Multiple Cities Outdoor Adventurer Biking Hiking Fishing

6 Spring Things to Do Outdoors in Butte County

With gen­er­al­ly clear skies and agree­able tem­per­a­tures, spring in Butte Coun­ty is a blast of new life and an oppor­tu­ni­ty to get out­side. Whether you’re look­ing to break a sweat or relax while enjoy­ing some fresh air, you’ve got plen­ty of options.

Take a Hike

A Chico favorite, Upper Bid­well Park is where you can find the mild-but-beau­ti­ful Yahi Trail (one of the Butte Coun­ty’s trails worth trav­el­ing for), and the more mod­er­ate­ly chal­leng­ing Annie Bid­well Trail and South Rim Trail in Bid­well Park. If you fan­cy a short dri­ve, just out­side of coun­ty lim­its is the epony­mous Black Butte Lake Trail. And you can’t for­get beloved-by-many North Rim Trail, which starts at Horse­shoe Lake and mean­ders to the park bound­ary, where you can walk among the flow­ers come springtime.

You’ll find plen­ty of trail­heads not far from park­ing near Horse­shoe Lake, and more soli­tude the far­ther from the park­ing lot you go.

In Oroville, the sum­mer­time favorite Lake Oroville also boasts a vari­ety of lake­side hik­ing trails, with the Brad Free­man Trail an epic choice for any­one look­ing to explore the whole city.

Tour a Win­ery or Brewery

If you’re look­ing for a tast­ing or a brew­ery tour, Butte Coun­ty will spoil you for choice, and it’s well worth extend­ing beyond Chico city lim­its for that par­tic­u­lar voy­age (Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ery isn’t going any­where, after all).

Durham’s Almen­dra Win­ery & Dis­tillery boasts and excel­lent restau­rant, with a taste­ful and inti­mate venue, ter­rif­ic Almen­dra and Bertagna vin­tages, and local spir­its. And in Oroville, Live Vine over­looks the Ther­mal­i­to After­bay between Oroville and Rich­vale. Live Vine offers tours by appoint­ment only, which gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get a high­ly per­son­al­ized walk of the vine­yard and micro-win­ery.”

If beer is your pref­er­ence, a great area to wrap up your night with a group of friends, or to grab a bite and a brew before mov­ing on, you’ve got options in South Chico. Check out both the tap­room and the brew­ery at Secret Trail, which always offers fun events to pair with deli­cious beer tast­ings, along with The Com­mons, fea­tur­ing 24 deli­cious and fre­quent­ly chang­ing taps.

Take a Bike Ride

Cycling of all vari­eties, by both locals and out-of-town­ers, real­ly starts to come to life in the area with the arrival of spring as trails get a chance to dry out and we get more day­light. The coun­ty has ample nat­ur­al offer­ings for rides both casu­al and chal­leng­ing. The epi­cen­ter of Butte Coun­ty cycling, of course, is Chico’s Upper Park, with a wide range of trails vary­ing in difficulty.

Road cyclists can find a good ride any­where, from the orchard-lined thor­ough­fares of Durham all the way up Cen­ter­ville Road toward Mag­a­lia (most­ly once the snow starts melt­ing, of course). 

Dine Out­side

Chico’s the most ver­sa­tile place in Butte Coun­ty for a range of patio din­ing, and it’s not lim­it­ed to down­town options: Fine din­ers will want to head down the Esplanade to the Red Tav­ern, where live music may accom­pa­ny your meal if you choose the right evening. The patio at The Allies Pub pro­vides a spa­cious area to nosh British-inspired dish­es paired with their take on clas­sic British ales.

Those want­i­ng to spend an after­noon or evening on the north side of town still have a patio din­ing option, and an inex­pen­sive one at that, in the form of Sol Mex­i­can Grill. A Mex­i­can beer, a SoCal bur­ri­to and some fresh spring air form a tough com­bo to beat. 

Out­side of Chico, Oroville boasts the Union, with Cal­i­for­nia-inspired dish­es that you can enjoy on an expan­sive out­door patio (along with live music on the week­end), and Pro­vi­sions, with a beau­ti­ful and cozy patio din­ing area that backs up to the his­toric Min­ers Alley.

Catch Some Fish

In the spring, some of Butte Coun­ty’s moun­tain streams that peter out in the sum­mer have abun­dant water, and that makes them excel­lent fish­ing spots.

Lake Oroville is a great bass fish­ing spot, while Butte Creek, Deer Creek, Oroville’s West Branch of the Feath­er Riv­er, and stretch­es of the Yuba and Amer­i­can rivers are all spots to check out for trout fish­ing. You’ll prob­a­bly have some peace and qui­et, and you stand a good chance to get some bites.

Fill Your Cam­era With Table Moun­tain Glory

Arguably the region’s most stun­ning array of nat­ur­al flo­ra, the North Table Moun­tain Eco­log­i­cal Reserve explodes each spring with a wild­flower bloom that can leave you breath­less. Bring an extra SD card, or clear some space on your smart­phone — you’ll want to leave with plen­ty of pho­tos. Deep oranges, vibrant vio­let and eye-pop­ping yel­lows roll over the hill­sides here. Don’t just accept some­one else’s account; you’ve got to see it for your­self. The fact that this all hap­pens in the spring, well before the swel­ter­ing sum­mer heat bakes the val­ley, adds to the sub­lime expe­ri­ence of a Table Moun­tain stroll.

When you vis­it, make sure to do your part to keep Table Moun­tain as beau­ti­ful as it was when you went by fol­low­ing all post­ed rules and fol­low­ing Leave No Trace prin­ci­ples. Park­ing is avail­able only in the offi­cial grav­el lot on the west side of Chero­kee Road.