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Archive for the ‘Fun Things in the Area’ Category

Help Feather River Land Trust Save the Historic Olsen Barn

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The Historic Olsen Barn has been an icon for many visiting Lake Almanor and Chester, California


Historic Olsen Barn

Historic Olsen Barn

History of the Olsen Barn

The Olsen barn  is the only remaining barn of three barns Peter Olsen built in the 1860’s.  Peter Olsen immigrated from Norway in the early 1840’s to New York.  Peter Olsen his way to the Oregon Territory, then onto Chester where be began cattle ranching in 1859.  He then then went into dairying as many of the local ranchers did.

The Olsen Barn is not only a historical icon, but also an architectural masterpiece of the time.  The barn  is built with massive hand-hewed timbers and held together with hand carved wooden pegs.  It has definitely stood the test of time.  This is one of the few barns left that have the craftsmanship of this early method of construction.

Significance of the Olsen Barn Property

The Olsen Barn sits on 107 acres of meadow, riparian  forest and wetland adjacent to Lake Almanor at the eastern edge of Chester, California.  The barn stand as a reminder of times past and welcomes you into Chester.

This property has a high ecological value, especially for birds.  The property is part of Audubon designated  Important Bird Area.  It supports the 2nd largest concentration of the endangered Willow Flycatcher in the Sierra Region. A breeding pair of Greater Sandhill Crane make it home, and many more during migration.  Over 200 species of birds have been recorded here.  The Olsen barn currently supports a breeding pair of Barn Owl. This is also a favorite spot for spotting Bald Eagles and Osprey.

The property is an important haven for wildlife habitat.  Also offers wonderful opportunities for nature based recreation activities and outdoor learning.

Cultural Value of the Olsen Barn Property

This property, along with the greater Chester Meadow, is of cultural significance to the Maidu people and is the last remaining piece of Big Meadow that supported a high density of Madiu’s prior to western colonization of the area.  The barn itself is a treasured landmark of the town of Chester.  The barn is one of the few remaining structures dating back to the original settlers of Chester.

Feather River Land Trust Works to Save the Olsen Barn

Feather River Land Trust has taken on the task of saving the Olsen Barn and the 107 acres it sits on.

Earlier this year the Feather River Land Trust took on the task of raising funds to purchase the 107 acre piece of property on the edge of Chester.  One of the goals of the FRLT is to enhance the recreational opportunities  on this property.


Tour the Olsen Barn

How many times have you driven past the barn and wished to see the inside of the Olsen Barn?

If you have always wanted to see the inside of the Olsen Barn, there are two opportunities early this summer.

The first will be on June 27 from 11 a.m. to noon, as part of the FRLT membership appreciation day for present members and donors, or for those who wish to make a donation to the Olsen Barn campaign.”

To take part in the tour and picnic on June 27th please call 530-283-5758 or register online at  Pre-registration is required for the tour on June 27th.

June 27th is also Art Around the Lake, as part of the Art Around the Lake event both Sally Posner and Sally Yost will be ” Artisits in Action” at the Olsen Barn.

Art Around the Lake will be open 9 am – 4pm.  Tickets for the event are 10.00 dollars.  Please visit the website for Art Around the Lake for more information.

Another tour is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on  July 5.   Pre- registration is not required for the July 5th tour.

Mark you calendars for at least one of these dates.  Take time to learn about the Olsen Barn, possibly see the Barn Owls that make their home in the barn. Learn first hand about what the Feather River Land Trust plans to  do with this property into the future.


Collins Family Matching Gift Campaign

Make a donation between May 24th and July 11, 2015 and the Collins Family  has generously offered to match up to $60,000  to support the conservation of the Olsen Barn Property.  Make your donation worth more and get your donation into the Feather River Land Trust before July 11th.

Special Offer From Jan Carmichael Davies

OLSEN BARN SPECIAL: Jan will be offering  special Olsen barn prints (appropriately overpriced, LoL) with all profits going to the Olsen Barn property acquisition fundraiser. The donation amount will DOUBLE with the Collins Family matching donation offer good through July 11. Visit Jan Davies Photography for more details. See frlt.orgfor more about this. Or Feather River Land Trust on Facebook.

Olsen Barn  by Jan Davies

Olsen Barn Chester, Ca


More Ways to Donate

Checks– make out to FRLT and mail to FRLT, P.O. Box 1826, Quincy, CA 95971 or take to Chester Plumas Bank.

Online– Go to FRLT’s donation page and under donation type choose Olsen Barn Campaign.

Stock or Mutual Fund donation– Call Karen at 530-283-5758. It’s easy to make a stock donation and it’s especially beneficial if you have appreciated stock.


Thank-you to all that have donated to FRLT.  They have raised the money to purchase the land.  Watch for updates as FRLT works on a management plan for the property.



Outdoor Educational Tours – Touring with the Sierra Institute

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

 Outdoor Educational Tours with the Sierra Institute

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment is a non-profit organization based out of Taylorsville, Ca.  The Institute offers outdoor educational tours about forest and watershed management.

As part of the Sierra Institute’s goal of getting people outdoors to learn about sustainable forests, local resources, and the unique history and culture of the rural communities of the Lake Almanor Basin and Northern Sierra Nevada, the Institute offers several outdoor educational tours each year.

Make sure to bookmark the Sierra Institute’s web page as many of the tours change each year.  The website is full of testimonials from previous participants.

Tour guides are knowledgeable and friendly. Tasty snacks, meals and beverages are provided.  Cost of each tour is only $50.00 per person.

If you have a strong interest in attending one or all of the educational tours and the cost is stopping you, become a volunteer.

There’s a lot to do when you volunteer at the Sierra Institute!  As a Center of Forestry volunteer, you can learn about local history by volunteering to assist on a tour, or participate in community events sharing the word about Sierra Institute and the Center of Forestry Tours.

Please contact the Sierra Institute directly and let them know you are interested in volunteering for one or more of the Outdoor Educational Tours.  There are several different ways to help.

Recommend to bring  your camera for all the outdoor educational tours.   In the interest of the environment, we always encourage our participants to bring their refillable water bottles, which we can refill during the tour.  Good walking shoes and a hat are always a plus on all our tours! Thank you!


May 9 – Geology 101 of Northern Sierra Outdoor Educational Tour

Soda Rock on the Feather River

Soda Rock on the Feather River

In celebration of Lassen Feather River History Month, Sierra Institute’s Center of Forestry is offering an educational tour focused on the geology of the Northern Sierra Nevada, specifically the Feather River Canyon area.

Bridget Tracy, an environmental studies lecturer at Feather River College, will lead this tour down Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon to view the unique geology of this area.

This tour meets at the Feather River College in Quincy at 9:00 am.  Forestry Building Room 40.

Various stops along the way to see the variety of rock formations, learn about historical values of these formations, and more.

You will explore the geologic evolution of the Northern Sierra Nevada/Southern Cascades over the past 300-million years and cover a wide range of topics from plate tectonics and basic rock types, to gold mineralization and gold recovery, along with river mechanics and water in California.

You’ll see examples of meta-sedimentary and meta-volcanic rock, and some fantastic and colorful rock formations created over millions of years through various geological forces. You’ll learn the difference between brittle and ductile deformations and see examples of both. You will visit the Melones Fault, which is considered mainly responsible for gold in California, and also see one of the last stamp mills in the Northern Sierra while learning a bit about California’s gold mining legacy.

Finally, on our way back we’ll detour to Highway 89 and stop at Soda Rock, also known as Ch’ichy’yam-bam to the Maidu.

Morning refreshments, lunch, and bus transportation are provided as part of the tour, which begins at 9:00am and concludes no later than 3:00pm. Cost is $50 per person.

Visit website at for more information on our tours, and on all our programs.

and on all our programs. To reserve your space, or receive information via email, please contact Camille Swezy at 530.284.1022, or email at

In addition to camera, and water if you have a rock pick or loop, please feel free to bring them.


May 30 – Stairway of Power Outdoor Educational Tour

Belden Power House on the Feather River

Belden Power House on the Feather River

The Water, Power, Fish, and Fire tour, one of the most popular outdoor educational  tours, discusses current issues and interests dealing with hydroelectric power and its relationship with fish populations, fire, and water in the Feather River Watershed.

The tour begins at 8:30 a.m. in Chester at the Collins Pine Museum, where participants will be introduced to the day’s events, tours guides, and enjoy morning refreshments.


Participants will then begin the journey down the “Stairway of Power.” The first stop will be at the Prattville intake on the southwest shore of Lake Almanor, where discussion will be centered on lake ecology, PG&E’s re-licensing process, the potential for a thermal curtain to be installed in the lake to lower the temperature of the North Fork of the Feather River.  Residents of the Lake Almanor Basin are very much against the installation of a thermal curtain in Lake Almanor.

The tour will follow the water down to Butt Valley Reservoir, where participants will discuss the ecological effects of dams on fisheries. The group continues to the Caribou and Belden Powerhouses.

After lunch near the Belden Powerhouse and  the  Old Grist Mill the tour will  head back through the 2012 Chips Fire burn area, discussing the effects of wildfire on the forest and riparian areas.

The tour will conclude around 4:00 p.m., returning participants to the Collins Museum in Chester.

The tour guides for the day will be Ken Roby, retired Fisheries Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, and Mike Willhoit, retired PG&E manager of the DeSabla division, which covers Butte, Glen. The guide for the fire part of the tour has yet to be determined.

Space is limited, so call early to reserve your place. Morning refreshments, lunch, and transportation are provided as part of the tour, which begins at 8:30am and concludes before 5:00pm. Cost is $50 per person per tour.

Visit  website at for more information on our tours, and on all our programs.

To reserve your space, or receive information via email, please contact Camille Swezy at 530.284.1022, or email at

History Tours & Treasures – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

MAY 2015

May History Month

Lassen-Feather River History Month


Lassen Volcanic National Park and communities in Lassen and Plumas County that surround the Park and the Lake Almanor Basin are working together to bring you a full month of special history related activities.

Between visiting the local museums and special programs planned during the month there is always time to just sit back and enjoy to tranquility and beauty of the mountains.

Take in a hike or two on one of great hiking trails in the area.  Lassen Park has over 150 miles of hiking trails within park boundaries.  Lake Almanor has a wonderful 12 mile paved recreation trail along the west side of Lake Almanor.  There are many other trails available in both the Lassen and Plumas National Forest and the Bizz Johnson Trail between Westwood and Susanville.

 History Month Begins May 8th in Westwood

Westwood Museuem

Visit the Westwood Museum

The History Month activities kick off in the community of Westwood on May 8th with an Italian dinner at the Calvary Chapel at 6 pm.  Proceeds will help benefit the Westwood Museum.  Marilyn Quadrio will give a presentation on the History of Red River Company and the building of the Lake Almanor Dam completed in 1914.  Cost for dinner and presentation is $12.00.

Grand Opening of the Westwood Museum for the summer season will be May 9th from 11 am – 4pm.  Entrance will be free for the day.

May 16 & 17th Greenville and Indian Valley History of the 1940’s

Cy-Hall Memorial Museum in Greenville

Cy-Hall Memorial Museum in Greenville


The weekend of May 16th and 17th Greenville will be featuring Indian Valley history during the 1940’s.  Local residents who lived in the area in the 1940’s will be giving 1st hand stories of events, including history from the Maidu perspective.


Greenville and Indian Valley will also have their famous Valley wide yard sale bonanza which has been a local favorite for over 25 years.  Usually there are over 30 individual locations participating, with special treasures to be found.

 Barn Quilt Tour of Plumas County

8 Original Barn Quilts of Plumas County

8 Original Barn Quilts of Plumas County by Nansi Lillian Bohne


While driving between locations take time to view the wildflowers in the meadows and the beautiful Barn Quilts located on many of the Barns in the area.  Local merchants will gladly share the locations of their favorite Barn Quilt with you.

Map of Quincy Barn Quilts



Peter Lassen Marker

Ca State Historic Marker No. 184



Look for the historic marker of Peter Lassen’s 1850 Trading Post.  It is State Landmark No. 184 and is located on the North side of North Valley Road about 4 ½ miles from downtown Greenville.

More history on Plumas County.



Young’s Market is inside a two story brick building on the corner of Main and Nelson Streets in Taylorsville. It is ell worth a stop just to see the working 100 + year old cash register.  The store also makes great sandwiches that you can enjoy on site or take with you for a picnic.

 History of the Eruptions of Lassen

May 22, 1915 Eruption of Lassen Peak

Lassen Eruption seen from Red Bluff, California


May 22, 1915, was the explosive eruption of Lassen Peak.  This eruption devasted nearby areas (much of the devastation can still be seen in the park 100 years later) and rained volcanic ash as far away as 200 miles to the east.  More photos of the eruptions of 1914 and 1915.

Honoring this event 100 years later Lassen Volcanic National Park has scheduled several special presentations by the USGS and park staff starting on May 20th and continuing through May 25th.

May 22 and 23rd there will be a special evening program 9:30 – 11 pm of Night Sky Viewing  from the Devasted Area led by park rangers.  Our National Parks are one of the last places to enjoy the night skies without interference of light pollution

Please visit the Lassen Park website for specific details of all the special events planned both at the south and north entrance of the park as well as at the Devasted Area for Memorial Weekend.

Other Memorial Weekend Events in Chester and Greenville

The Rotary Club of Chester will be hosting their Annual Memorial Weekend Craft Fair at the Chester Park, next to the Feather River.

Indian Valley will be hosting the Indian Valley Century Bike Ride on the 23rd of May.  The ride begins at the Greenville High School and has 3 different lengths for you to choose from.

Memorial Weekend is always a busy time in the Lake Almanor Basin. Make your lodging reservations early. Bikes, Kayaks, Paddle Boards, Jet Skis and speed boats are all available to rent either in Chester or on Lake Almanor beginning Memorial Weekend.

 May 29th -31st History of the Early Days of Chester and Big Meadows

Chester in the early days

Chester in the early days


May 29th – 31st Chester has a full weekend of events planned for your enjoyment starting Friday night with a presentation on Chester and its Pioneer families with a special collection of photographs of the people and places in the early years of Chester.  This presentation will be given by the local historian and author of Big Meadows and Lake Almanor, Marilyn Quadrio.

Saturday morning Lassen Park staff will visit Chester with a special kid friendly presentation about Volcanoes.  You will learn about the different types of Volcanoes and where to find each type in Lassen Park.

Saturday afternoon take a self guided tour of Collins Nature Walk.  Visit Collins Museum for an overview of the Collins Family Lumber operation from 1855 to present day.  Terry Collins will be giving the presentation personally.


Olsen Barn

Olsen Barn

Old Town Chester will be hosting a Beer Stroll with proceeds to help Save the Olsen Barn on Saturday from 4-7 pm.  This is a great time to visit the one of kind stores in Old Town, visit the Olsen Barn, and taste some great beer.

Feather River Land Trust is in the process of purchasing 107 acres on the eastern edge of Chester.  With the purchase of this land the Land Trust will be able to save the iconic Olsen Barn, built by Peter Olsen, in the 1860’s.

Prints available for purchase. 

The Feather River Land Trust has met the first deadline of raising 65,000 by April 10th.  They will still need to raise another 781,000 by Sept 26th to complete the deal.    To make donations please visit the website for the Feather River Land Trust at:

Marilyn Quadrio will be giving a second presentation of the History of Chester’s Pioneer Families at the Memorial Hall Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Hall from 4 – 5 pm.

On Sunday come visit the St. Bernard Lodge and tour the Park Forty Interpretive Trail jut off the PCT.  Terry Collins will give guided tours of the trail between 1-2 pm.  Shuttles will be available between 12:45 and 2:30 from the St. Bernard Lodge and the Park 40 Trailhead.  Parking is very limited at the trailhead.

If you would like lunch or dinner at the St. Bernard Lodge please make reservations one day in advance.  The St. Bernard Lodge is also a great place to spend the weekend.

 Visit the St. Bernard Lodge for early history of the lodge

St. Bernard Lodge Then

St. Bernard Lodge Then



St. Bernard Lodge Now

St. Bernard Lodge Now







For more information on any of the events please give us a call  at 530-258-3382.  We will be glad to help you plan your visit to Lassen Park and the Lake Almanor Basin.

More details on each of these events can also be found on the Mountain Affairs website.

May, will be a very special month this year in the Lake Almanor Basin and Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Our mountain communities are looking forward to having you visit and learn about the local history.


Bike Rides near St. Bernard Lodge 2015

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Bike Rides in Northern California – Lassen Park, Plumas and Lassen County


Lassen Park offers vehicle free day to ride Hwy 89 through Lassen Park




This will be the third year that Lassen Park will open the road to cyclists first.  This gives you the opportunity to enjoy the main road through Lassen Park without motorized vehicles.  Please watch the park website for updates as to when this will be.  Most likely it will be just before  or on Memorial Weekend.  The exact date depends on snow conditions and when the road crews have the road cleared.  Park website.

Comment from previous rider:

In 2014, the Park began an annual program where they opened the road to bikes and walkers only for one three-day weekend.  It is, to put it mildly, a dream ride.   The date is determined by the snow level, so you just have to watch the Lassen website/Facebook page and be ready to go with 2 weeks notice.  In 2014 the Park closed the road to cars for one day in the fall, again known only to people who had friended the Park Facebook page.  It’s totally worth the effort to arrange your riding to fall on these dates—having no cars on the road makes an already splendid ride simply sublime.   I’m told that the Park Service takes much heat from angry motorists about the closures, so, if you want the closures to continue, go to the Lassen website or Facebook page and add a comment telling them they’re a swell idea and you’re grateful as hell.   Full post.


 Indian Valley Century Ride

May 23, 2915  Start time 7:00 am

Indian Valley Century Bike RidePhoto courtesy of TripAdvisor

This bike ride through Indian Valley offers you a choice of 3 different ride lengths.  All the rides take in the beauty of the Indian Valley Ranch and pasture lands.  As you ride look for some of the great barn quilt patterns on many of the old barns.

First ride is a leisurely 30 miles to Taylorsville and back to Greenville.  This ride is fairly flat.  Make sure to take a few minutes to visit Young’s Market.  Inside the market is a wonderful 100 year old cash register.

Metric Ride goes from Greenville to Genesse and back.  Lunch stop in Genesse before heading back to Greenville.

100 mile ride goes from Greenville to Antelope Lake and back to Genesse for lunch before returning to Greenville.

For more information on the rides and registration form.


Lost and Found Bike Ride

May 30th  Start time 8:30 am


Lost and Found Bike RideThis is a unique bike ride with a blend of pavement, dirt road, gravel road and historic railroad grade.  Net proceeds benefit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.


The ride offers 3 options; 100 miles with 7,000′ elevation gain, 60 miles with a 4,000′ elevation gain and 30 miles with a 2,000′ elevation gain.  There are 8 theme based aid stations along the route.  Post ride BBQ and cold beers from the Brewing Liar.

Ride descriptions, rules and registration information .

33rd Annual Mile High 100 Ride Chester/Lake Almanor

June 20th  Registration  6-9 pm Friday June 19th, 6-9 am June 20th at Chester Park or online.


This ride also has the option of 3 different lengths to choose from

1.  The Century Ride ( 3,200′ elevation climb) .  The ride starts at Chester Park, and heads out to Warner Valley and the Lee Ranch, then around the west side of Lake Almanor, heading south to Greenville and the Indian Valley Arm to Tayorsville and back up the east side of Lake Almanor into Chester.  As on the Indian Valley ride make sure to look for Barn Quilts along the route.

2.  The Half Metric Bike Ride ( 600′ elevation climb) Ride starts at Chester Park and circles around Lake Almanor.  Make sure to take time to take in the various views of Lassen Peak along the route.

3.  Metric Century Bike Ride ( 1,500′ elevation climb).  Again starts at Chester Park out to Lee Ranch and around Lake Almanor.

For maps and details of the ride.

Bizz Johnson Rails to Trails Fall Bike Ride

Exact Date still to be determined this event has been held in October previous years.


Bizz Johnson Fall Bike RideThe Bizz Johnson Trail in the fall offers some spectacular  fall colors  as you ride along the Susan River. Due to the remarkable autumn colors the Bizz Johnson Trail was featured on Rails to Trails Conservancy 1997 ” Fall Foliage on the web” rails to trails guide .

The bike ride, mostly downhill on a smooth and wide gravel trail, is ideal for  the whole family. Mountain bikes or wide-tired bikes are recommended. Riders should bring helmets, clothing layers for changing conditions, food and water.  By starting in Westwood at 5,100′ you have a slight climb to 5,500′ at Westwood Junction and then slowly drop 1,300′ to elevation of 4,200 feet in Susanville.  The trail crosses the Susan River 12 times on bridges and trestles and goes through two tunnels.

The Lassen Rural Bus weekend service will take bike riders from the historic Susanville Railroad Depot, 602 Richmond Rd., to trail drop off points at Devil’s Corral, Fredonyer Summit and Westwood, where riders can connect to the trail for 7, 18 and 30-mile rides back to Susanville. The Bureau of Land Management will shuttle bicycles from Susanville to the drop points.

Riders should meet at the Depot at 8:00a.m. to sign-in and load bikes on the shuttle.

Participants can register by calling the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, (530) 257-0456.  Watch for updates and register early, BLM has room to shuttle only 44 riders and bikes.

The trail is managed jointly by the BLM and the Lassen National Forest with support from the non-profit Lassen Land and Trails Trust.  Map of trail.

Fall Leaf Peeper Bike Ride

Oct. 3, 2015

This bike ride is held by the Indian Valley Chamber and follows the same routes as their spring bike ride.  During the fall ride you have the added beauty of the awesome fall colors of the area.  Please visit the Chamber website  for details.

General Biking Information

Bodfish Bicyles on the Main in Chester is a great place if you need personal information on bike routes in the Lake Almanor Basin or need repairs to your bicycle.  Their website has several great maps of different routes to choose from in the area.

St. Bernard Lodge happens to be located right on the route for the  Sierra Cascade Bicycle Tour.  The lodge is approximately half -way through the trip. ( Section 3 of the maps) Splurge spend the night with us have a great dinner and breakfast before heading out the next day.  The lodge is 15.2 miles from the intersection of Hwy. 89/36 at the south entrance of Lassen Park.

Video of the Sierra Cascade Bicycle Tour

Please give us a call if you need any help in planning a trip to the area for one of the scheduled bike rides or to visit at another time.





Snow Goose Festival – Chico California

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

 Snow Goose Festival

The 16th Annual .Snow Gooses Festival is organized by Altacal Audubon Society.  This year there will be over 60 field trips,and workshops along with an art show.  The workshops and field trips are varied youth, beginner birders and experience birders will all find several field trips and or workshops suited to their interest and experience level.

Dates:  Jan. 21st – Jan. 25th

Pacific Flyway

photo by Steve McDonald

photo by Steve McDonald


The Snow Goose Festival is situated in one of the greatest migratory pathways in the entire world, the Pacific Flyway.  This flyway stretches from the Bering Strait on the coast of Alaska to the steeps at Patagonia in South America.

The Northern Sacramento Valley has some of the most accessible viewing areas on this migratory pathway.  Tens of Thousands Snow Geese choose to winter in the Sacramento Valley.  Close to one and half million use the Pacific Flyway.


The Snow Goose Festival is an annual event held in Chico, Ca each winter.  This year the event will run from Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 25th.  The mission of the festival is to celebrate the Snow Geese and to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and the conservation of the incredible wildlife and related habitats of the Northern Sacramento Valley.


Photo by Steve McDonald

Photo by Steve McDonald

Online registration is available until Wed. Jan. 21st.  Please visit  the Snow Goose Festival website to check for open field trips.  A few of the trips still open are; Marathon Big Birding Day in Colusa County, Marathon Big Birding Day in Butte County, Bidwell’s Yah Trail, Winter Raptors on the Sacramento Refuge Fly-off to name a few.

Another open field trip that is not entirely focused on birding is the Birds and Rice Growers tour which is on Friday.  The tour will include the rice drying operations at the plant in Richvale.

Special field trips to areas that are not always open to the general public include; Rancho Esquon,  and Dye Creek Preserve.

Rancho Esquon is a working ranch and it is common to see Sandhill Cranes during the winter months on the ranch.  Dye Creek Preserve is in Eastern Tehama County.  Lewis’s Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Quail, Ferruginous Hawk, Bald and Golden Eagle are all common.

The bird carving, Gardens as Habitat, and photography workshops are still open.  You do not have to be a “birder” to enjoy these workshops.

Field trips and workshops range in prices from 8 dollars to 45 dollars.

Youth Oriented Programs

kids snow goose 2

Special Youth Programs



On Sat. and Sunday several workshops are designed especially for youth at the Chico Masonic Family Center.  Smokey the Bear and the Blue Goose will be making an appearance.  Children can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and a Junior Naturalist Certificate.



Steve Zachery from Lassen Volcanic National Park with  be leading a workshop on Sunday 11:00 am – 12:30 pm which will teach children how to identify the four major types of volcanoes.  If you have not visited Lassen Park it is worth adding to your list of National Parks to visit.  Lassen Park is the only National Park in the U.S. that has all four types of volcanoes within park boundaries.

Lassen Park is home to 216 species of birds.  The park is part of several monitoring programs and a bird banding station.  Bird list for Lassen Park.


  Art Show

snow goose art

Art Show


Fifty-five artists have submitted work to be on display at the Avenue 9 Gallery at 180 E. Ninth and The Esplande.  Artwork will be on display from Jan. 16th- February 7th.  There will be a free reception on Jan. 23rd from 5- 8 pm.

List of artists displaying their work.



If you have a few extra days in the area, plan a stay at the St. Bernard Lodge.  St. Bernard Lodge is about one hour north of Chico and 20 minutes from the SW entrance of Lassen Park.  St. Bernard Lodge is also about 40 minutes from the Bizz Johnson Trail which is a California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area.  Bizz Johnson Trail is home to 100 bird species.

Fall Biking Events in Plumas County & Lassen Park

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Three Weekends with special  fall biking events scheduled for Plumas County and Lassen Volcanic National Park.


Leaf Peeper Bike Ride hosted by Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce

Sat. Oct, 4th


fall 2014


Three rides for different skill levels will be offered.  All the rides begin and end at the Greenville High School.


1. The 100 mile rides takes you through Genesee, pass the Heart K Ranch and up around Antelope Lake.

2.  The metric ride takes you to Genesse and back.

3.  30 mile route is from Greenville High School to Taylorsville and back.


Registration forms are available from the Indian Valley Chamber.  Registrations will also be accepted the morning of the ride between 7 am and 9 am at the Greenville High School.

Registration includes a lunch, snacks and bevarages along the route.  Showers are available at the end.


Playday at the Heart K Ranch

Sat. Oct. 11

Photo by Heather Kingdon

Heat K Ranch Photo by Heather Kingdon

A moderate Mountain Biking Route has been added to the days events.  Approximate time of ride is 9 am – noon.  Video of route.

This ride will be lead by Feather River Land Trust and outdoor enthusiast Dana Fenimore for a beautiful fall ride along a historic wagon route between Genesee and Reno in rural Plumas County, CA. The ride takes you along Red Clover creek with lovely fall foliage and spectacular views of the montane meadows of the “Lost Sierra”. This ride is an out and back on well maintained dirt roads with multiple turn around options.

Other Play Day events:


Help with restoration of historic building and forest cleanup. 9 am – noon.

Ranch tour highlighting sustainable Ag, Native American Land Use and Healthy Forest Project.  9 am – noon.

BBQ Lunch from 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Play Day Fun!  1pm – 4pm.  No host Brewing Lair beer/wine.  Hula Hoop Contest and Silent Auction.

Buy tickets before Oct. 7th  20.00 adults, after Oct. 7th 25.00 for adults.  Students 10.00.

Volunteers and children 10 and under free.  This is a fund raising event for the Heart K Ranch.  Please RSVP at 530-283-5758 or or online at

The Heart K Ranch is about 15 miles from the intersection of Hwy 89 and Arlington Road.  Follow Arlington about 5 miles, through Taylorsville and bear right onto the Genessee Road.  Follow for 9 miles until you see the Heart K Ranch.  Big Red Barn on left with barn Quilt on front.

Fall Bike Ride in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Sat. Oct. 18th.


Lassen Park has added a new event for Fall of 2014.

vehicle free day

This is your opportunity to enjoy walking, running or biking the park highway vehicle-free.  You may even bring leashed pets for the event.

Take your time enjoy the views and fall colors along the park road without the disruption of motorized vehicles.

Be prepared for cool weather,  layered clothing,sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are advised.  Restrooms will be open at various stops along the highway.  Water will be available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, Lassen Peak parking area and the Loomis Musuem.

For more details about this special fall bike ride in Lassen Park read the fall vehicle-free day handout.


Rooms are still available for all three of these weekends at the St. Bernard Lodge.







Travel the Feather River Canyon by Train

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Have you ever wanted to relive a little bit of history? 

Keddie Train 50'sThis is your chance to join Trains & Travel for an unforgettable experience of riding a private charter train up the scenic Feather River and take part in the fun of the 32nd annual Portola Railroad Days.


The special charted train trip starts in Emeryville and will stop to pick-up passengers in Martinez, Davis, Sacramento and Oroville.  Departing eastbound from the Bay Area the train runs on the former Southern Pacific Route along water’s edge of the San Francisco Bay with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. After the last pick-up in Oroville the rail line starts the climb in the High Sierra running around Lake Oroville and at one point you will travel over Lake Oroville on the West Branch and then travel through a series of tunnels running under Big Bend Mountain. Once the train reaches the lower region of the Feather River Canyon you will travel 91 miles  through three different regions of the rugged Feather River Canyon.  A number of PG&E hydro dams and powerhouses can be seen from the train. You will pass through a total of 32 tunnels as the train makes it journey from Emeryville to Portola. You will cross the Pulga and Tobin stacked bridges.

Six miles west of Quincy begins a stretch of railroad tracks referred to as the 7 Wonders of the Railroad World.  You will travel over 6 of these wonders between Keddie and Portola.

The first if referred as the “Keddie Wye”.  It is the only railroad wye in the world with two legs on bridges and a closing track in a tunnel.  The next is the Keddie yard, here two trains passing each other in opposite directions are both actually moving eastward.  East of Quincy is “Williams Loop” , the railroad track makes a continuous one mile loop to gain altitude.  The track crosses over itself to gain the necessary elevation required.  Long trains actually cross over themselves.  You will cross the Clio Trestle which is a breathtaking structure at 172 feet in height and 1,005 feet long.


You may choose to ride the train one-way or round trip.  This route is basically a freight only line now and seldom sees a passenger train.  It is very possible that this will be the last year that Trains and Travel will be offering this specific train trip due to costs.  The company is offering several different classes of tickets and lengths of trip to meet varying budgets.

 The second day of the trip you can spend at the Portola Railroad Days, starting with the Golden Spike Parade.  The passenger train will depart Portola at 2:00pm for the 40 mile journey down the Feather River Canyon to Keddie where it will turn  around on the famous Keddie Wye and Spanish Creek Bridge.

 Day three you board the train for a return trip down the Feather River Canyon and back to the bay area.

 For  more complete details on pricing, departure times, meals, lodging and transfers please visit Train & Travel’s website.  Train & Travel also offer other excursions all over the world.

 For more details on the Portola Railroad Festival please visit their website.  The Feather River Rail Society was founded in 1983 with a goal to preserve the memories and significant equipment from the 100 year history of the Western Pacific Railroad.

 The Western Pacific Railroad Museum now has one of the best collections of early diesel locomotives in the U.S.  Train rides in cabooses and vista flat cars are available on weekends during the summer and with special arrangements you can even drive a locomotive.  The Railroad Museum can be reached at 530-832-4131 or



Valentine’s Weekend Chilly Chili Cook-off

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Join in the fun planned by the Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce on February 15th, 2014.

Ice Carving


Join us for a fairly new event in Chester, the Chilly Chili Cook-off. Talented chili chefs from Plumas County and beyond will be serving some great chili and competing for some great prizes. In 2013, thirteen teams with a wide range of chili recipes competed. This year more teams have already registered.


You have until Feb. 8th to register your team at  Entry is free to chamber members and for non-members registration is only 30.00.

The event starts at 1:00 pm and goes until 4 pm at the Almanor Recreation Center. Eight dollars will buy you a tasting kit. Tasting kit includes voting ballots for the Peoples’ Choice Awards, kit also has a 10.00 discount for Coopervale Ski area. Plan on spending the afternoon either showing off your cooking abilities or just tasting some great chili while enjoying live music.

Live music will be provided by Edgewater. The group plays a mix of classic rock and roll, progressive and alternative rock,and rhythm and blues.

A special attraction of ice carving by Tim Carman, a chef from Reno’s El Dorado Hotel and Casino, will be back carving away at three 200-pound blocks of ice into works of art.

St. Bernard Lodge still has rooms available for this weekend.  Book three nights and get 20.00 off third night.

21st Annual Rails to Trails Festival

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the Historic Susanville Railroad Depot.  This year is the Centennial of the Susanville Railroad Depot.

The Rails to Trails Festival and Bizz Johnson Marathon draws guests from all over California and Northern Nevada.
Highlights of the festival include; chili cook-off, salsa contes, live music, rail road handcar races and great food.
This annual event besides being a day of fun, supports Lassen Land and Trails Trusts’s mission to conserve significant natural areas and landcapes and to promote and enhance a system of leading public trails in North Eastern California.


Bizz Johnson TrailFall colors shoud be at their peak on the Bizz Johnson Trail this weekend.  Bizz Johnson trail is also desingated as a California Watchable Wildlife Spot.

Due to National Park closure the St. Bernard Lodge has rooms available for the weekend. Come spend one or two night with us.  Enjoy the Rails to Trails Festival and then take in the Fall Colors in Plumas County.




Wine Tasting and Annual Manton Apple Festival

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Manton Apple Festival is the 1st Saturday of October each year. This year it is Saturday Oct. 5th at the Manton School. Festival runs from 9 am to 4pm.

There are over 100 vendors with handmade crafts and food. A range of activities for the whole family; dunking for apples, pie contest, games, live music and much more.  Come join in the fun, proceeds support community projects and scholarships.

While in Manton check-out the local wineries;  Cedar Crest Vineyard, Indian Peak Vineyards, Mount Tehama Vineyards,  and Shasta Daisy Vineyards.

From Manton it is a short drive up the hill to St. Bernard Lodge, plan on spending a night at the lodge.  Lassen Volcanic National Park may be closed, but we still have miles of hiking trails. For availability at St. Bernard LOdge

On Sunday enjoy a hike or drive around Plumas County and the Feather River Canyon.  An array of fall color awaits you to discover. Current leaf peeper reports.