Category Archives: Recreation

New Cornish Christmas commercial to be shown during “The Christmas Card” airings

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Grass Valley Downtown Association’s brand new Cornish Christmas commercial will be aired more than 100 times on the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season, including during the next eight broadcasts of “The Christmas Card.”

Click here to check broadcast times. Watch the Cornish Christmas commercial here:

KCRA promotes Holidays at Empire Mine

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Sacramento news station KCRA promoted Holidays at Empire Mine last night on their 5 p.m. newscast. Watch a short video clip of it here: Empire Mine KCRA

Celebrate the holidays early 1900s’ style at Holidays at Empire Mine – with old-fashioned decorations, lavish period costumes, and festive live music. Empire Cottage will be brimming with good cheer, and hot spiced cider and star cookies will be served in the kitchen.

The Mineyard will be buzzing with activity. Take a peek in the Mine Shaft, the Machine, Wood, and Blacksmith Shops – and imagine what life was like during those days of hard work, grit and glory!

Holidays at Empire Mine continues today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Source: KCRA)

Truckee – the perfect setting to stir your holiday spirits

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Make Truckee part of your annual pilgrimage and enjoy the holiday in a festive mountain setting – it’s the perfect place to shake off the post Turkey bacchanal or give the chefs some room in the kitchen. A few holiday happenings before and after Thanksgiving that are sure to stir your spirits:

Historic Downtown at Night

The town of Truckee pulls no punches when it comes to a sparkling parade of downtown lights. The holiday lights are up and so is Truckee’s iconic Christmas tree. Walking around at night, with snow glistening and lights twinkling is quite magical and never ceases to astound old and young alike.

Thanksgiving at Tahoe Donner

Relax at the Lodge in Tahoe Donner and enjoy a Thanksgiving all-you-can eat buffet at $38.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 12 and under. Reservations are highly recommended (please visit

First Fridays with Trokay and Forever Heyday at Bespoke

Grab a truly unique gift, and try limited edition jams made by Truckee’s Restaurant Trokay at First Fridays December 5th, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bespoke on Donner Pass Rd. Amanda Tennant of Forever Heyday will also be creating personalized calligraphy gift tags.

It’s all about the Après

It may sound predictable, but this is a right-of-passage for nearly all locals and visitors alike. Ski, snowboard, snow shoe, hike, sled, ice-skate … then head into Historic Downtown Truckee for food and drinks. Must-do’s include Bar of America (yep, years ago this was a Bank of America), situated in a historic brick building with a warm and robust feel. Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats offers sophisticated libations and drool-worthy appetizers, plus an amazing selection of wine and beer along with live music. Don’t forget Cottonwood, a charming restaurant and bar that harkens back to wood skis, tall tales and a cozy fireplace – very Truckee and very Après. The Pour House, located on Jibboom Street offers both a wine shop and tasting bar – grab some stocking stuffers while you try out a new Tempranillo or Pinot!

Truckee Folks

“The Streets of Truckee” dinner show, featuring Richard Blair has one more show on December 10th at the Cottonwood Restaurant. Richard Blair captures Truckee’s history with his inspired guitar songs, celebrating Folk-Roots music at its best. Reservations are required, $35/person. To make reservations, visit

Shop Local: Truckee’s Shop Local program is going on from November 28th through December 24th. Avoid the big-city chaos and remember what it’s all about. With over 70 participating Truckee locations you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your list. For each $25 you spend, you’ll receive a stamp on your card (found at any of the participating stores). Collect 4 – 12 stamps and deposit your card at one of the shops to be entered for a chance to win some great prizes including an 8 day/7 night stay at the destination of your choice: Greece, Costa Rica, Cancun, or Sedona! To learn more, visit

(Source: Anna Koenig)

Enjoy a hike this holiday season

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It’s the holidays! Get outdoors with family, friends and Bear Yuba Land Trust. ‘Tis the season for holiday treks and outings with Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) with just four more events scheduled for the remainder of 2014.

“BYLT’s 2014 Treks program was the most ambitious year yet. With almost 80 outings, lectures, classes, and community events we enticed over 1000 people to get outdoors and learn something new about our beautiful Sierra Nevada homeland. In 2015, with our 25th Anniversary just around the corner, we have many more special events and outings planned. Happy holidays and happy trails!,” said Community Program Manager Melony Vance.

The holiday lineup kicks off this Friday, Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving, with the 5th Annual Turkey Trek. It’s a perfect opportunity to get off the couch, call friends or grab the kids and head out for a hike.

BYLT will host this year’s unguided, free, no-reservation-required hike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Loma Rica Trail. Meet at the Horsemen’s Arena at the intersections of Brunswick Rd, Town Talk Rd, and Bubbling Wells Rd just south of the Brunswick Basin. The trail starts out along Brunswick Road, crosses over Idaho Maryland Rd, and ascends across a meadow and through the woods, ending at Loma Rica Road.

This mostly level, easy walk is approximately three miles round trip. Remember to bring water, layered clothing and good hiking shoes.

Next up, amateur historian Brian Bisnett will lead the first ever BYLT Salmon Spawning Trek on the Yuba River near the town of Smartsville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. This adventure begins at the Blue Point Mine then heads to Rose Bar to see the salmon and learn about fishery remediation efforts. From there, trekkers will loop back toward the mine, stopping to check out the Blue Point tunnel exit and air shaft. This is a level, moderate four mile hike.

Space is limited and requires registration and pre-payment. $12 BYLT members, $17 Not-yet-members.

Joe Medeiros, a biologist at Sierra College and Editor of the Sierra College Press will lead BYLT’s last Armchair Trek of the year, Sierra Superlatives from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11 in the Gene Albaugh Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City.

Medeiros’ slide-illustrated lecture program focuses on the majesty of the four hundred mile long, three miles high, Sierra Nevada. John Muir’s “Range of Light” is home to the highest peak in the lower 48 states, glaciers, giant sequoias and thousands of species of plants and animals. Medeiros has taught college biology, botany and ecology for more than 35 years and has hiked and photographed the mountain range for even longer.

There are no reservations required, for this armchair trek with a suggested donation of $10.

The Land Trust will wrap up its 2015 trekking program with a free trek on Empire Mine State Historic Park’s Union Hill Trails on Tuesday, Dec. 16. This is a level, moderately easy 3 mile loop. Meet at the Gold Hill Trailhead adjacent to the parking area at the end of Gold Hill Drive. Bring water, dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes.

This hike is the final in a year-long monthly series called Treks on Tuesday, celebrating the trails mapped and described on BYLT’s online Trails Portal and printed in a collection of laminated trail cards available at area retailers. BYLT’s popular trail cards can be found at: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Outside Inn, The Earth Store, Mountain Recreation and BYLT’s office.

Besides conserving 9,000 acres of land within the Bear and Yuba watersheds for farms, wildlife corridors and healthy forests, Bear Yuba Land Trust is committed to getting people outdoors to connect with nature. To date, BYLT has built more than 35 miles of local trails and regularly provides opportunities for people to engage with the land. Stay tuned for another great lineup in 2015 as BYLT invites the community to come together to celebrate 25 years of saving land.

Learn more about local hiking trails here. For more information, visit or contact Melony Vance at or 272-5994 x200.

Holidays at Empire Mine next weekend

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What do you have planned for the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving? Enjoy a magical day and a golden memory your entire family will treasure! Celebrate the holidays early 1900s’ style at Holidays at Empire Mine – with old-fashioned decorations, lavish period costumes, and festive live music. Empire Cottage will be brimming with good cheer, and hot spiced cider and star cookies will be served in the kitchen.

Docents portraying the prestigious Bourn Family, the Starrs, and chatty housekeeper Katie Moriarty will be there to greet you and share insights about Empire’s glory days, when it ranked as one of the most prosperous hard-rock gold mines in North American history.

A short walk away, in the old Club House, Santa and Mrs. Claus (with the help of local elves) will be listening carefully to Christmas wishes. Outside local vendors will be selling coffee, hot dogs and other snacks.

The Mineyard will be buzzing with activity. Take a peek in the Mine Shaft, the Machine, Wood, and Blacksmith Shops – and imagine what life was like during those days of hard work, grit and glory!

A visit to the Gift Shop is a must – especially at this time of year.

Friday, November 28th and Saturday, November 29th, 2014 with festive activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Boreal Mountain Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary this season

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Boreal Mountain Resort is celebrating a big anniversary this season as it moves into its 50th year of snowsports operations. To mark the golden anniversary, the resort will host three events to celebrate the occasion along with commemorative giveaways. Branded with a special 50th anniversary logo, Boreal launches a new website at with an emphasis on guest efficiency and ease.

The resort continues to invest in energy-efficient snowmaking improvements designed to use less water and electrical energy in production. Over the summer, crews made significant enhancements to infrastructure, replacing a variety of snowmaking pipes, pumps and valves. A new cooling system was installed to ensure resources are better utilized. The new infrastructure allows the mountain operations team to be more efficient during the early season and help establish a solid base that will last throughout the entire winter season.

Expanded beginner-friendly learning terrain, strengthens Boreal Mountain Resort as a top resort for new-to-snow guests. The addition of a 100-ft surface lift provides safer and less crowded terrain, ideal for learning to ski and snowboard. Roughly the width of a grooming machine, a new kid-specific trail was cut in the beginner area and winds through the trees to give children a magical experience.

Boreal Mountain Resort has partnered with Neff Headwear to bring a new one- of a kind signature terrain park, Neff Land. Located off of the Flying Dutchman chairlift, the pirate-themed Neff Land will boast over 30 ridable features including a life-sized ship mast, cannons, pirates and more.

Also new for 2014-15 at Boreal, many mountain services have been remodeled to increase efficiency and guest service. A new Snowsports School kiosk will provide convenient sales and a comfortable meeting area for guests participating in private lessons. A new rental services process will enhance the flow of guests and reduce waiting time.

(Source: Boreal Mountain Resort, photo: Tucker Norred)

Winter hours for Nevada County Fairgrounds

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Effective November 10 the Nevada County Fairgrounds will return to its winter hours with the inner-grounds and gates locked at 4:30 p.m. and closed on weekends. The inner-grounds and gates will remain open during the week to walkers and bicyclists, but all must be off the grounds before the gates lock at 4:30 p.m.

The winter hours only affect the inner-grounds and gate closures; it does not affect the Main Office, which is open during its normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, the RV Park at the Fairgrounds will remain open, and the gates and inner-grounds will remain open for any events that are taking place on the grounds during the winter months.

For more information about the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

“Exploring California’s Gold Country: Nevada City”

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Bay Area travel writer Susan Alcorn published another article about her recent trip to Nevada County that is published on

“On a recent trip to the gold country, we “leaf peekers” hoped to see Nevada City at the height of its fall color. Nature being what she is, we were early in the season, but nevertheless, we found much to photograph and to do in this charming small city and the surrounding area. Nevada City has a population of only 3,068, but it’s the county seat of Nevada County. Its downtown, with 93 buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s easy to take a walking tour to see the many fine brick storefronts in its downtown and the stately Victorian homes close by. (Click here for a map)

“One of the most popular old buildings is the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, which was built in 1856. The foundry was the first manufacturing location of the Pelton wheel. The Pelton wheel, invented by Lester Pelton in 1879, was a major breakthrough in mining operations. Basically, the turbine collected and transformed the energy of flowing water much more efficiently than waterwheels had previously. The Pelton wheel is still widely used for many applications today.

“The Miners Foundry now operates as a community and performing arts center hosting hundreds of activities yearly including stage and musical productions, receptions, and dances. Inside the foundry, you can find a printed, self-guided tour of the many historic artifacts in the building. Nevada City also hosts many popular tourist attractions. In January, the “Wild & Scenic Film Festival,” focusing on environmental issues, outdoor adventure and extreme sports is held. In June (usually on Father’s Day Weekend) the Nevada City Classic, a challenging professional cycling race, is held. Lance Armstrong was the winner in 2009.

“Hiking opportunities:

“In addition to the Nevada City walking tour, there are many other places to hike. The South Yuba River State Park (details in previous articles, see links below) is great for hiking year round.

“In addition, there is the Independence Trail. The Bear Yuba Land Trust’s website reads, “This trail, founded by the late John Olmsted, transformed an historic gold mining ditch into the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. It is now one of the most popular trails in the area, contouring along wooded hillsides, passing live streams, and crossing deep gorges on restored wooden flumes that once transported water for hydraulic mining. The trail has two separate sections (West and East) that extend from one main trailhead on Hwy 49. Independence Trail West is oriented for most of its length around the canyon of Rush Creek, a large tributary stream that enters the South Yuba River at Jones Bar. The West trail features several wooden flumes, a large covered viewpoint, picnic tables and benches. Flume 28, over 500′ in length, crosses above a waterfall on Rush Creek 1.1 miles west of the trailhead. It is a “must see” piece of mining history.”

“While you are in the region, plan to visit the fascinating Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. The park is the site of world’s largest hydraulic gold mine. Miners in the 1850-1880s, forced water through hoses and nozzles under high pressure to blast and wash the gold out of the mountainsides. Malakoff Diggins “devastated the pristine landscape leading to the first environmental law enacted in the nation.” In the park are more than 30 miles of hiking trails as well as camping and miners’ cabins (open seasonally), fishing, and Gold Rush-era buildings.”

To read the full article, including hiking opportunities, click here.

(Source: Susan Alcorn,

Watch Opening Day video at Boreal Mountain!

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The Boreal Mountain 2014-15 season opened on Friday and the crew from FYVE BOARD CO. not only got first chair, but dropped hammers all day! Open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Come get some!

(Video: Jason C. Manning)

Big news: Boreal Mountain Resort opens this Friday!

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Boreal Mountain Resort is opening for the 2014-15 winter season this Friday, November 7 at 9 a.m. There will be one run with six terrain park features accessed by the Castle Peak Quad chairlift. Early season conditions will exist. No easier terrain will be available at this time.

All-Day tickets are valid from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Night-Only tickets are valid from 3:30 to 9 p.m. Flying-Saucer Sledding and Snowplay/Pedestrian tickets will also be available. These snow activities will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flying-Saucer sleds will be provided and participants cannot use their own.

To pre-purchase tickets or to learn more, visit