Multiple Cities Family Adventure Rafting / Kayaking

Kid-Friendly Water Spots in Butte County

Sum­mer is the per­fect time of year for fam­i­ly trav­el. The kids are out of school, the days are long, and adven­ture awaits. Sum­mer is also when out­door tem­per­a­tures reach their peak and every­one longs to get in the water to cool off. Luck­i­ly, if you are trav­el­ing in Butte Coun­ty, there are many won­der­ful kid-friend­ly water spots to help you beat the heat.


Lake Oroville State Recre­ation Area

Look­ing for a lit­tle lake fun? Lake Oroville State Recre­ation Area is a real­ly won­der­ful way to spend the day or an entire fam­i­ly vaca­tion. There is a des­ig­nat­ed swim­ming area per­fect for kids at Loafer Creek, camp­grounds to extend your stay and fun, and oppor­tu­ni­ties for boat­ing and fish­ing. Plus, there is a vis­i­tor cen­ter, the Oroville Dam, pic­nic areas, hik­ing trails, and much more.

Kid-Friendly Water Spots in Butte County

Ther­mal­i­to Forebay

A fam­i­ly-friend­ly local favorite, the Ther­mal­i­to Fore­bay is the per­fect place to cool off on a hot day. Not only are there sev­er­al dif­fer­ent loca­tions to spend the day around the Fore­bay, but there are a vari­ety of activ­i­ties your fam­i­ly can enjoy as well. There are sandy beach­es, pic­nic tables, some shade trees, and Fore­bay Aquat­ic Cen­ter offers boat rentals. Plus, it isn’t far from town, so grab­bing some food after a day of water play is only a short dri­ve away.


One Mile Recre­ation Area

Chico is home to a unique and pop­u­lar swim­ming hole right in the heart of town: One Mile Recre­ation Area. This large, cement­ed swim­ming area is known as Sycamore Pool. It is not only locat­ed in Low­er Bid­well Park, but is actu­al­ly part of Big Chico Creek. That’s right! As you swim in a pool-like atmos­phere (life­guards includ­ed dur­ing the sum­mer), you are also enjoy­ing the creek as well. The water lev­els range from ankle-deep, with a slop­ing entrance, to over 6 feet deep. It is per­fect for all age lev­els to enjoy.

Plus, there is ample grass for run­ning around in, plen­ty of shade trees, pic­nic areas, and more. It is a great way to cool off and is so close to Down­town Chico that grab­bing food or dessert is a quick walk or dri­ve away.

Low­er Bid­well Park

If you are look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle more pri­vate, but still easy to get to, look no fur­ther than Low­er Bid­well Park. Big Chico Creek runs through the entire length of the park and many of the pic­nic areas along the dri­vable path are close to excel­lent swim­ming holes. Find­ing an open spot can be dif­fi­cult on the week­end in sum­mer, so make sure to either scout out ahead of time or be flex­i­ble and will­ing to spend time search­ing for a spot. It is worth the effort.

There is park­ing avail­able at each pic­nic area, trails to explore, some rocky beach­es, plen­ty of shade trees. and many kid-friend­ly, shal­low, places to dip into the water, 

Kid-Friendly Water Spots in Butte County

Upper Bid­well Park

The final and more remote options for enjoy­ing Big Chico Creek are found in Upper Bid­well Park. There are four unique swim­ming holes, but not all are great for younger kids. If you have real­ly young kids, try out Alli­ga­tor Hole. There is a beach, shal­low water areas, and get­ting there is easy. If your chil­dren are strong swim­mers and enjoy doing can­non­balls, check out Bear Hole. The rocky edges and deep water make this a great place for jump­ing and swim­ming as a family.

Most of the swim­ming holes in Upper Park have park­ing and bath­rooms, but not all are eas­i­ly acces­si­ble on foot and require some hik­ing to get to. 

Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park

If you are look­ing to explore a state park or the Sacra­men­to Riv­er, Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park is a great option! Not only are there four day use areas to choose from, but the fam­i­ly adven­ture options are per­fect for the whole fam­i­ly. There are sandy beach­es that are great for swim­ming with young kids, as well as hik­ing trails, boat­ing and tub­ing launch points, fish­ing spots, pic­nic areas, and even the pos­si­bil­i­ty of see­ing wildlife (like riv­er otters, var­i­ous water­birds, and more).


Whiskey Flat

If you are look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle (or a lot) more remote, Whiskey Flat is per­fect for you! After a long grav­el road, you are reward­ed with a pic­turesque moun­tain set­ting along the Feath­er Riv­er. The rocky beach­es are per­fect for skip­ping rocks, or just throw­ing them as kids love to do, and the many spots with calm water are per­fect for the whole fam­i­ly to sink their toes into.

No mat­ter what you are look­ing for, Butte Coun­ty has the per­fect kid-friend­ly water spot for your family.