Chico is an urban metropolis surrounded by natural sights and wonders. The city is located between vast grasslands and the desert foothills of the mountains to the northeast. On the eastern side of the city is one of the area's biggest parks, Bidwell Park, which hosts nearly 30 miles of paved and nature trails for people to explore.
The park is made up of two sections, Upper Bidwell Park, the larger part, and Lower Bidwell Park, the smaller section of the area. The park has multiple parking areas, but the main one is between the connection of both halves of the park, on the lower eastern end of Upper Bidwell Park. The parking lot connects to restrooms, water fountains, clean-up stations, a bike path, and a separate walking path for you and Fido.
The best way to start out your stay at Bidwell Park is traveling along the Lower Park Path and Creekside Trail Loop in Lower Bidwell Park. The trail connects from the main parking area by the Lower Park Path, where the trail winds through the northern portion of the lower park. The lower park is more urban, with freshly cut lawns, shaded picnic areas, and picnic tables backed by neighborhoods and busy streets. The path is paved here and connects to a bike path that also loops around the park. At the southern portion of the park, the trail connects to Creekside Trail Loop where it heads back north on a dirt trail that's mostly shaded and connects to the creek that runs around the south side of the park. The trail has access points along the creek next to sandy beaches where you can swim and fish. This loop is about five miles and a good start before entering Upper Bidwell Park.
Upper Bidwell Park is at first well developed with recreational fields and freshly cut grass as you enter the Upper Bidwell Park Loop, the main trail of this section of the park. The terrain quickly becomes more rural with forests and a rough hilly landscape as it reaches its most elevated point where it shows pretty views of the area, from the rolling foothills to the north, to the city of Chico to the south. The loop connects to North Rim Trail after 12 miles, and then descends back down the park to the main parking area again.
This park is a bag of variety when it comes to scenic landscapes, rough hiking terrains, and smooth walking paths. No matter which section you love the most, each part will leave you and Fido coming back for more.