Nevada County is ranked #47 in the nation for America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities, and ranked #6 for California’s best counties in outdoor activities, according to a 2015 survey by Niche. We have hiking trails for all levels of abilities and interests.
Choose your trail from more than 50 trails listed on our updated Hiking page, including Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Condon Park Trails, and Penn Valley Bike Trail. Grab your hiking boots and check them out!
The Bear Yuba Land Trust is also a great resource for all things hiking including photos from all of their listed trails.
Tickets for the 2015 Nevada County Fair are on sale now. Purchase your admission, carnival tickets, and arena event tickets before the Fair begins and save money! Fair Office to extend its hours and be open the weekend before the Fair for discounted tickets!
The Fair Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be open specifically for ticket sales on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. You can also save time by purchasing your Fair tickets online at NevadaCountyFair.com.
Buy your admission tickets before August 11 at 5 p.m. and get an admission ticket for $6. Or, purchase a “Be a Kid Again” adult admission ticket for Thursday of the Fair for only $4. You can also take advantage of other pre-sale offers, including a five-day Fair pass with unlimited entry for $30; an event parking pass for $25; or a carnival ride bracelet, good for unlimited rides for any one day, for $23.
Now is the time to also purchase your arena event tickets – including tickets to this year’s Destruction Derby, hosted by Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs! Tickets are now on sale for the Flying U Extreme Rodeo on Wednesday and Thursday night; Monster Trucks and Tuff Trucks on Friday and Saturday night; and Rotary’s Destruction Derby on Sunday night.
There are several ways to get your Fair tickets early. Purchase them on-line at NevadaCountyFair.com or stop by the Fair Office on McCourtney Road by Tuesday, August 11, at 5 p.m. Or you can call the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217 by August 10 at 5 p.m. The Fair Office at Gate 1 is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will also be open on Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.
After August 11, admission for the Fair is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children
6-12, and free to children under the age of 5.
This year’s “Catch the Fair Bug!” Nevada County Fair is August 12 – 16. The Fair’s Office is located on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. The phone number is (530) 273-6217 and the website is NevadaCountyFair.com.
The Nevada County Fairgrounds confirmed this week that the 2015 Nevada County Fair will continue as planned on August 12-16, 2015.
While the Fairgrounds are currently being used for a command post and fire camp, the Fair team is busy behind the scenes preparing for its biggest event of the year – the Nevada County Fair.
“There have been rumors of the Fair’s cancellation, but that was never part of our plan,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “While we are happy to be able to assist our community and provide a place of rest for our heroic firefighters, we are still busy preparing for this year’s Fair, which opens in less than two weeks.”
To date, the Fair has received more than 7,000 entries for community exhibits, discounted tickets are being sold, and entries for special contests are being accepted.
Additionally, the Fair confirmed that Community Involvement Day – a day to donate items to non-profit organizations, while also receiving free tickets to the Fair – will take place in the Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3. This year, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is teaming up with the Food Bank of Nevada County, Foothill Lions, Story Club, Nevada County 2-1-1, Sierra Harvest, NEO, and BloodSource for Community Involvement Day. These organizations will be set-up at the Fairgrounds Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3, from 1 to 6 p.m., to receive donations of items.
“The fire camp will still be on the grounds during Community Involvement Day, but we’re ready to host the event, which will cause little disruption to the fire camp,” said Callender.
While the Fair will take place as planned in two weeks, the grounds are currently closed to pedestrians and bicyclists; and RV camping is limited. The Fairgrounds will notify the community when these services are open again to the public.
The Main Office will continue to sell advanced sale Fair tickets, and continues to be open during normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
“On August 12, we will be ready to open our gates to the community and welcome them to the 2015 Nevada County Fair,” said Callender. “At that time, we’ll also take the time to celebrate our community and thank our firefighters for their efforts in keeping us all safe.
For information about the Nevada County Fair, August 12-16, call 530-273-6217 or visit NevadaCountyFair.com.
The Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) invites families to spend an evening at Burton Homestead to watch the rising of the Blue Moon.
Blue Moon Trek for Families will be held from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 31 at Burton Homestead, Lake Vera Drive. The event is part of BYLT’s ongoing Encounter Nature programming.
During the Blue Moon Trek, families will hear stories and sing songs, learn about blue moons, take a short 20 minute moonlight hike, and lie under the stars under a magical Nevada City night. The event is open to families and children of all ages.
“My passion is for kids to encounter nature. My favorite season is summer because of the late nights and warm air. Come join us for an event that only happens once every three years. Come learn why we have the saying, ‘once in a blue moon.’ Spend time with your family and explore the magic of Burton Homestead as we look to the sky as it slowly changes colors and await the arrival of the blue moon,” said Christy McCracken, BYLT’s Youth Programs Manager.
Bring flashlights, blankets for sitting on and a light sweatshirt. Cost is $20 per family. Register at BYLT.org.
A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon.
BYLT is a community-supported nonprofit organization now in its 25th year that has worked to permanently protect 9,000 acres, build and maintain more than 35 miles of trail and provide nature programming that gets people of all ages outdoors.
This video shows the entirety of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike from the US/Mexico border to the US/Canada border across 2,660 mi / 4,200 km through California, Oregon, and Washington. More information about the Pacific Crest Trail is HERE.
Summer is the perfect time to visit Nevada County and enjoy one of the many fairs and festivals that are happening throughout the season. From California WorldFest to the Sierra Storytelling Festival to the annual Nevada County Fair, there is some type of fair, festival or gathering almost every weekend to delight all ages and interests. A few of the festivals are featured below.
California WorldFest July 16-19, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
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 such as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Lucinda Williams, Buffy Saint-Marie, Emisunshine, Birds of Chicago, and much more.
30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival July 17-19, 2015 – North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Set among the towering pines, sloping lawns and historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is now in its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a line-up of internationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages.
Nevada County Fair August 12-16, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
Enjoy five days of entertainment and fun for fair-goers of all ages at the Nevada County Fair. The Fair presents 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.
15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival September 10-13, 2015 – Historic Downtown Nevada City
The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screenings, workshops, special performances, parties and a live comedy show.
More than 700 cyclist will put their wheels on the line in Truckee on Sunday, June 28th for the USA Cycling Junior/Amateur National Criterium Championships. Riders from all 50 states will be represented in the fields and racers 9 years of age up to 50 will be competing. They anticipate 3000+ people coming through downtown Truckee throughout the day.
Truckee’s neighboring town of Nevada City to the west, also in Nevada County, was once again host of an Amgen Tour of California in 2015. Watch a video of the 2010 Amgen race, here:
Now in its 8th year, the Nevada County Penny Pitch is a beloved Grass Valley tradition. This year’s Penny Pitch is Saturday, June 27 and dedicated to the memory of the late John Kane.
The old-fashioned event is patterned after San Francisco’s 38-year-old penny pitch fundraiser. Nevada County’s version is on the patio and sidewalk in front of Kane’s Restaurant in downtown Grass Valley.
Contestants pitch pennies against a wall, and the closest to the wall wins. Kane’s will offer a special food menu along with a DJ and a raffle. Last year, some 175 players pitched pennies raising more than $7,000 for DVSAC. Join in the fun. Gather a team of 1-6 people and register for just $15/player.
Principal sponsors and hosts are Nevada County Broadcasters, Inc. (KNCO-830AM & STAR 94FM) and Kane’s Restaurant.
“Nevada City and Truckee have been named among the 23 best romantic weekend destinations in the West, according to VacationIdea.com. VacationIdea is a U.S.-based online magazine covering the most exciting destinations, hotels, restaurants and activities around the world. The web site was named “Best of the Web” by Forbes for 9 years and receives 500,000 monthly unique visitors.
“Other cities on the list included Big Sur; Ellensburg, Washington; Healdsburg; Hood River; Walla Walla; San Luis Obispo; Seabrook, Washington; Astoria, Oregon; Coronado, California; The Dalles, Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon; La Jolla, California; Cannon Beach, Oregon; Palm Springs; Ventura; Santa Barbara; Fort Bragg; Sausalito; Truckee; Two Harbors, Catalina Island; Carmel-by-the-Sea; and Langley on Whidbey Island.
“Surrounded by incredible Sierra Nevada Mountain vistas, Nevada City is a historic town with a rich gold rush heritage,” according to the travel website. “The charming downtown is home to unique shops and cafes inviting visitors to relax and soak up the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will have access to diverse hiking and biking trails in the area which also host the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, a 50-year-old tradition and the largest bike race on the West Coast.
“Where to Stay: Emma Nevada House offers six individually furnished guest rooms, including the Empress Chamber featuring romantic regal décor.
“Where to Eat: The restaurants in town serve a variety of flavors, including sushi, Thai, Mexican and Italian. For dessert, try homemade ice cream at Treats or handmade chocolates at the Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe.
“Don’t Miss: Learn all about the narrow gauge railroad era at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum which houses important artifacts from that time period.”
“Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Truckee is a friendly and inviting mountain town that has been established as one of the region’s best summer and winter sport destinations. Surrounded by spectacular natural scenery, summer sees a wealth of outdoor adventures, with nature trails to hike and bike, lakes and ponds to fish and swim, and camping and picnicking to enjoy the warm summer sunshine. In the winter, there is world-class skiing, skating and sledding, as well as an array of winter festivals and carnivals to celebrate the snow.
“Downton Truckee is home to lovely little stores and shops to explore, as well as museums and historic buildings that tell the story of the town’s heritage.
“Where to Stay: Donner Lake Inn B & B has five guest rooms and a great room with a library, game area and a wood burning fireplace (website).
“Where to Eat: If you like to try new omelette flavors, Squeeze In boast a menu of over 60 delicious choices.
“Don’t Miss: Piping Rock Equestrian Center offers horseback riding for novice and expert riders, including clinics, and both Western and English instruction.”
“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.
“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.
“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.”