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Bidwell Park is the City of Chico's main recreation area. At over 3600 acres and ten miles long there is a lot of land to explore. It is divided into 3 distinct yet contiguous sections.

Chico Creek in Upper Bidwell Park.
The Upper Park: Chico Creek, Rocks and Blue Oaks.
The Upper Park is in the foothills of the Cascade Range or Sierra Nevada Mountains.  To the left you can see boulders of lovejoy basalt which would argue for the Cascades. The vegetation, however tends to argue for the foothills of the Sierra. You choose, it is claimed by both.
Supposedly,  Robin Hood camped near here in the making of the 1937 film.  
The Middle Park. Live Oaks and open spaces.
Bike riding in January in Bidwell Park
The Lower Park.  Valley Oaks and flat land.

Lower Bidwell Park

Fallen Valley Branch, Lower Bidwell Park, Winter
A branch shed from one of the large Valley Oaks.
Some sort of growth on a downed Oak tree. Lower Bidwell Park.
Fungi on the above branch after a light rain.
Leaves pretending to be flowers in Lower Bidwell Park
Leaves pretending they are flowers.
A Scrub Jay Warming up on an Oak Tree. Bidwell Park
A Scrub Jay watching me intently.
New buds on some trees. Lower Bidwell Park
An early blossoming tree.
Almond Blossom in Bidwell Park
Almond Blossom. Almond trees have escaped the confines of the orchard and are thriving here and there in the park.
 I don't blame them.
Redbuds trees among  oaks. Lower Bidwell Park
Redbud and Oaks.
After a mile or so, the foliage begins to change.
One of the Nazgul that haunt the roots of Sycamores.
Ancient Sycamores and their Nazgul stand watch.
After the winter floods. Sycamore roots reveal eerie sculptures in wood. Lower Bidwell Park.
Over ghouls in their roots.
Coast Redwoods in a small grove in Bidwell Park
Above, the Coast Redwoods watch over all.
Coast Redwoods in a small grove in Bidwell Park
These were planted by Chico's founder John Bidwell in the 1800's.
The Middle Park

Open Space , Live Oaks, flowers and movies. Huh?

Horseback riding in Middle Bidwell Park
Riding a horse is a joy, or so I'm told.
A Horse Show ring/box in Middle Bidwell Park.
A horse show practice area.
It was in the Middle Park that they made the 1937 classic movie The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn. It is perfect for camping, though not allowed now.
Live Oaks in Bidwell Park
A camp for Robin Hood? No one now knows exactly where it was.
Horseshoe Lake in January
Horseshoe Lake.
Mallard Ducks Bidwell Park Chico,CA Horseshoe Lake
Great for watching the Mallards.
A Star Lily or Death Camas. Your choice. near Horseshoe Lake. Middle Bidwell Park
Or wildflowers.
A rock  with a lichen on it in the shape of a heart. Bidwell Park
Or rocks with messages.
Upper Bidwell Park

The upper park is known for its many Blue Oaks, wildflowers, swimming holes, and poison oak.

Chico Creek in Upper Bidwell Park
The Blue Oaks are just beginning to leaf out as of the 15th of March.
A turtle climbing a log to sit in the sun. Chico Creek, Bidwell Park
A turtle climbing a log to get a bit of sun.
Driftwood washed up onto boulders from winter storms. Bidwell Park
Driftwood piled up on the boulders 15 feet above the creek.
White-leaved manzanita. Yahi Trail, Upper Bidwell Park, Flowers
White Leaved Manzanita bells.
California Bay Laurel, Yahi Trail, Upper Bidwell Park , Flowers
California Bay Laurel.
Sky Lupin in Upper Bidwell Park.
Sky Lupine.
Redbuds beginning to leaf out against a Digger Pine Tree. Upper Bidwell Park
Redbud with new leaves against a Digger Pine.
A Blue Oak on the edge of the canyon in Upper Bidwell Park.
A Blue Oak on the edge of the canyon.
A Blue Oak beginning to leaf out. Upper Bidwell Park.
Blue Oak leaves.
California Pipevine Growing in Upper Bidwell Park.
California Pipevine.
Blue Dicks in Upper Bidwell Park.
Blue Dicks. A closeup.
Poison Oak just emerging in Upper Bidwell Park
Poison Oak: Virulent, aggressive and it's out to get you. Memorize this photo.
Bidwell Park was established in 1905 by Annie Bidwell, the widow of Chico's founder, John Bidwell.

If you would like to visit Bidwell Park, It is easy to get to Chico and to find the park. It's 90 miles north of Sacramento, CA on Highway 99.

The best time to come to Chico if you want to see Bidwell Park at its peak is March and April. After that, most of the flowers go to seed, and the grass turns brown. Summers are hot, typically 95-105 through September. Cool and wet weather returns in October.

That's the story in pictures of Bidwell Park from late January to mid March. Thanks for looking.

For more information see The Friends of Bidwell Park page or Wikipedia's Bidwell Park page.

Originally posted to Caddis Fly on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town and Butte County kossacks of CA-01.

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