Paradise Getaway Artist Outdoor Adventurer

Paradise: Resiliency on The Ridge

Unique in Butte Coun­ty for its forest­ed ter­rain and ele­va­tion, Par­adise and Mag­a­lia togeth­er form a sub­re­gion, local­ly known as The Ridge,” that’s decid­ed­ly small-town, iso­lat­ed, and unique­ly deter­mined to retain its long-run­ning rep­u­ta­tion of quaint­ness that comes from its nat­ur­al beauty.

For a cen­tu­ry, the fresh pine air of Par­adise” was not just a pleas­ant-sound­ing trope here, but real­i­ty — it became an ide­al place for retirees to live or for quick week­end recre­ation for near­by and decid­ed­ly more urban Chico.

Gold Rush Roots

Like many of the sur­round­ing towns, Par­adise, found­ed in 1877 and incor­po­rat­ed in 1979, has a his­tor­i­cal gold rush ele­ment to it, even cel­e­brat­ing Gold Nugget Days with a parade and the nam­ing of the Gold Nugget Queen. John­ny Apple­seed Days, anoth­er local point of pride, is known as the old­est har­vest in the state, a tra­di­tion dat­ing back to 1888; the two-day fall fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the famed fig­ure with apple-themed desserts, games, and crafts. One of the most endur­ing tra­di­tions in Par­adise is seen on ser­vice-mem­ber hol­i­days like Memo­r­i­al Day and Vet­er­ans Day, when vol­un­teers line the streets of the Sky­way, the town’s main drag, with Amer­i­can flags in hon­or of the military.

Small Busi­ness Celebrations

Small busi­ness­es and true mom-and-pops are, in many aspects, the lifeblood of the Ridge, from local­ly owned fran­chis­es to gen­er­a­tional oper­a­tions, like town-favorite cof­fee shops, nation­al­ly renowned can­dy mak­er Joy Lyn’s Can­dies, the longest-run­ning com­mu­ni­ty the­ater north of Sacra­men­to at The­atre on the Ridge, and more. Par­adise High foot­ball is a town tra­di­tion that many Bob­cat fans would argue rivals the Fri­day Night Lights” loy­al­ty and enthu­si­asm of some of the biggest prep foot­ball towns in the coun­try. Ridge res­i­dents could eas­i­ly be char­ac­ter­ized as fierce­ly proud of their hometown.


As of Novem­ber 2018, though, anoth­er word also suits this pop­u­la­tion: resilient. With all but an esti­mat­ed 2,000 peo­ple remain­ing after the Camp Fire, in a town that pre­vi­ous­ly housed about 22,000, Par­adise and parts of Mag­a­lia are in a state of rebuild­ing. Much of the nat­ur­al beau­ty still remains on the Ridge, includ­ing the serene fish­ing and hik­ing at Par­adise Lake or the west branch of the Feath­er Riv­er.

The towns­peo­ple here had built their par­adise on the Ridge, and while many have moved away, those who are stay­ing have no designs on los­ing the hall­marks of Par­adise they know and love: A kin­ship with their neigh­bors, an embrace and respect for the sur­round­ing nat­ur­al habi­tat, and a tru­ly resilient town personality.


Local his­tor­i­cal groups work togeth­er to sal­vage and pre­serve what they can. A group that fund­ed the upkeep of the fabled Hon­ey Run Cov­ered Bridge is in the process of try­ing to restore a repli­ca. Many sur­viv­ing or rebuilt busi­ness­es around town still proud­ly serve the Ridge, pro­vid­ing for Par­adise and Mag­a­lia res­i­dents who have remained. 

As they rebuild — a project that will doubt­less be a work in progress for years — one can squint and start to see the Ridge they once knew it.

Attrac­tions Map

Dis­cov­er more about Par­adise with the Par­adise Ridge Vis­i­tors Map. The maps are avail­able, weath­er per­mit­ting, out­side the Par­adise Ridge Cham­ber of Com­merce at 6161 Clark Road and at sev­er­al loca­tions through­out the Ridge. You can also Down­load the map and leg­end here .