Did you know Lake Oroville is the best bass fishing lake in California?
Bassmaster magazine voted Lake Oroville as the best spot to catch bass. But bass aren’t the only fish in Lake Oroville, there’s Coho salmon, catfish, mackinaw and brown trout too. Camping opportunities abound at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area including boat-in campsites and ten floating campsites, along with more typical all-terrain and RV hookup sites. Loafer Creek Campgrounds also boasts horse camps. For camping reservations, call Reserve America at 800-444-PARK (7275). With 167 miles of shoreline to explore boating, water skiing, wake boarding and other water activities abound.
Reserved for non-motorized use only, the North Forebay is a sailor’s dream come true. Ranked as the best sailing and windsurfing north of the Bay Area, these waters and winds are delightful. The spot is also popular with those who prefer to canoe, swim, or just relax in the sun. A 200-yard sandy swimming beach has men’s and women’s dressing rooms, drinking water, and shade trees to keep the sun off your picnic table and you. A 15-space RV campsite and restrooms are also found at the North Forebay.
In addition to the North Forebay, there is a 7500 sq. ft. aquatic center on site. The Forebay Aquatic Center provides boat rentals such as kayaks, pedal boats, hydro bikes, canoes, and sailboats. In addition to the rentals, the center offers courses in sailing, sit-on-top kayaking, canoeing, wakeboarding, rowing, and aquatic camps for youths ages 8-16. The Center is open daily 10:00am – 7:00 pm.
The South Forebay is the spot for speed competitions. Jet ski, speedboat and hydroplaners all come here to show what they’re made of. There’s also a new swimming beach, a picnic area, and a fish cleaning station, as well as shade trees.
The Visitor Center is just a short drive from Bidwell Marina, is a great source for just about any kind of information on the area. The center, a joint venture between California’s Dept. of Parks & Recreation and the Dept of Water Resources, has exhibits which cover the history of the California water projects from the early Spanish-built dams to the dams of today, Maidu Indian Culture, and local wildlife. More than 40 videos are available for viewing upon request. Be sure to climb the 47 foot high viewing tower for spectacular views of the lake, mountains and valley.
Freda Ehmann, "Mother of the Ripe Olive Industry and her son Edwin built this Colonial Revival Craftsman home in 1911 after she'd perfected a curing process for ripe olives and had markets across the nation. Open for tours on Thursdays from 11:00am-3:00pm, the home features lovely wainscoting, hardwood floors, fireplaces, intricate stained glass windows, and antique furniture including a Chickering piano that came around the Horn.
The Butte County Historical Society Museum & Archives features rotating Collector's Corner exhibits. It houses Ishi's jail cell door, early gold scales, photographs, an amazingly detailed dollhouse, an Erle Stanley Gardner exhibit and many videos. Research assistance is available and various gifts are sold at all 3 locations.
The Chinese Temple & Museum gives us a look into the life of a gold-rush era Chinese worker. Built in 1863 to serve a community of 10,000 Chinese, this temple of treasures is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also as a California Landmark. The Temple has 3 chapels actively used for worship. You won’t want to miss the garden which is designed as a place for mediation and reflection and has plantings that originated in China.
Built in 1856, the Lott Home serves as a cultural repository for decorative art objects which are typical of the homes of Oroville’s pioneer families. The collection includes antique furnishings, paintings, rugs, textiles, clothes, solver, and glassware of the period 1849-1910. The tour retells a love story, including the surprise built into the fireplace. The garden contains a profusion of flowers including an outstanding hybrid rose area. Don’t miss the carriage house where Jess & Cornelia’s 1922 Buick is still parked.
The Bolt Tool Museum displays tools manufactured during or prior to WWII, including a set of sockets hand forged by a blacksmith and discovered in a junk store in Kalispell, Montana. Bud Bolt, a high school shop teacher, started collecting in 1957 as a way to get his students to pay more attention. His idea was to show the students the difference between the unwieldy old tools their grandfathers might have used and the modern ones.
The Pioneer Museum is certain to make you catch the 49er spirit. Built in 1932 as a replica of a 49er cabin, it has been enlarged to 6,000 square feet of historic treasures. Antique pianos, the original Oregon City School organ, a grand old clock from Bidwell Bar, period clothing and accessories, antique dolls (including a doll from the Donner Party), are just some of the items in the first room. The Indian artifact display contains one of the largest arrowhead and basket collections in the area, and the Chinese exhibit features a rare tear jar.
Complete in 1996, this trail provides 41 miles of scenic off-road recreational riding for all terrain bicycles. Over 30 miles of the trail are flat with some slightly rolling terrain. There are 2 steep grades within a 2-mile distance from Lake Oroville on each side of the dam. In fact, the trail on the north side of the Dam was the site of the California State Downhill championship Series Race. All segments of this exceptional trail have their own elements of beauty – woods, meadows, wildflowers, creek crossings, and panoramic views. An interactive map is available at http://www.wa-assoc.com/bftwebsite/.
When Oroville Dam was built, several miles spawning grounds were no longer available to salmon and steelhead trout returning to their home to spawn. To compensate for this loss, the Dept. of Fish and Game and Dept of Water Resources opened this state-of-the-art facility.
The hatchery can accommodate 9,000 adult salmon and 2,000 adult steelhead. The incubators can hold 20 million eggs, and 9.6 million fingerlings can be reared in the eight concrete raceways. During their fall run, (heaviest in September-November but extending into February) the fish can be seen through windows built into the wall, jumping the ladder-like steps leading to the gathering tanks, providing and aquarium-like view.
Oroville is home to 3 wineries, all of which have tastings and tours:
Grey Fox Vineyards, 90 Grey Fox Lane 530-589-3920
Open Saturdays and Sundays Noon till 6:00pm
Long Creek Winery, 233 Ward Blvd, 530-589-3415
Tastings by appointment
Quillici Vineyards, 72 Quail Hill Place, 530-589-5088
Tastings & tours by appointment
Olive Oil made from Oroville-grown olives is taking “Best of Show” awards at the Los Angeles County Fair – the fair in the nation for olive oil judging.
Butte View Olive Co. 2950 Louis Ave, 530-534-8320
Berkeley Olive Grove, 8 Rocky Dr., 530-533-1814
Lodestar Farms Olive Oil, 3723 Foothill Blvd, 530-534-6548