Category Archives: Recreation

What’s Up in Nevada County August through October, 2014

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What’s up in Nevada County August, September and October 2014:


Nevada County Exhibit Awarded Silver Ribbon at 2014 California State Fair
Nevada County Tourism

Each year the County of Nevada is invited to participate in the California State Fair’s Counties Exhibits competition. For over 100 years, the Counties Exhibit Program has been one of the most popular attractions at the annual State Fair. With more than 700,000 visitors in just 17 days, counties are able to widely market and showcase the best and brightest of their area. Each three-dimensional interactive exhibit is uniquely tailored to highlight the special features of the county.

This year Counties Exhibits’ theme is “From Our County to Your Table” with the intention of highlighting the agricultural features of each participating County. Nevada County Tourism is very proud to announce that Nevada County’s Exhibit was awarded a Silver Ribbon at the July 11 State Fair Award Ceremony. The County Exhibit will be on display at the California State Fair in the Counties Exhibits Building from July 11 through July 27, 2014. The award winning County Exhibit will then travel up to Grass Valley and be on display at the Nevada County Fair – August 6 – August 10 in the Ag Sperience area.

Stars at North Star House Jazz Series
North Star House
12183 Auburn Road, Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, July 27; Sunday, August 24; Sunday, September 28
Gates open at 5:00 p.m.
$45/BYLT members; $55 Not yet members

The Bear Yuba Land Trust will host a series of three Sunday afternoon concerts at the historic North Star House featuring some of jazz music’s greatest stars and local Nevada County talent. The Stars at North Star House Jazz Series will kick off Sunday, July 27 with internationally celebrated contemporary jazz pianist and composer David Benoit. Local favorites, The Sierra-5 from the Sierra Jazz Society will perform blues jazz on Sunday, August 24 followed by Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band who will bring the series to a fiery conclusion on Sunday, September 28.

During all three jazz concerts, a variety of food vendors will be available during the event for general admission ticket holders. A cash bar will be open throughout the events. Groups who desire to “upscale” their picnics during the August and September concerts can reserve a table for eight for $80, and pre-order boxed picnic dinners for $20 (choice of chicken or vegetarian). Local favorite Christopher’s Deli will provide a boxed picnic dinner for the August 24 concert and caterer Antonio Ayestaran Custom Catering will prepare a Latin-themed box dinner for the September – Poncho Sanchez concert. For those not sitting at tables, it is advised to bring low-legged, low-back chairs for lawn seating. For more information, visit

Nevada County Fair
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Wednesday, August 6 – Sunday, August 10

The Nevada County Fair offers five full days of excitement and fun for fair-goers of all ages. This event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits in a community-friendly environment and at affordable family prices! Experience special arena events every evening, ranging from rodeo to Monster Trucks, to Destruction Derby. Highlights include free entertainment on multiple stages, contests, demonstrations and exhibits. For more information, visit

BBQ Battle and Foreign Car & Motorcycle Show
Western Gateway Park
Penn Valley, CA
Saturday, August 16

United Way of Nevada County is gearing up for its Annual Barbeque Battle/Foreign Car & Motorcycle Show – one big show of autos, food, live music and fun. The “Foreign Car Show” portion, in collaboration with the Sierra Sports Car Group, features vintage foreign vehicles on display. The BBQ Battle portion will offer barbecue tastings for judging. For more information, visit

2014 Sierra BrewFest – An Epic Afternoon of Sun, Suds and Fun
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Saturday, August 23
3:00 – 6:30 PM
$30 Advance; $35 At Door; $10 Non-tasters; Children Free

A unique, unlimited microbrew tasting experience. Sample over 100 hand-crafted beers. Enjoy delicious food from some of the best local food trucks and restaurants. For more information, visit

Strawberry Music Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Thursday, September 11 – Sunday September 14

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is pleased to announce that this year’s Strawberry Music Festival will be held at the beautiful tree-covered Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. This popular music festival – which features four days of music, camping and recreation – draws thousands of musicians, entertainers, and music enthusiasts from across the United States each year. The festival features a wide range of musical acts, representing many different musical genres, including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, swing, rock, Cajun, Celtic and gospel.

Last year, Strawberry Music’s Fall Festival was cancelled due to the Rim Fire that burned around their festival home near Yosemite. After being denied a permit for this year’s fall festival at Camp Mather, they came to the Nevada County Fairgrounds to ask for sanctuary so that the festival could continue. For more information, visit

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Thursday, September 18 – Sunday, September 21

Join the beautiful Draft Horses at the 2014 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. 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. Between the Draft Horse performances, the Harvest Festival is bustling with activity. Visit the barns and meet the horses, taste the delicious Treat Street goodies, stroll through the Western Art Show or sit and enjoy the live entertainment. For more information, visit

Bounty of the County – A Celebration of Nevada County Agriculture
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, September 21
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Bring your appetite to this fun and delicious event, hosted by Nevada County Grown. Bounty of the County is a pairing of fabulous local chefs with the produce and meats of Nevada County Grown farmers and ranchers. This is local, fresh, and delicious food at its best – and a feast for your palate. In addition to great food, vendors will be selling Nevada County Grown products; there will be information booths, children’s activities, music by local musicians and a number of free demonstrations. For more information, visit

The Center for the Arts presents
 Fall Colors Open Studios and Art Tour of Nevada County
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
Saturday, October 12 and Sunday October 13

Visit 74 local artists in 34 studios this October and see where art is made, displayed, and appreciated in Nevada County. Featuring painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more, you will have the opportunity to meet the artists, view new work, and buy original art in a wide range of media & styles. See their workspace, watch live demonstrations, observe works in progress and learn about an art process from concept to completion. Beyond an art sale, Open Studios is a chance to experience first-hand how, where and why art is created. For more information, visit

Grass Valley

Tess’ Kitchen Store launches new monthly cooking series, “Chef’s Table” led by Alan Tangren, who worked at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.
115 Mill Street, Historic Downtown Grass Valley, CA

Guests will gather around the kitchen at Tess’ while Chef Alan prepares a themed menu paired with wines. The ingredients are always fresh and local whenever possible. Alan Tangren was responsible for “Foraging” the ingredients for Chez Panisse for seven years. He helped write two of Alice Waters cookbooks contributing the content on ingredients.

Throughout the six-course meal, Alan will provide expert cooking advice in a friendly, approachable style. Alan will also be teaching “Thursday Night Market Forage” this summer where he will lead a tour of Grass Valley Downtown Association’s Thursday Night Market and return to the kitchen and prepare a delicious dish. Under owner Steve Rosenthal, Tess’ Kitchen Store is becoming a regional hub and is the largest store of its kind in the region, with 6,200 square-feet in a striking three-story structure. For more information, visit

119th Miners Picnic at Empire Mine
Empire Mine State Historic Park
Grass Valley, CA
Saturday, August 23
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Everyone’s invited to this once-a-year, action-packed event. Since 1895, the Miners Picnic has been a picnic, a tradition – and tons of fun for all ages – only in California! It’s a rare chance to picnic on the stately grounds near fountains, vintage rose gardens and majestic trees. Relive the days of gold, grit and glory when Empire Mine ranked as one of the largest, oldest and most prosperous hard-rock gold mines in North America.

Bring your own lunch (as well as blankets and chairs) – or purchase good food, ice cream and beverages from popular local vendors. Enjoy real gold panning, an old-fashioned cakewalk and the Search for the Gold Challenge, games and fun for all. Docents in period costumes bring history to life. They’ll be welcoming visitors at historic Empire Cottage. The Mine Yard will be buzzing with activity, including a dramatic mine-rescue reenactment at high noon. Will the rescue team get there in time to save the injured miners? (There’s only one way to find out.) The first Miners Picnics raised money for miners’ widows and orphans. Today, we celebrate our colorful, local history. For more information, visit

The Center for the Arts presents
 Two Great Concerts at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, CA:

Melissa Etheridge: This is ME Solo
Friday, September 19 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA
$68 members, $78 non-member

The Center for the Arts is pleased to bring rock legend Melissa Etheridge to Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium. A limited run in an intimate setting, Melissa will be playing acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and piano. Etheridge says, “I enjoy doing the solo shows not only get to ready for a new album, I also love to dive into my catalogue of songs and bring a new freshness to my older material. It is such an intimate experience with the audience, and it is truly one of my favorite ways to perform.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Lee Ann Womack
Friday, October 24 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA
$40 members, $50 non-member

Lee Ann Womack never intended to go almost seven years between records, but she knew when she released new music, she wanted it to be very special. For the Grammy-winner who’s one of the rare women to win the prestigious Country Music Association’s Album of the Year, she wanted an album made purely for the sake of the songs and the spark of the musical performances. That album – the eagerly anticipated The Way I’m Livin’ was produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, David Nail) and features the songs of Chris Knight, Mindy Smith, Buddy Miller, Mando Saenz, Hayes Carll, Neil Young, Bruce Robison and one cagey cover lifted from Roger Miller. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Nevada City

Nevada City’s Farm to Table Dinner
Downtown Historic Nevada City, CA
Sunday, August 10
7:00 – 11:00 PM
Tickets $75 plus 18% gratuity

Come August 10th a small army of volunteers will transform the normally busy street in historic downtown Nevada City into an enchanting setting with the 150 year old New Orleans style buildings and full ‘Sturgeon Moon’ as the backdrop. Produced by Reinette Senum and catering overseen by Shanan Manuel’s Feast & Gathering Organic Catering, this is community affair with organic meals prepared by a host of neighboring restaurants: Matteo’s Public, Three Forks Bakering & Brewing Co., Café Mekka, Pete’s Pizza, The Crazy Horse Bar and Grill, The Fix, and Treats Ice Cream. The Chamber will be serving a local wine and beer at its open bar.

Participating farms include: Dinner Bell, First Rain, Mountain Bounty, River Hill, The Food Love Project, Jim Gates’ Nevada County Beef, Soil Sisters, Angie’s Little Boy Blue, and Reed Hamilton Grains, to name a few. As the evening unfolds a 12-piece band, The Earles of Newtown, will begin playing at 8:30pm and promises to transport the crowd to New Orleans with their rich and colorful sounds of the south. To purchase tickets, visit

Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents Three Exciting Concerts:

Jerry Bash 2004
Saturday, August 2
Pioneer Park, Nevada City, CA
4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
$20 admission

Jerry Bash 2014 is a community celebration featuring music, food, drinks, art, and vendors. The day will be headlined by the DeadBeats in a 20th anniversary reunion concert. The DeadBeats formed during the Summer of 1994 on the notion they could pull off some reasonable Grateful Dead covers. Soon it was apparent the band was on to something, a certain indefinable sound and feel that really captures the essence of a Dead show. Though band members have come and gone over the years, Tom, Paul, and Gary have remained the core of the band, providing a solid continuity to the DeadBeat sound. Jerry Bash 2004 also features music by Achilles Wheel, T-Buck & the Bad Dreams, Cheatin’ Buzzies, and Scary Little Friends. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit

MarchFourth Marching Band
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Friday, August 8
Doors Open at 7:30 PM; Show at 9:00 PM
Tickets $22 advance/$26 General

With a rallying cry of “Joy Now!”, MarchFourth throws itself and the audience into a swirling volcano of high-energy music and spectacle. MarchFourth Marching Band (M4 to its fans) is a kaleidoscope of musical and visual energy that inspires dancing in an atmosphere of celebration.

More about M4: Aside from their marching band themed costumes, as well as the 5-piece percussion corps and 6-part brass section, M4 is far from a “marching band” in any traditional sense (though this group of 15-20 has been known to parade down Main Street before taking the stage). M4 is anchored by funky electric bass and has been evolving into a more guitar- and vocal-driven musical experience. The show will take you on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the gypsy camps of eastern Europe to the African jungle by way of Brazil, echoing the deepest grooves of American funk, rock, and jazz then boiling it all together in cinematic fashion with high-stepping stilt-acrobatics and dazzling dancers.

This genre-busting, in-your-face experience is not to be missed! What began as a Fat Tuesday party in Portland, Oregon on March 4th 2003 has since become one of the nation’s best live touring acts. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Iris DeMent – “Go On Ahead and Go Home”
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Thursday, October 23
Doors Open at 6:30 PM; Music Begins at 7:30 PM
Tickets are $28 Advance General; $32 Door General; $40 Limited Reserve

The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is thrilled to welcome back one of the most celebrated country-folk performers of her day, singer/songwriter Iris DeMent. At the age of three, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music; during her teenaged years, however, she was first exposed to country, folk, and R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. DeMent first began composing songs at the age of 25. Honing her skills at open-mic nights she won almost universal acclaim thanks to her pure, evocative vocal style and spare, heartfelt song craft. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Piety Hill Cottages Motel and B&B


Recognized as a Top Performing Lodging Accommodation as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site, Piety Hill Cottages Motel and Bed & Breakfast, a lodging facility in Nevada City, Ca; serving singles, couples and families since 1933, received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. “TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.” For more information, visit

Nevada City Film Festival
Historic Downtown Nevada City, CA
Thursday, September 4 – Sunday, September 7

The Nevada City Film Festival screens over 100 films in a variety of historic locations in downtown Nevada City. Comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation and international shorts, this festival have it all. By combining creative programming of short and full-length films, enthusiastic audiences and a truly festive environment, Nevada City Film Festival has become known as one of the most innovative, fun, and artist-friendly events on the film festival circuit. For more information, visit

Nevada City Uncorked
Historic Downtown Nevada City, CA
Saturday, September 6, 2014
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Nevada City Uncorked is an amazing food and wine event celebrating the agricultural bounty of Nevada County. It’s a walk-about-town style format that includes 20 different venues throughout Historic Downtown Nevada City. Each venue, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, or winery tasting room, will include wine tasting and food sampling.

This year’s event will feature a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers, participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh materials into signature dishes. The wineries, in addition to pouring their favorite wines, will highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest. For more information, visit

Constitution Day 2014
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14

The 48th Annual Constitution Day Parade tops a weekend of festivities in this historic California Gold Rush town. Nevada City’s Constitution Day Parade has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. The 2 p.m. Sunday parade features more than 100 entries and culminates other activities including Revolutionary War Living History in Pioneer Park, the Gold Country Duck Race on Deer Creek. 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.

 The Delaware Regiment of the American Revolution will be offering living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets and hats, 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 9am each day, and activities conclude at 5pm on Saturday and 12pm on Sunday. Friends of Nevada County Military presents an exhibition of photos of service men and women from Nevada County who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exhibit at City Hall, 317 Broad Street: Saturday Noon to 4:30pm; Sunday 12:30 to 2pm. For more information, visit

The Famous Marching Presidents – Constitution Day Parade
Historic Downtown Nevada City
2:00 p.m.

The Famous Marching Presidents number nearly 200 Presidents, first ladies, secret service and volunteers – all residents of Nevada City, California, a small town of 3,000 nestled in the Gold Country of the Sierra Foothills. Marching since 1988, our Presidents, First Ladies, and Secret Service agents have become a dynamic part of Nevada City’ historic observances and local heritage.

The Marching Presidents is the highlight of Nevada City’s Annual Constitution Day Parade, which has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. Only in California could a state assemble nearly 200 Presidents, first ladies and secret service and have them march together! For more information, visit


Donner Party Hike
Donner Summit, Truckee, CA
Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5

The unforgiving Sierra Nevada winter of 1846-47 started early, setting the stage for what was to become an incredibly agonizing story of human desperation and determination. In April of 1846 the Donner Party set out to reach California. A series of errors, mishaps and tragedy followed in their footsteps. Reaching the base of the Sierra just as an early winter storm set in, their fate was sealed, forcing them to stay the winter. Split into two camps, one at the base of what is now Donner Lake, and the other at Alder Creek, the emigrants faced unimaginable perils. Relief finally came in March, with few of the original party surviving.

The annual Donner Party Hike offers two days of emigrant history. Choose from seven guided hikes that will explore different aspects of emigrant and early Truckee history while enjoying dramatic Sierra Nevada scenery. Guides lead groups of approximately 15–20 people to interpretive spots while sharing detailed information along the trail. Saturday hikes will begin and end at Sugar Bowls’ Mount Judah Lodge located on Highway 40 on Donner Summit. In the afternoon enjoy a hamburger lunch and an afternoon presentation by Ethan Rarick, author of Desperate Passage – the Donner Party’s Perilous Journey. Sunday’s walking tours focus specifically on the tragedy of the Donner Party. We start at Alder Creek, where the Donner family was forced to stay the winter. Hear of the grueling travel and mishaps of the Donner Party and the archeological finds at this location. Only in California! For more information, visit

Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop
Historic Downtown Truckee
Saturday, October 4
Noon to 4:00 PM
Tickets $40 advance/$45 day of event

Now in its 11th year, The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop has established itself as one of Truckee’s preeminent events. This annual favorite brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste scrumptious food samples and enjoy shopping.

Every year the event partner’s with a local non-profit organization. Over the past 10 years the event has donated more than $25,000 to local non-profits. Some of our past partners include, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Girls on the Run, The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and Sierra Senior Services. This year their partner is Tahoe Food Hub. Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wine at 30+ venues, 5 food tickets and a program with a map to all participating venues. For more information, visit

Truckee’s Haunted Historic Tour
Historic Downtown Truckee
Thursday, October 16 and Friday, October 17

Small groups of visitors from as far away as the east coast, mid west and LA and as nearby as Reno, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area will be immersed in engaging tales performed by talented characters at seven interesting historic sites. This year’s highly anticipated performances will take place in new featured haunts including Bluestone Jewelry, LaGalleria and Tahoe Oil & Spice while returning to a handful of previous favorites including BeSpoke, The Railroad Depot, Truckee’s infamous Masonic Lodge 200 and The Truckee Hotel. Skillfully weaving together dramatic, downright haunting and funny stories inspired by times of yore, this Tour will be complete with treats and tricks. For more information, visit

Five favorite swimming holes in Nevada County

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Nevada County is blessed with an abundance of fresh water swimming holes from Sierra Nevada run-off. Here are five favorites:

#1 Rollins Lake Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Rollins Lake average water temperature in the summer is about 72 degrees and has 26 miles of shoreline. A favorite swimming hole is located at the Greenhorn Road access off of Highway 174. Bathrooms and a store on-site.

#2 South Yuba River State Park – Bridgeport Although somewhat remote, a day at the South Yuba River State Park at Bridgeport is well worth the drive! Visitors can enjoy slow moving emerald swimming holes during the late summer. There is a small sandy beach, which is perfect for small children, and bathrooms are available.

#3 Scott’s Flat Lake Scotts Flat Lake off of Highway 20 in Nevada City has a picnic area with swimming, beaches, bar-b-que grills and tables are available. A store, flush toilets and a playground are nearby. The lake is also a boater’s paradise with the marina store providing pre-mixed gas.

#4 West End Beach at Donner Lake West End Beach at Donner Lake located near Truckee is another family favorite swimming hole. The 10-acre day use beach facility offers excellent shaded picnic and barbeque sites for families or groups. American Red Cross Certified Lifeguards supervise the designated swim area.

#5 Bear River At the crossing of Bear River and Hwy 174 is a historic bridge and a trail to the river. It is a relatively easy, approximately two mile hike downstream. There are several smaller trails branching off to the river for swimming and fishing. There is plenty of free parking.

(Source: Visit California, Lani Lott)

Treks, kayaking and more with Bear Yuba Land Trust

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This Saturday! Treks Through Time Wildflowers of the Grouse Ridge
When: 8:00am-4:00pm, Saturday, July 12
Suggested Donation: $12 BYLT Members, $17 Not-Yet-Members
Level: Easy-Moderate. Only a few spots left.

One of BYLT’s most popular trek leaders, Julie Carville, will be taking us into higher elevations in search of wildflowers. Julie has written books and taught extensively on the subject. Be prepared to spend some time on your belly getting up close and personal with the flower folk. Pollen on your nose gets you extra points!

Registration and prepayment required. Click here to register.

This Sunday! Treks Through Time Sierra Rock Art
When: 8:00am-5:00pm, Sunday, July 13
Suggested Donation: $12 BYLT & FSRA Members, $17 Not-Yet-Members
Level: Easy-Moderate. Space is limited.

Jeff Phelan of Friends of Sierra Rock Art will lead this outing for the Land Trust to beautiful Meadow Lake (35 miles northwest of Truckee) to view the mysterious petroglyphs of the early inhabitants of the area. The rock art is located on glacially polished granite next to a pond and forest. We will discuss the exotic geology that attracted both Native Americans, and the miners of the great boom town of Summit City (c1864). This event supports both BYLT and FSRA.

Suggested reading; Mark McLaughin Sierra Stories (Vol 2, Chpt 6) “Alice Hartley-The Madness of Meadow Lake.”

Registration and prepayment required. Click here to register.

Treks on Tuesday Litton Trails
When: 10:00am, Tuesday, July 15
Meet: Meet at the Hughes Rd Trailhead (1/4 mile south of Ridge Road), Grass Valley
Cost: Free

This is a FREE outing to introduce you to some of the local trails. For July we will be walking the Litton Trail from Hughes road towards Sierra College, then we’ll continue on the loop around Sierra College, make a brief stop at BriarPatch for refreshments, and then head back to our cars. Level: Mostly easy – approximately 4 miles round trip (For a shorter route you have the option of just walking the segment between Hughes and Dorsey). Bring water, wear good hiking shoes.

For more information email Reservations NOT required.

Treks Through Time Van Norden Meadow & Royal Gorge
When: 8:00am-3:00pm, Saturday, July 19
Suggested Donation: $12 BYLT Members, $17 Not-Yet-Members
Level: Moderate with some Strenuous climbs/descents- approx 4 miles at 7,500′ elev

Truckee Donner Land Trust recently acquired Van Norden Meadow for public access and recreation. TDLT is proud to show off this landmark property and will be leading us onto a new loop trail where we will have the opportunity to experience different perspectives of the Sierra Crest and gain a whole new appreciation of the importance of this critically situated open space.

Registration and prepayment required. Email to register.

Our First-Ever AquaTrek!
Kayaking on Lake Spaulding

When: 8:00am-2:00pm, Sunday, July 20
Suggested Donation: $12 BYLT Members, $17 Not-Yet-Members
Notes: You must bring your own kayak, paddle, and life vest (or rent them from Mountain Recreation in Grass Valley)
Level: All levels of experience welcome

Barbara Price, kayaker extraordinaire, will lead us on our first-ever AquaTrek! This flat water kayaking adventure will be held on beautiful Lake Spaulding in the Grouse Ridge area. We will take a leisurely paddle around the lake, slowing to admire the wildlife (eagles, turtles, and ?) and wildflowers. We’ll find a spot on shore to eat our lunches or possibly just raft-up and eat out on the lake. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend a hot summer day on a cool lake!

Registration and prepayment required. Email for more information or to register.

(Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust)

Pioneer Trail & White Cloud Campground

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White Cloud Campground is located near Nevada City and three historic mining towns along Highway 20. The campground is situated in a forest of cedar and Douglas fir trees, at an elevation of 4,200 feet and provides a great escape from urban life.

The Pioneer Trail stretches 25 miles through the Tahoe National Forest and can be accessed from the campground. The popular path was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2003. Horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing are favorite activities on this popular trail.

Getting There:
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
39.32056, -120.84528
39°19’14″N, 120°50’43″W

From Nevada City, travel east on Highway 20, toward Truckee. Turn right at White Cloud and take the right fork to the campground.

From Interstate 80, take the Highway 20 exit and travel west for 14 miles. Turn left into White Cloud and take the right fork to the campground.

Find other Nevada County parks and campsites here.

(Soure: Tahoe Recreation)

Governor Brown approves full funding for Bridgeport Covered Bridge

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Fans of the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge rejoiced at the news today that Governor Jerry Brown approved California’s final budget, which allocates $1.3 million to immediately start work to fully restore and reopen the bridge.

“Because we joined together as a community and made our voice heard in Sacramento, the Bridgeport Covered Bridge will receive the attention it needs so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston whose district includes this State and National Landmark, considered the longest single span wooden bridge in the world.

Members of the grass roots campaign committee known as “Save Our Bridge” mobilized the community to contact State Legislators and the Governor throughout the months long state budget process. As a result, hundreds of letters, calls and emails flooded the State Capitol, and local elected officials and community leaders made multiple pilgrimages to Sacramento to advocate for this iconic historic structure built in 1862.

“We have demonstrated once again how powerful a force a united community can be,” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League. “I am so proud of the hard working members of the ‘Save Our Bridge’ Committee led by the South Yuba River Park Association and including the Bear Yuba Land Trust, the Chambers of Commerce, elected leaders, State Parks staff, and many concerned citizens. We proved that people can save the bridge.”

The bridge has been closed since 2011 when the Department of Parks and Recreation closed the bridge to pedestrian traffic after an engineering survey found severe and unsafe structural problems. Parks staff will begin the bridge stabilization project this fall according to District Superintendent Matt Green. The approved funding includes $318,000 for the initial planning and permitting, and $1 million of Proposition 84 funds for restoration.

“Because of the incredible efforts of our entire community, this irreplaceable resource and property of the citizens of California may now be restored to its proper condition,” said Dave Anderson, President of the South Yuba River Park Association. “On behalf of our Committee, I would like to thank the Governor, and our State representatives, Senator Jim Nielsen and Assembly member Brian Dahle. I would also like to acknowledge the Budget Subcommittees and Catherine Freeman for their critical support. Most of all, I want to single out State Park Superintendent Matthew Green, who has been an exemplary public servant and partner to our community.”

“Now we must stay on top of the restoration project to make sure our iconic bridge is reopened as soon as possible because for the past three years now, we have seen children and their families come to visit the Bridgeport Covered Bridge, only to be turned away from truly experiencing this historical treasure,” said Doug Moon, Chairman of the Save Our Bridge Committee.

The fight to save the bridge united Nevada County politically when the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, Grass Valley City Council, Nevada City City Council, and the Truckee Town Council all approved unanimous resolutions urging state lawmakers to support restoring and reopening the bridge.

“Our State Parks are critical to our local economy and appreciated by residents and visitors, alike. We thank the State Legislature and Governor for including these funds in the budget,” said Nevada City Mayor Sally Harris. Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller concurred, saying, “The Bridgeport Bridge is an important part of California’s history and we must do all that is reasonably necessary for its preservation and enjoyment.”

The South Yuba River State Park attracts up to 890,000 annual visitors and people from all over the world come to see Bridgeport, an important Gold Rush era toll bridge on the Virginia Turnpike built in 1862 by sawmill owner David Wood.

- South Yuba River Citizens League

(Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

Nevada County releases interactive recreation web map

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Nevada County has enhanced the previous Trail Web Map as a new Recreation Viewer Application. In addition to trails, the map can now be used to search for campgrounds, parks, and golf courses.

The county hopes to add even more recreation opportunities in the future such as disc golf courses and off highway vehicle (OHV) trails. This web map can be accessed by any PC, tablet, or smartphone and is available at

The map allows a user to pan and zoom around a county map showing all known public trails, campgrounds, parks, and golf courses. You can search for a recreation resource by name by clicking on the magnifying glass, or simply click on one of the resources on the map to discover its name and other information.

For many resources an additional link will take you to a website such as the Bear Yuba Land Trust Trail Map, a State Park Brochure, or a campground or golf course website. You can also click on the locate button on the left to zoom to your current location.

Nevada County offers abundant outdoor recreational activities. This interactive web map is just one more resource to help you get out and explore our amazing outdoor attributes.

If you would like to give feedback regarding missing or incorrect recreation resource locations, or additional recreation features you would like to see featured, please send an email to

Source: Nevada County Executive Officer’s Friday Memo

Penn Valley’s Mule & Donkey Show

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The Penn Valley Rodeo presents the 2nd annual Mule & Donkey Show this June 27, 28, 29 – think Bishop Mule Days without having to cross the Sierra.

The free-to-watch, three day event includes classes in Performance, Cattle, Halter, Trial, Western and English riding, packing and Gymkhana.

(Source: Penn Valley Rodeo)

Celebration of Trails Hiking Itineraries

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Celebration of Trails
When: June 7, 2014, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Trail Fair Headquarters – Parking Lot County of Nevada, Rood Center
Cost: Free!

Bear Yuba Land Trust is teaming up with the community to host a number of guided outings on local trails in Nevada County for the annual “Celebration of Trails.”

Coinciding with National Trails Day, the event held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7 is open to all and is meant to encourage more people to get outdoors on local trails. More than 20 local organizations, outdoor experts and trail advocates are coming together to organize 14 different outings.

A Trails Day Headquarters will be set up in the parking lot of Nevada County’s Rood Center parking lot, across from the trailhead of the Hirschman Trail. People can stop by for local trail information and maps, grab a cup of coffee and a baked good from Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters and pick up the day’s schedule. Booths include: Bear Yuba Land Trust with manzanita cider provided by Living Wild, BONC, maps from Nevada County Planning Department, Tahoe National Forest, YBONC and more!

After an introduction by local dignitaries, a number of outings will depart on foot and carpool style from the Rood Center. Afterward, folks will gather at Matteo’s Public for spirits and camaraderie.

A Taste of the South Yuba River: Hank Meals will lead this moderate five-mile hike to a dramatic landscape in the South Yuba Canyon. Participants will hike upstream to Long Point and a descent of the spur trail to the river. This is about a 5.5 mile round trip. As close as this scenic area is to town few people are aware of it. Features along the trail include two bedrock mortar locations, mining sites, a small waterfall and a gorgeous view of the South Yuba canyon.

Meet between 8:30 and 9 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center. Participants will return by 1 p.m

Bike Rides with BONC (Bicyclists of Nevada County)

Family Mountain Bike Ride and Clinic – BONC guide Ellen Lapham will lead this one-hour, six-mile ride designed for families. On this scenic and informational ride families will learn about safety and cycling etiquette, rules of the road and tips for a fun and enjoyable ride. Helmets are required.

Meet at 9 a.m. at Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center.

Intermediate mountain bike ride on Hirschman’s trail – BONC member Jane Ragan will lead this file-mile round trip, one hour ride. The historic and scenic trail features the Hirschman’s Pond named after the Hirschman brothers, early pioneer miners and merchants of the area. Bicyclists will also see a 40-foot long trestle. West of the pond, the trail narrows and meanders through oak woodlands, pine forests and grasslands. Helmets are required.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the trailhead just off Highway 49 on Cement Hill Road (park in the Rood Center parking lot).

Advanced mountain bike ride on The Round Mountain trails. BONC members Orion Kroeger and Cameron Echternacht will lead this two-hour ride with 2000 feet of climbing. The Round Mountain trails include steeps through the woods and views of the South Yuba River. Other features include a climb of the Rock Creek Flume trail to Lower Hudson, the overlook at Coyote Ledge and Upper Hudson, and the Up and Over trail. The return ride includes switchbacks to the South Yuba trail and Purdon Crossing and a final climb back out. Those sensitive to poison oak should wear high socks and arm coverings. Helmets are required.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Rood Center to carpool or meet at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Purdon and Rector

Black Swan Hike: Stephen Hein of Mendocino Tahoe Conservancy will lead this hike traversing some of the newly-built trails around the Black Swan pond and hydraulic cliffs. Participants may see nesting sites of swifts, swallows and the little green heron. The site is located at 1,000 feet elevation in the foothill oak woodlands with views of the lower Yuba River, Slack’s Ravine and Deer Creek.

Meet at 9:30 in the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center for carpooling. Participants will return at 2 p.m.

Day Hike at Spenceville Wildlife and Recreation Area: Richard Thomas of Friends of Spenceville and Sierra Club will lead this 4 to 5 mile hike on the Pittman Road West from Spenceville through the blue oak woodlands to Horseshoe Pond and back. This is easy terrain along an old road. Participants will watch for birds and late wildflowers. Bring water, sunscreen, good footwear, lunch and binoculars. Alternately, depending on the groups’ familiarity with Spenceville, there could be a hike to Fairy Falls.

Meet at 8 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters to carpool or meet at the Spenceville town site at 9 a.m.

Empire Mine State Historic Park: Hard Rock Trail Walk: Greg Sherr will lead this easy to moderate level walk starting at the Penn Gate Parking Area on East Empire Street at 9 a.m. During the hike, Sherr will discuss the natural and historic aspects of the park. The hike is two miles and will take approximately two hours.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Penn Gate Parking Area on East Empire Street, Grass Valley.

Equestrian Ride Lone Grave – Gold Country Trails Council Annual 2014 Poker Ride at Skillman Horse Camp, 15 miles east of Nevada City in the beautiful Tahoe National Forest. This is an 8-mile easy to moderate difficulty ride for experienced riders. There is a fee and pre-registration is required. For more information contact Linda 273-6346, Entry forms are available at:

Family Friendly Wheelchair Accessible Nature Hunt at Hirschman’s Pond: Local outdoor enthusiast Ana Acton of FREED and artist/ history buff, Robyn Martin of OLALA Farms will lead a stroll & roll to the pond. Along the way Robyn will identify plants and how they can be used for food and medicine. This trek is kid friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the trailhead off of Cement Hill Road.

Lang’s Crossing to Spaulding Lake: Robert Kelly will lead this moderate four-mile round trip Sierra Club Hike from Lang’s Crossing to Spaulding Lake.

Meet at 8:45 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center for carpooling.

Malakoff Diggins Guided Geology Tour: Geoscientist and naturalist David Lawler will lead this special hiking tour of key points of interest at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. Lawler will share his knowledge of the ancient Yuba River system and historic mining in the northern Sierra region. Participants will visit the Malakoff pit, Hiller and Lake City sluice tunnel portals, LeDu hydraulic diggins, and more… If you are interested in deep time and gold, this is the hike for you.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center for carpooling.

Nevada City Tree Tour Nevada County Walkers will host two tree tours in downtown Nevada City. Local Arborist Zeno Acton will lead a tour geared toward children and families and Roger McGehee of California Native Plant Society will lead another. This is an all-abilities tour open to everyone with numerous stops along the way.

Meet at 9 a.m. for the family-based tour and 9:30 for the adult tour at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center.

Rattlesnake Trail with Gene Haroldsen and Bob Goar. The three-mile hike meanders along canals and forest glades in the Rattlesnake Road and Rattlesnake Ridge neighborhoods.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the most northerly intersection of Highland Drive and Rattlesnake Road.

Sugar Loaf Mountain: Ray Bryars, Walkability Advocate, Trails Volunteer and Scotch Broom Puller will lead this Walk up Sugarloaf Mountain. Enjoy views overlooking Nevada City and if the weather is clear, out to the coastal range and into the Sierra Nevadas. Learn a little about the local area and some of the characters of the early gold mining days. Compare some of the early day photographs with recent pictures taken by local photographer Dave McLellan.

Difficulty: Fairly steep uphill, but the group will walk slow and stop often on this 1 ½ hour walk.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center. Participants will carpool to the trailhead.

Trail Maintenance of Hirschman Pond Trail: Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Trails Coordinator Bill Haire will have hand tools for those who want to clear brush from the edges of the Hirschman Tail. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, insect repellant, sun block, hat, gloves and bring water.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center.

Tribute Trail: Amber Taxiera of The Sierra Fund will lead this 6-mile guided easy-to-moderate walk along the Deer Creek Tribute Trail. Learn about the regions rich heritage and how this ongoing trail project pays tribute to the region’s inhabitants. Participants will learn about new trail segments and the new Nisenan Bridge that will connect to the Environs Loop. There may even be an opportunity to get hands dirty and pull some weeds along certain sections of trails.

Meet at 9 a.m. in the Trails Day Headquarters, Rood Center.

Walk-Along The Environs Loop of the Deer Creek Tribute Trail: Ori Chafe of Sierra Streams Institute will lead this easy three-mile walk featuring new field guides created by students from Yuba River Charter School as well as local natural history and the Nisenan Rancheria of Nevada City.

Meet at 11 a.m. at the corner of Zion and Jordan Streets in Nevada City.

For more information about these and other Nevada County trails, click here.

Thank You to our Celebration of Trails 2014 Community Partners and Supporters:

BONC, Far West Geoscience Foundation, FREED, Friends of Spenceville, Gold Country Trails Council, Living Wild, Hank Meals, Matteo’s Public, Mendocino Tahoe Conservancy, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Nevada County Planning Department, Nevada County Walkers, OLALA Farms, Outside Inn, Ray Bryars, Sierra Club, Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters, Sierra Streams Institute, State Parks, Tahoe National Forest, The Sierra Fund, Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop and YBONC.

(Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust)

Sales of Anchor California Lager to benefit Empire Mine State Historic Park

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Since May, Anchor California Lager has been available in six-pack cans and a portion of the proceeds are going toward Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley.

The little-known program stems from a partnership between San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing Co., the California State Parks Foundation and National Parks Conservation Association.

Empire Mine Park Association is one of only three groups selected in California for the grant program known as “Anchor California Lager Grants.” The others are the Coastside State Parks Association at Half Moon Bay and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

In the case of Empire Mine: “Beginning in the late 1970s, staff and volunteers at the Empire Mine State Historic Park recorded interviews with former miners and supervisors to capture some of the history of the operation of the mine.

“Those interviews were recorded on cassette tapes that are now quite aged and fragile. Our grant will allow Empire Mine Park Associate to digitize many of these interviews and materials, including selected text translations and articles on the Association’s website where they will be readily available to the public.”

Anchor Brewing Company’s roots date back to the California Gold Rush, making it one of America’s oldest breweries. “Anchor California Lager is the brewery’s re-creation of the first genuine lager brewed in the Golden State,” according to “It is brewed with two-row barley and Cluster hops and is kräusened and lagered in Anchor’s cellars.”

California is home to 280 state parks and 26 of America’s 401 national parks. This year the California State Parks celebrate their 150th anniversary, along with Yosemite National Park.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt)

Western stars including Clint Walker coming to Gold Rush Days in Grass Valley

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The Grass Valley Downtown Association is honored to announce that this year’s Gold Rush Days will feature western movie and television stars Clint Walker, Johnny Crawford, Peter Sherayko and Charlie LeSueur on June 21-22 in historic Downtown Grass Valley.

Clint Walker is a local legend best known for his cowboy role as “Cheyenne Bodie” in the western television series “Cheyenne”; Johnny Crawford was nominated for an Emmy award at age 13 for his role as the son of Lucas McCain (played by Chuck Connors) in “The Rifleman.”

Peter Sherayko is an actor, historian and filmmaker best known for his work on western movies such as “Tombstone” and television shows like “Deadwood” for HBO; and Charlie LeSueur is a well-known Western film historian, writer and actor.

Gold Rush Days, now in its second year, will feature two days of non-stop action. With help from our friends from the Empire Mine State Historic Park, South Yuba Trust, Nevada County Historical Society and the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, Gold Rush Days will take you back in time to 1853.

Both Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 p.m. we will feature reenactments, gold panning, blacksmithing, demonstrations, music, exhibits, a Saturday night “Hoe-Down” and BBQ, Sunday morning cowboy church followed by a pancake breakfast benefiting the Hospice of the Foothills and more.

“We are absolutely honored to have the opportunity to host these celebrities here in Grass Valley. We will be showing some of their films at 151 Union Square during the event, and visitors will have an opportunity to meet them” said Julia Jordan, Executive Director.

For more information about Gold Rush Days, call 530-272-8315 or visit