A Visit to Penn Valley

South Yuba River Park at Bridgeport, Pilot Peak Winery and the Tack Room

Following a relaxing night enjoying all the things there are to see and do in Grass Valley, start your day with a delicious breakfast at Charlie’s Cafe located at 145 South Auburn Street in Grass Valley.

On your way to Penn Valley, stop in and pick up a picnic lunch at Blue Cow Deli. The deli offers vegetarian fare, hot and cold sandwiches on gourmet breads, delicious soups and salads.

Directions: From Grass Valley travel down Hwy 20 to Penn Valley. Turn left at Penn Valley Drive (there is a signal at this intersection). Follow Penn Valley Drive to a stop sign at Spenceville & Penn Valley Drive. Turn right to continue on Penn Valley Drive. Follow for a short distance to a small strip center located on the right side of the road. At 17500A Penn Valley drive you will see the Blue Cow Deli.

Continue to South Yuba River Park at Bridgeport: Out the driveway of Blue Cow Deli, turn right onto Penn Valley Drive and follow it to Hwy 20. Cross Highway 20 to Pleasant Valley Road. Follow Pleasant Valley Road for about 8 miles to South Yuba River Park at Bridgeport.

Along the way you will pass Lake Wildwood, a planned community, ideal for enjoying water sports and a championship golf course, designed by William Bell, who also designed Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.

Upon arrival at the South Yuba River Park at Bridgeport you can wander through the history of Bridgeport’s covered bridge and conserved historic wagons, pan for gold, escape to a hidden swimming hole, and roam the trails surrounded by wildflowers, and picnic by the Yuba River.

The Visitors Center and Gift Shop offers a plethora of information about the activities, history and natural resources found at Bridgeport and the surrounding area. Come see the displays of local wildlife, Native American culture, and Bridgeport settlers. Hikers may choose from short, level trails to longer more rugged trails, and everything in between.

The South Yuba River is famous for its pristine swimming holes surrounded by smooth granite rocks. Gold panning demonstrations are held every weekend in the summer. The South Yuba River is home to a large number of bird species, and a stopover point for migrating birds. You may see the small but mighty American dipper swimming underwater in the rapids or a bald eagle soaring overhead. Guided bird walks are offered in the fall and spring. If you enjoy fishing, the Sacramento pike minnow is prevalent year round, while colder water temperatures may yield a small mouth bass or brown trout. Fishing licenses are required for ages 16 and up. Don’t miss the Historic Barn and conserved Wagon collection that visually illustrates “The Story of Two Hundred Years of Transportation” from Western Nevada County to the gold and silver mining fields.

After enjoying Bridgeport, we suggest you experience wine tasting at Pilot Peak Winery.

Pilot Peak Winery offers comparative tastings, a sampling of four of their finest wines served alongside each other. A small plate of appetizers adds to the experience and provides the opportunity to appreciate the delightful interactions created by the marriage of food and wine.

Directions: Simply follow Pleasant Valley Road back to Hwy 20. Cross Hwy 20 and turn right onto Penn Valley Drive. Follow Penn Valley Drive a short distance and turn left onto Indian Springs Road. Drive through the pastoral countryside to Spenceville Road. Turn right and follow Spenceville Road a short distance to the Pilot Peak Winery entrance. The beautiful tiered, stone-walled terraces create an enchanting atmosphere.

Ready for a classic steak dinner or grilled seafood? Try Tack Room restaurant, a classic western-style roadhouse BBQ restaurant.

Directions: As you leave the winery follow Spenceville Road back to the intersection of Spenceville Road and Penn Valley Drive. Travel through the intersection and Spenceville Road becomes Penn Valley Drive. On the left you will find the Tack Room restaurant.

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