Auburn was #9 and Grass Valley was #18.

Our region also showed up on the “best towns in America list.” Truckee ranked #65 and Placerville ranked #95.

In California, Truckee ranked #23, Placerville ranked #27, Auburn ranked #29, South Lake Tahoe ranked #33 and Grass Valley ranked #39. Palo Alto was ranked the best town in America.

Our local towns generally received higher marks for things to do, outdoor activities, commute and weather (mostly “A’s”) and lower grades for housing and jobs (“C” or lower). The countywide results were similar but often more negative on the housing and jobs front.

Grass Valley ranked #98 on the “American Towns with the Most Things to Do” list. It received a low ranking on the “millennial newcomers” list, just 1.1 percent.

A place is defined as being located within a Census-defined urbanized cluster or a principal city for an urbanized area with a population greater than or equal to 5,000 and less than 100,000.

Nevada City’s population is less than 5,000, so it was not part of the analysis.

(Photo: John Daly)

Scott’s Flat Lake named among California’s top 10 paddle boarding spots

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Scotts Flat Lake near Nevada City is among California’s top 10 paddle boarding spots, according to Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) magazine.

“California is a waterman or woman’s paradise with paddling opportunities abound,” the magazine writes. “Whether your calling is the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean or one of the Golden State’s breathtaking lakes or rivers, waterways of the West Coast among the most pristine on earth. In this state of limitless paddling options, deciding where to set out may be overwhelming. To help you with that decision, we narrowed down this list of California’s Top-10 SUP spots.”

Scott’s Flat Lake

“Here’s a lake most paddler’s have never even heard of. A small camping resort affords an easy weekend, week, or month long trip. The flat and clear water is surrounded by gorgeous forestry and blue skies. The resort doesn’t rent paddle equipment, so make sure to gear up prior, either with the easily transportable inflatable boards, or if your vehicle has racks, strap in and head out to this amazing destination.”

(Source: Annie Maze,; photo: NorCal Stand Up Paddle Facebook)

What’s New in Nevada County, CA June through September 2015

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Bear Yuba Land Trust
Celebration of Trails Day
National Forest Headquarters
Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959
May 30, 2015
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Free

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust and area trail enthusiasts for a community Celebration of Trails on Saturday, May 30. It’s the one day of the year all of your favorite trail supporters and outdoor recreation groups will come together to bring the community everything they want to know about trail related topics – a one stop resource for gear, maps, flora and fauna, and more. We’ll start the day with a lineup of morning outings: a beginner, moderate and intermediate trek; a family bike ride and a run then follow up with a trails day fair and celebration in the afternoon. Stop by the Tahoe National Forest headquarters on Coyote Street in Nevada City for a fun afternoon of family activities, food, beverages, live music and more. This is a free event and a great opportunity to get familiar with all the local trails and trail groups in our region. Learn more here. (Photo: Hank Meals)

North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center presents
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a sixty-five member company of musicians and dancers based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in the performing arts of Bali, Indonesia, returns to the lovely outdoor amphitheater at North Columbia School House Cultural Center, nestled in the San Juan Valley just 20 minutes from Nevada City. Led by master artists I Made Arnawa and Emiko Saraswati Susilo, Sekar Jaya’s performance will include traditional and newly created works on three distinct gamelan ensembles: the vibrant five-tone gong kebyar; the sweetly shimmering four-tone gamelan angklung; and the delicate and virtuosic gendér wayang quartet. They will be joined by Sekar Jaya’s Balinese dance ensemble. The audience is welcomed to sit on a blanket, or move freely to take in the performance from multiple perspectives, and enjoy the complex interlocking rhythms and virtuosic ensemble sensibility of Balinese music and dance. Learn more here.

40th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 18-21, 2015

Four days of family fun – jamming, workshops, children’s programs, Luthier’s Pavilion, Kids on Bluegrass, and camping on site. It’s the best in Bluegrass and Old Time Music on stage under the beautiful pine trees! Learn more here.

Music in the Mountains SummerFest
Nevada County Fairgrounds and other venues
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 24 – July 5, 2015

For its 34th season, Music in the Mountains brings contemporary and classical music together in a two-week celebration of community, art and music. This year’s programming includes, Randy Newman, Cirque de la Symphonie, Mozart’s Requiem, The Glory of Russian Ballet, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and the always popular “Happy Birthday, USA”! Learn more here.

SummerFest Arts Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 26 – June 28, 2015

In conjunction with Music in the Mountains SummerFest, over 30 visual artists will be showing and selling their art Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 26-28 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. A Randy Newman concert and art stroll opens the festival on Friday evening. Saturday includes the free Family Art Fair from 10 – 4, with free classes, workshops, demonstrations, musical entertainment, and even a fashion show by the always fascinating Haute Trash Ensemble. Saturday night features a spell-binding concert that includes the acrobatic artistry of Cirque de la Symphonie, as well as the opportunity to stroll the fine artwork in the booths. The art displays and demonstrations continue from 11 -3 on Sunday, and the Festival wraps up with an indoor matinee concert featuring the Mozart Requiem. Learn more here.

Nevada County AirFest
Nevada County Air Park
13083 John Bauer Ave., Grass Valley, CA 95945
Friday Evening and Saturday, July 10-11, 2015

Nevada County Air Park event features fly byes and displays of warbirds, jets, classic, air tankers and more. Friday Night Dinner Dance, pancake breakfast, airplane rides, classic cars, museum displays, kids activities and food galore. Admission $5; 10 and under FREE. Learn more here.

Rough & Ready Secession Days
Downtown Rough & Ready, CA 95975
Sunday, June 28, 2015
7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On April 7, 1850, the town of Rough and Ready, angered at the lack of law and order, and the passage of a new mining tax, voted to secede from the Union and form the Great Republic of Rough and Ready. The Republic lasted less than 3 months when, the story goes, Nevada City refused to sell the “foreign” miners liquor! The town gathered again and decided to re-join the Union…just in time for the 4th of July celebration. These days, Rough & Ready celebrate Secession Days on the last Sunday in June with food, fun and entertainment. The day starts with a Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for the Rough and Ready Volunteer Fire Department. Crafters and merchants ply their trades, our Town Blacksmith fires up the forge in the Blacksmith Shop, and the Fruit Jar Pickers play their special brand of music. The highlight of the day is the annual musical/melodrama “The Saga of Rough and Ready” performed live on stage. Rough and Ready souvenir sales, raffles, and more food and fun makes this a safe and enjoyable day for the whole family! Learn more here.

California WorldFest
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
July 16-19, 2015

The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world! Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Emisunshine, Makana, Birds of Chicago, and much more. Learn more here.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
July 17-19, 2015

Set among the towering pines, sloping lawn and our historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is celebrating its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals”, the festival brings a line-up of talented, nationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages. 2015 Tellers include Patrick Ball, Dovie Thomason, Rafe Martin Barbara McBride-Smith, Willy Clafin, Angela Lloyd, Izzi Tooinsky the Wild Man and other special guest. Our storytellers will entertain listeners of all ages with tales from around the world and close to home. Bring friends and family and picnic on the lawn, slow down, turn off the phone and soak in the stories of world-class tellers. Buy your tickets early, to make sure you get a seat at this world-renowned event. Learn more here.

Nevada County Fair
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
August 12-16, 2015

Join us for five days of excitement and fun for fair-goers of all ages. The Nevada County Fair is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals, and exhibits – at the most beautiful fairgrounds in California. This is affordable fun for the whole family! Learn more here.

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
September 24-27, 2015

Join the beautiful Draft Horses at the 2015 Draft Horse Classic. Majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” – it’s all part of the Annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. The Classic has grown to become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States, and features six majestic performances, along with non-stop entertainment in between classes. Learn more here.

Art at the Classic – Held during the four days of the Draft Horse Classic, this world-class equine and western art show features more than 100 works by painters, sculptors, photographers and other fine artists. Take time to browse the show, meet some of the artists and purchase beautiful works of original art, photography, cards and other items from the artists’ booths.

Events at California State Parks Located in Nevada County, CA

Bird Walks
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Saturday, June 6; Tuesday, July 7; Saturday, September 5

Over the two hour bird walk you might spot the Canyon Wren, American Dipper, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Bald Eagle, Phainopepla and more. Bring snacks, water, binoculars, a field guide and wear good shoes. FREE Admission to Park; $5 Parking Fee. Learn more here

Gold Panning Demonstrations
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday – (Memorial Day – Labor Day)
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Free

Docents will demonstrate how to pan for gold in our troughs, which are very likely to yield a bit of gold for most everyone. Practice in the troughs, and then try your hand in the river. Remember, only pans and hands allowed in the park. Learn more here

Humbug Day
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
23579 North Bloomfield Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, June 13, 2015
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

See the exciting and controversial hydraulic gold mining era of the 1870’s! Enjoy music, wagon rides, barbecue picnic, homemade ice cream, re-enactments, craft demonstrations, gold panning, candle making and tin punching, old fashioned family games and prizes, storytelling, living history tours of historic North Bloomfield, the world’s shortest parade and water blasting of the old hydraulic water cannon! Learn more here.

Garden Tours
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Every Saturday and Sunday – May through September, 2015
Tours begin at 11 a.m.; Park Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission (to Park) is $7 for adults 17 and over, $3 for children 6 – 16, Free for children under 6.

Combining history, color, and serenity, Empire Mine State Historic Park’s thirteen acres of landscaped grounds are a popular highlight, especially when the springtime gardens are in bloom. Designed in the early 1900s by famed architect Willis Polk, these magnificent estate gardens are among California’s oldest and most unusual. For the first time, Garden Tours will be offered on both Saturdays as well as Sundays for the public to enjoy. To celebrate the springtime displays, enthusiastic, knowledgeable docents will lead the Garden Tours on both Saturdays and Sundays from May through late September. Visitors may view the formal and informal gardens, the reflecting pools or even the grassy walks. Many specimens on the grounds are thought to have been gifts to the Bourn Family (Empire’s prosperous owners from 1869 to 1929) from their world-traveled friends. Benches provide plenty of places to sit, rest, and savor the surrounding beauty that transports visitors to another era. Tours last about 45 minutes, and will feature landscape trends of the early 1900s, as well as the Arts and crafts Movement that influenced landscape design. Visitors may also see the perennial gardens and permanent plantings both at Empire Cottage and the nearby Clubhouse. There is no extra charge for these tours, and everyone’s invited – including dogs on leashes. Roses are being propagated this year by docents, and will be for sale in the Gift Shop this autumn. Garden enthusiasts, artists and photographers are advised to bring their cameras. Learn more here.

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail Tours
Throughout Nevada County
May 16, July 17 and September 26, 2015
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy wine, food, music and more at three regional wine trail tours at Sierra Vintners wineries. Affordable tickets for all three start at $55 for wine club members; $65 general public. Individual day tickets are $25 for wine club members; $30 general public. Designated driver tickets are $10. Participating wineries are clustered by region reducing the drive time between each. Learn more here.
May 16, 2015
Avanguardia Wines, Bent Metal Winery, Coufos Cellars, Gray Pine Winery, Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery, Szabo Vineyards
July 18, 2015
Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard, Solune Winegrowers, Grant Eddie Winery
September 26
Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery, Vina Castallano Winery


The Center for the Arts presents

Alasdair Fraser’s 10th Annual Grand Fiddlers Rally
Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$23 members, $25 non-member, $10 children, 12 and under

Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp will celebrate the fiddle music of Scotland and the World in Grass Valley at Veterans Memorial Auditorium with their eighth annual Fiddle Camp concert. Over 200 musicians, singers and dancers ranging in age from 5 to 85 will join Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and the world-class faculty of camp instructors to celebrate with a week of intensive study and revelry. Renowned performer and master teacher of the rich fiddling tradition of Scotland, Alasdair Fraser inspires to higher and deeper levels of self-expression within an embracing community of listeners, learners and like-minded folk. The variety and expressivity of Alasdair’s playing is evident in his numerous recordings—from intimate fiddle/guitar duets, to a more contemporary interpretation of tradition, to high-energy original tunes with his Skyedance band. Learn more here.

Thursday Night Market and Free Summer Concerts
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Thursday Nights, June 18 – August 6, 2015
6 to 9 p.m.

The Grass Valley Thursday Night Market is a wonderful event that includes a certified Farmer’s Market, arts, crafts, food, and the ever-popular FREE Summer Concert Series. Learn more here.


First Friday Art Walk
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
First Fridays – May thru October 2015
5 to 9 p.m.

The First Friday Art Walk is a celebration of Nevada City’s diverse mix of galleries, artisan boutiques, retail shops, wine tasting rooms, restaurants, as well as our wonderfully artistic and creative community. Participating Downtown businesses will be open from 5pm to 9pm and many will host “receptions” with local artists, trunk shows, and/or performances. Many shops are also offering snacks and beverages as well as sales and specials only valid for the event. There will be live music and theatrical performances at various locations throughout the downtown area. In addition there will be a Youth Arts Showcase featuring Artists between the ages of 4-18 with some fantastic prizes donated by local businesses, as well as a “Kids Zone” on York Street with some fun activities and art projects for kids of all ages. Learn more here.

55th Annual Nevada City Bicycle Classic 2015
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Sunday, June 21, 2015
1 to 6:30 p.m.

The Nevada City Classic is one of the premiere sporting events in the Sierra foothills, the largest and oldest bike race on the West Coast, and the second-oldest race in the nation. Historic Nevada City is draped with flags and bunting and provides a colorful backdrop as cyclists whiz through the downtown area, spokes flashing and crowds cheering. Senior and professional riders representing top U.S. cycling teams are expected to race in the men’s 90-minute main event. Women’s, Junior’s and Master’s races also are planned. Action begins at 1 p.m. and is usually complete by about 6:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby
Pioneer Park
421 Nimrod St., Nevada City
Saturday, June 13, 2015
12 to 4 p.m.

The 5th annual Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby will be held on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 at Pioneer Park. Entered in either the Art or Speed category, teams will compete in head to head racing…or generally crazy feats of gravity powered fun! According to Rich Bodine, Chief Instigator for the race, “Art teams tend to win the crowd…while Speed teams win the race.” Every year the creativity and skill of the teams in both design and workmanship seems to improve, and with each year, our team of volunteers manages to pull off a fun-filled day for the entire family. Learn more here.

25th Annual Nevada City Summer Nights
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Wednesday Evening, July 15, 22 and 29, 2015
6 to 9:30 p.m.; FREE

During Summer Nights, Nevada City’s landmark historic district is closed to motorized traffic and filled with arts, crafts, classic cars, food, drink and music. Leading Sierra foothills musicians perform on outdoor stages throughout the downtown area. Summer Nights visitors can enjoy a meal at one of our many and varied restaurants, unwind with some live music or just relax with a leisurely stroll around our stores and the top class craftsmen selling their wares on the street. Kid Friendly Fun! Summer Nights is for everyone. There are bounce houses, face painting and more to make sure that kids will have a great time at this family affair. Special Additions! Broad Street will host a Farmer’s Market with fresh, local produce and a different Classic Car Show every week. Learn more here.

Nevada City Uncorked
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, August 29, 2015
1 to 4 p.m.

Nevada City Uncorked, a food and wine event that celebrates the agricultural bounty of Nevada County, is a walk-about-town style format that includes 20 different venues throughout downtown. Each venue, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, or winery tasting room, will include wine tasting and food sampling. This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh materials into signature dishes. The wineries, in addition to pouring their favorite wines, will be highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest. Learn more here.

Constitution Day Festivities
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
September 12 and 13, 2015
Learn more here.

Revolutionary War Days – Saturday September 12 and Sunday, September 13. The Delaware Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution will be offering living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets, music by the California Consolidated Drum Band, and colonial life living history. Flag raising to music and reading of the Declaration of Independence will be at 10am each day, and activities conclude at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.

Free Outdoor Concert in Downtown Nevada City – Saturday, September 12 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Nevada County Concert Band and Watsonville Community Band on Pine Street, Downtown Nevada City.

Nevada City’s 49th Annual Constitution Day Parade – Sunday, September 13 at 2 p.m. has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. The parade through the downtown historic district includes marching bands, floats, antique autos, equestrians, politicians and perennial crowd favorites such as the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band and the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, a humorous but reverent group that portrays each U.S. president. Learn more here.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
September 10-13, 2015

The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City, California. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screening, workshops, special performances, parties, and a live comedy show. On Sunday, the Mardi Gras Street Faire will be held on North Pine Street, in Historic Downtown Nevada City, from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be food, drink, crafts, and clothing. Learn more here.

Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959

Allah Las ~ “Sacred Sands”
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Doors Open at 8 p.m.; Music Begins at 9 p.m.
Tickets – $15/Advance; $20/Door

Allah Las features a sound cultivated from the annals of California culture; the perfect mixture of the sands, the seas, the streets, and the cities of the golden state. This is a standing / dancing concert. Los Angeles based garage rock quartet Allah Las is comprised of Miles Michaud, Pedrum Siadatian, Spencer Dunham, and Matthew Correia. Three of the four band members were working in the L.A. branch of the legendary record store Amoeba when the group formed in 2008, and they spent a great deal of time researching the garage and psychedelic sounds of the 60’s. The Allah Las sound combines the harmonies and pop hooks of the British invasion, the trippy atmosphere of West Coast psychedelic bands, and the raw swagger of countless American garage rockers. Learn more here.

Allen Stone
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Doors Open at 7 p.m.; Music Begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets – $22/Advance; $25/Door

Allen Stone exhibits an easy grace in blending everything from edgy-soul-pop and earth folk-rock to throwback R&B and Parliament-inspired funk. Like many of his own musical heroes (Stevie Wonder chief among them), Allen Stone pulls off the near-magical feat of channeling a weight-of-the-world sensitivity into his songs while still radiating hope and promise. Stone’s breezily poetic lyrics touch on topics ranging from rampant materialism to the toxic takeover of technology in art. Allen Stone’s newest release Radius features a lush yet raw sonic landscape staying true to his pledge to rely entirely on live instrumentation. Jon Pareles, chief popular music critic for the New York Times praised Stone for possessing “a tenor voice with the eagerness and frisky syncopation of [Stevie] Wonder.” Learn more here.


Donner Memorial State ParkNew Visitor Center to Open to Public
Donner Summit Truckee, CA 96160
June 6, 2015
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The new Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center will open its doors to the public on Saturday June 6, 2015 with a special ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and visitors will enjoy free parking and free admission to the exhibits, as well as speeches by dignitaries. The dedication ceremony will take place on the 97th anniversary of the original Pioneer Memorial Dedication. The new visitor center will replace the existing Emigrant Trail Museum, and will feature a state of the art facility with innovative and engaging programs and exhibits. Compelling new exhibits feature stories of the Emigrant Experience, the Land of the Washoe, Chinese construction of the railroad and early motoring adventures over Donner Pass. The Multipurpose Theater includes state-of-the-art audiovisual systems for presentations. An expanded information center welcomes visitors with interactive kiosks for exploring connections to other state parks. A spacious museum store provides keepsakes for visitors young and old. Improvements to the landscape include a paved walk to the Pioneer Memorial, the path taken by the Donner Party and other emigrants. Learn more here.

Tahoe DonnerSummer Concert on the Green
11509 Northwoods Blvd, Truckee, CA 96161
Friday, July 3, 2015
Doors Open 5 p.m.; Concert 6 p.m.
Tickets – $35 Adults; $15 Ages 7-12; Free 6 & Under (Add $5 on day of event)

We’re recreating the iconic eras of Beatles and Stones history with two bands performing at this summer’s Concert on the Green. Two all-star tribute bands are scheduled: Britain’s Finest, bringing the complete Beatles experience to Tahoe Donner, and Glimmer Twins, a Rolling Stones tribute band. You won’t believe how much they sound like the real deal! Our tree-lined driving range has a gentle slope, so bring the whole gang and prepare for a rockin’ and nostalgic evening under the stars. Food and drink will be available on-site, or bring your own picnic. Low back chairs only, please. Tickets on sale now! Don’t wait – this event will sell out! Learn more here.

Truckee Tahoe Airport Air Show & Family Festival 2015
Truckee Tahoe Airport
10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161
July 11, 2015
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Truckee sky will come alive with planes (and Otto the helicopter!) swirling and soaring through the air at the 2015 FREE Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival (TTAS&FF), a “Salute to Veterans. The event and parking is FREE.
Highlights include Spencer Suderman, Winner of the Guinness World Record for inverted flat spins; spectacular aerial performances by world-renowned performers; numerous vendor booths, static aircraft displays with pilot docents, a Kid’s Fun Zone with games, music, puppet shows, and face painting, FREE speaker forums, FREE flights for Kids (on Sunday, July 12) and much more. Learn more here.

Truckee Thursdays
Historic Downtown Truckee
Truckee, CA 96160
Every Thursday
June 11 through August 20, 2015
5 to 9 p.m.; FREE

From mid-June through August, Thursday night in Downtown Truckee is a special experience for people of all ages. The event features a Certified Farmers’ Market, food vendors, merchant and community displays, as well as great entertainment, children’s activities and a beer garden. Learn more here.

Truckee Open Arts Studios Tour
Truckee, CA and Surrounding Neighborhoods
July 17,18 &19 AND July 24, 25 &26, 2015
10 AM – 5 PM; Free

Nevada County Arts presents the first annual Truckee Open Art Studios Tour. The Tour invites visitors to experience the evolution of art from creative spark to finished product through demonstration and dialog with some of Truckee’s finest professionals, including several nationally known painters, sculptors, multi-media artists, and woodworkers. Many studios are in close proximity to each other and all are within a ten-minute drive from downtown Truckee. A ‘print’ Guidebook is available at the California Welcome Center in downtown Truckee as well as many other business locations. The Truckee Open Art Studios Tour is the signature event of a TOAST to Truckee’s Creative Community, a town-wide celebration of the arts over ten days from July 17 – July 26, 2015. Learn more here.

34th Annual Donner Lake Triathlon (DLT)
West End Beach on Donner Lake, Truckee, CA 96160
July 25 and 26, 2015

For years the Donner Lake Triathlon has been and remains the favorite triathlon of many. It’s no wonder as the event features an epic setting, a beautiful and challenging course, and is located very near Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. 2015 also marks the 5th annual Donner Lake Kids Triathlon and the 3rd annual Donner Lake Half Triathlon. We welcome you to Truckee. Donner Lake is 2.7 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. The water is clear and clean with a maximum depth of 328 feet. West End Beach operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District serves as the main venue. A sandy beach with majestic views of the surrounding Sierra awaits you. Learn more here.

Riders depart Nevada City in Amgen Tour of California (video)

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Watch a video of the riders departing Nevada City in the Amgen Tour of California:

With just one climb and elevations of 2,500 feet in Nevada City, and a more gentle climb of 55 feet in Lodi, this was another sprinter-friendly stage in the Amgen Tour of California.

At the end of the 124.5 mile race, Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) rocketed to his 10th stage win of the 2015 season — and his second stage win in a row in the 10th annual Amgen Tour of California. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan (SVK) finished second and Drapac Professional Cycling’s Wouter Wippert (NED) finished third.

“To be fair, on the line, I didn’t even know if I’d got it,” said Cavendish. “I’m happy I could win after the hard work of Etixx – Quick-Step today.”

The 8-stage race, traversing hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring, continues until May 17.

We were perched on the corner of Broad and South Pine streets to watch the race and capture the start on video. After a short circuit on the historic Nevada City Classic course, the riders headed into Grass Valley where another warm reception awaited. From Grass Valley, the peloton headed due south on two race favorites: Rattlesnake Road and Dog Bar Road.

The route passed just east of Auburn over the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California. From here, the riders looked over their shoulders to the American River some 730 feet below and the start of the Highway 49 climb.

Once they reached the KOM, it was a fast downhill route into Lodi. On the way, the stage crossed several railroad crossings and past several vineyards that have established Lodi as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.”

(Text: Amgen Tour of California and; video:

2015 Mother’s Day Springtime Event

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Enjoy springtime fountains, rose gardens and lavish, turn-of-the-century costumes on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015 at the Empire Mine State Historic Park. Stroll through beautiful Empire Cottage – and meet docents portraying the colorful characters who shaped our local, gold-mine history. The old Mineyard will be full of activity – much the way it was in Empire’s heydays of gold, grit and glory.

With a FREE gift for moms and FREE admission for children under 6, it’s a memorable way to celebrate springtime – as well as the special women in your life. Children are also welcome to pot a plant as an extra surprise.

Tasty food, beverages and ice cream are available for purchase from local vendors. Special activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for 17 and older, $3 children 6 to 16, free for children under 6.

Learn more here.

(Photos: Empire Mine State Historic Park)

Nevada City: Ride Fast, Live Slow

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Nevada City, California: Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 (May 11, 2015). The following 30 second commercial is running on NBC during the Amgen Tour of California broadcast. Original song “I Won’t Give Up” by Ishaan Reyna. Downtown Nevada City video footage by Joel Sauter. Edited by Greg Whatley of Mountain Event Productions.

California’s best preserved Gold Rush town, Nevada City, has a lot to offer far beyond this well-deserved distinction. Nestled in a basin on the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, it is framed and protected by ridgetops and promontories. At 2,500 feet above sea level, Nevada City is surrounded by forest. Deer Creek flows through and graces the center of town. Whenever you begin your descent into Nevada City, you can sense that you are approaching something good.

For thousands of years Nevada City and its environs were inhabited by the indigenous Nisenan. It was first settled by outside influences from the Gold Rush in 1849. At times it was referred to as “Nevada” and at others as “Nevada City.” Eventually the word “City” was permanently added to avoid confusion with her neighbor, the state of Nevada.

Steeped in history, this full-service city of 3,000 people has seen its ups and downs. With the diminution of gold mining and timber harvesting, plus the slice that the Golden State Freeway took out of the core of the city in the 1960s, city leaders looked to historic preservation as the path into the future. Creating its own historical district in 1968 has led to a slow but steady increase in visitors and vitality as well as designation on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today Nevada City once again has significant economic, cultural and social substance. It is the county seat, headquarters of the Tahoe National Forest, and site of businesses such as Robinson Enterprises, Inc., Telestream, Grass Valley Group, and 2Wire’s design facility. Fine restaurants, bars, overnight accommodations, two wineries, a Railroad Museum, Firehouse Museum, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada Theatre are noteworthy, alive and well.

The Nevada City Film Festival and the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL’s) Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival call it home, along with a bevy of environmental and nonprofit groups that are headquartered here. KVMR community radio is in its 31st year and has increased its budget, reach and popularity dramatically over time. NCTV, a fledgling television station covering local government and community items of relevance, is spreading its wings as well.

The Nevada City School District serves 1,300 students, grades K-8 at 3 locations. Student test scores are among the highest in the state. The teachers are dedicated, qualified and solidly backed by parents committed to their children’s education. Down the road is Nevada Union High School, an award-winning and noted for its academic and vocational excellence. Adjacent to Nevada Union is the Nevada County branch of Sierra College, part the California community college system.

Nevada County operates the Madelyn Helling County Library, the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research and the Nevada County Historical Society hosts the Searls Historical Library.

Long-time residents and newcomers together represent a wide spectrum of interests and perspectives. Their city’s small-town qualities, character and sense of community are clear. As someone once said, beyond all the wonderful things in and all around Nevada City, the best part is that “there is still a ‘there’ here.”

-Amgen Tour of California

2015 Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 starts in Nevada City

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The tenth anniversary edition route for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling race, will have its Stage 2 start in Nevada City on Monday, May 11, 2015

With just one climb and elevations of 2,500 feet in Nevada City, which is hosting its third race start, and a more gentle climb of 55 feet in Lodi, this will likely be another sprinter-friendly stage. After a short circuit on the historic Nevada City Classic course, the riders will head into Grass Valley where another warm reception will await. From Grass Valley, the peloton will head due south on two race favorites – Rattlesnake Road and Dog Bar Road – to its finish in Lodi.

Read more about the 2015 Amgen Tour California race and all of its stages, here.

Learn about other Nevada County cycling events and races, including the 55th Nevada City Bicycle Classic, here.

Watch a video of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, Stage 1 Nevada City to Sacramento, here:

(Photo: Amgen Tour of California, Video: uRidetv)

‘No Motor Day’ at Scotts Flat Lake

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The quiet, natural beauty of Scotts Flat Reservoir will be showcased on Sunday, April 26, 2015 as the Nevada Irrigation District hosts its 8th Annual “No Motor Day.”

NID Recreation Manager Peggy Davidson said the district has organized the event in response to community requests and as part of an overall effort to operate in a green, environmentally friendly manner.

Non-motorized watercraft, including sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, will be allowed entry to the Scotts Flat Recreation Area without charge for the day. Use of motorized boats will be suspended for the entire day.

Regular admission rates of $8.00 per vehicle (with up to four persons) will remain in effect.

A number of special activities will be offered without charge. Free kayak and paddleboard demos will be offered from 10-4 by Mountain Recreation of Grass Valley. The Gold Country Yacht Club will host an open house and offer free sailboat rides, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hungry recreationists may purchase a barbecue lunch prepared as a fundraiser by local Boy Scout Troop No. 4. The luncheon is planned from 11:30 a.m to 4 p.m. in the marina area.

Scotts Flat is one of 10 reservoirs owned and operated by NID. The district offers wide-ranging public recreational opportunities at both Scotts Flat and Rollins reservoirs in the Sierra foothills. Camping and backcountry recreational opportunities are available at some of the district’s mountain reservoirs.

Scotts Flat is situated among the tall pines at the 3100-foot elevation nine miles east of Nevada City via Highway 20 and Scotts Flat Road. It offers 169 campsites at two large campgrounds, plus a group camp. Across the lake, accessible via Red Dog and Quaker Hill Roads from Nevada City, is the Cascade Shores Day Use Area.

(Source: Nevada Irrigation District)

Bike Nevada County 2015 – Elevating the Sport of Cycling

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Bike Nevada County is a grand 52-day celebration of pro, amateur and recreational road cycling and mountain biking in Northern California. Over 3,000 local, national and international competitors will participate in a range of events appropriate for various ages and skill levels – from fitness-oriented families to world champion racers.

Since 1960, Nevada County has drawn top cyclists to its mountain roads and 19th century towns, including European-sytle racers that have been won by three-time U.S. national champion Levi Leipheimer, and Alexi Grewal, the first man to win Olympic cycling gold for the USA. As a 19 year-old, Lance Armstrong raced here in 1991, taking 2nd place in the Nevada City Classic.

Currently, the County is experiences a mountain biking heyday, with the highest youth participation rate in the state of California. Moderate to extremely rigorous MTB trails and events abound. Some are featured as part of Bike Nevada County. Others are in undisclosed locations, including what one Team USA MTB racer described as “one of the best enduros in the U.S.” (see video below)

Don’t miss the historic, inaugural celebration – undoubtedly the first of many in years to come. Be there as Bike Nevada County elevates the sport of cycling by offering the utmost variety, inclusiveness, sportsmanship, safety, and natural beauty.

Bike Nevada County Calendar

Local Events

Friday, May 1st
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 1 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Lyman Gilmore School, Grass Valley and 2015 Nevada City Dirt Classic Series

Saturday, May 2nd
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Friday, May 8th
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 2 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Saturday, May 9th
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Keeping Kids Safe Festival
GVFD Station #2, Grass Valley
more information

Monday, May 11th
Amgen Tour of California – Stage 2
Broad Street, Nevada City
More information here and here

May 11th-15th
National Bike to Work Week

Saturday, May 16th
The Union’s Community Bike Ride

Friday, May 22nd
Miners Dirt Series MTB Races
Race 3 of 3 (10-14 year-olds)
Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley

Saturday, May 23rd
Big Brothers Big Sisters Endurance Ride
Starts in Pioneer Park, Nevada City

Saturday, May 30th
Nevada City Dirt Classic Series
Race 1 of 3
Tahoe National Forest, near Nevada City

Sunday, June 7th
Ride the Amgen Tour of California Route
Sierra Express Bicycle Club

Saturday, June 13th
BONC Gala Ride

Saturday, June 20th
Folsom Historic Criterium
Race #1 of the Sierra Historic Omnium

Sunday, June 21st
55th Nevada City Classic
Race #2 of the Sierra Historic Omnium
Broad Street, Nevada City
More information here and here

Local Rides

Tour of Nevada City
Rides most days of the week (check calendar)
Meet in front of Tour of Nevada City

Sierra Express Bicycle Club
Every Saturday at 9 a.m.
Meet in front of Paulette’s Country Kitchen

There are endless biking trails that make Nevada County one of the most popular bicycling areas in the U.S. with trails criss-crossing the Yuba River and meandering through the Sierra Nevada foothills and peaks. For a list of bike trails in Nevada County, click here.

Nearly 30 racers descended upon an undisclosed location in Northern California to battle for the top spot at the 2nd annual Dirty Sanchez Enduro. The invitational race attracted some of America’s top enduro talent, including Team WTB/Cannondale, to what Mark Weir described as “one of the best enduros in the U.S.”

(Source: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Video: WTB)

Grand Opening of Yuba Rim Trail at Rice’s Crossing Preserve

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Walk on the Wild Side this weekend with the Bear Yuba Land Trust, celebrating 25 years of land stewardship. Enjoy a hike this Saturday and Sunday or, an armchair trek on Monday night.

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust for a hike and grand opening of the new 2.25 mile Yuba Rim Trail, part of the 2,707-acre Rice’s Crossing Preserve during the annual community event, “Walk on the Wild Side” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 18.

Participants will hike a total of 4.5 miles, there and back again. The trail winds through the shelter of forest, then along a ridge top to an overlook of the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Yuba River, below Bullards Bar Dam. This is only the beginning of a new extensive river corridor trail system.

“This will last for generations. This will be the trail system, the connection system, the economy booster,” said Nevada County District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston who attended a dedication ceremony at the preserve in March. Weston sees Rice’s Crossing as a key recreation landholding that will drive tourism and help the local economy.

The April 18 event is both a celebration of Earth Day and the Land Trust’s 25th birthday. Since January, BYLT’s trails team has led the construction of the Yuba Rim Trail built with the help of 17 committed volunteers who have worked more than 200 hours.

The day will begin with a short presentation honoring Bear Yuba Land Trust founders, songs from Secretary Shelly Covert of the Nevada City Rancheria – Nisenan and an update on BYLT’s plans for the Rice’s Crossing property.

Participants are encouraged to bring water, wear weather appropriate clothing and good hiking shoes for the hike. Afterward folks will head over to the meadow for birthday cake. Pack a picnic lunch, chairs, blankets, kites, cameras, binoculars, etc. for enjoying the meadow.

BYLT acquired Rice’s Crossing Preserve in June of 2014, the largest landholding in the Land Trust’s 25 year history. A community success story, the preserve helped BYLT to grow its conservation footprint from 6,000 to 9,000 acres. Rice’s Crossing links over 8,500 acres of public open space and will provide unprecedented access to the river in the form of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and fishing.

BYLT’s stewardship team will monitor the property ensuring that habitat for threatened and endangered species will be protected and restored. BYLT will work closely with South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) to develop a monitoring plan for this section of the river.

For 25 years, Bear Yuba Land Trust has worked with the community to protect land in the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. BYLT and its many volunteers have built 35 miles of trails and led numerous outings that get families into nature to explore and learn about this place we call home.

How to Get There: From Nevada City, take Highway 49 towards Camptonville, turn left on Marysville Road, over the Bullards Bar Dam. Rice’s Crossing North is located 1.3 miles from the dam. Park in the rock quarry on the right and cross the road to the North Meadow.

For those who want to schedule more BYLT activities into their weekend, there are two more options to choose from.

Geologist and paleontologist David Lawler will lead his moderate level and always popular “classic” Trek Back in Time to Chalk Bluff from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Situated on private property at the top of Red Dog Road, this area is unique due to the exposure of ancient accumulations of volcanic ash – which looked like chalk to the early immigrants – and petrified-like wood from the tropical Pliocene era. This is a pre-registration event: $12 BYLT Members, $19 Not-Yet-Members.

BYLT just added an Armchair Trek: Beedy, Birds, Belize with reknowned ornithologist Ted Beedy from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 20 in the Gene Albaugh Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City. Beedy recently returned from a two-week birding and bird photography tour of Belize and Northern Guatemala. This evening slideshow will feature a photo illustrated tour of Crooked Tree Lagoon and its myriad waterbirds, as well as the diversity of birds and other wildlife that inhabit tropical forests of the coastal regions, Tikal in Guatemala, and pine woodlands of the Maya Mountains. During this trip, Ted was able to see 265 species and captured photographs of 134 species. This show will be accompanied with sound recordings made by Barney Kroeger. Beedy will also address bird taxonomy, natural history, and on-going efforts to conserve these tropical treasures. Don’t miss it! A $10 donation is recommended.

Learn more at Find more Nevada County trails here or download the Recreation Trail Web map app here.

(Source & photos: Bear Yuba Land Trust)