By Alex Silgalis

The word June is derived from the Roman mythological goddess “Juno” meaning young. This month is all about long sunny days providing ample opportunities to get outside. It’s also a perfect time to leave a city like San Francisco or New York and visit the charming towns and countryside in Nevada County. One of the easiest ways to ensure you’ll have a blast is to plan a road trip around a festival. Here’s a small sampling of things to do in June alongside its outdoor adventures.

Celebration Of Trails

June 4th

If you love the trails in the Bear and Yuba watersheds of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains, this event is for you. Every year the Bear Yuba Land Trust plus other trail advocates kick off the summer with the Celebration of Trails. The event features eleven different adventures via guided excursions for you to choose from. Via foot, bike, or other, take in the 18,000 acres and 45+ miles they help conserve and maintain for future generations.

Rough & Ready’s Secession Days

June 5th

There’s a lot of history within the boundaries of Nevada County as seen via our Interactive Cultural Assets Map. One celebration that brings the wild and rambunctious history to life is the Rough & Ready Secession Days. This event celebrates the three months in 1850 where the town stood alone in secession from the United States. Known at that time as the Great Republic of Rough and Ready, it ultimately voted itself back in. The weekend includes activities like a chuckwagon breakfast inside the Fire Station, a chili cook-off, and the popular melodrama “The Saga of Rough and Ready.”

Truckee Dirt Fondo

June 11th

cyclists doing gran fondo in Truckee California
Sagan Fondo – Truckee Dirt Edition: VIP Pre-Ride with Peter Sagan on Boca Road near Truckee, California (Photo: Craig Huffman) – Image appears courtesy: Visit Truckee-Tahoe

We couldn’t highlight things to do in June without mentioning one of the newest and most exciting bike races in the area – Truckee’s Dirt Fondo. Started in 2018 by 3x world road racing champion Peter Sagan. Choose from 3 great routes. The rollout at 26 miles, the medium 58-mile course, or the long course stretching in at 67 miles. Throughout the whole weekend expect live music, beer, local cuisine, and even a vendor expo. A full weekend of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival

June 16th-19th

What started in 1976 on a flatbed truck in an empty field headlining local bands has grown into one of the premier bluegrass festivals in the nation. The four-day event at the Nevada City Fairgrounds has become “bluegrass city.” This includes a row of food vendors, luthiers (artisans that custom manufacture instruments like banjos and mandolins), and three stages filled with national touring bands as well as emerging California artists. If you’re a fan of music, this event is a MUST go.

North San Juan Cherry Festival

Do you want to visit an old-time town festival that the entire family will enjoy? Then this is it. More than a century old (in fact it’s over 125 years young), this festival harkens back to a time when North San Juan was covered in cherry trees. Although the number has diminished, there are still groves left that locals pick and preserve for future generations. The event features live music, games, face painting, a cake walk, dunk tank, and even a pie-eating contest.

When it comes to things to do in June, Nevada County is where it’s at. Combine these festivals with some outdoor fun like taking a dip in the legendary Yuba River, and you’ll be sure to start the summer off right.


Alex Silgalis

Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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