Bidwell Park is “divided” by Manzanita Avenue. The area west of Manzanita Avenue is referred to as Lower Park and the area to the east is referred to as Upper Park. The noticeable difference between Upper and Lower Park is the terrain. Lower Park is flat and level with a thick canopy of trees which provide ample shade for visitors.
Vehicular traffic through Lower Park is open on Peterson Memorial Way on the north side of Big Chico Creek and on South Park Drive east of the Chico Creek Nature Center (access via East 8th Street).
One-Mile Recreation Area is located within Lower Park, just a few blocks from downtown Chico and easily accessible from East 4th Street. Enjoy swimming at Sycamore Pool, barbecues, softball, horseshoe pits and more. For those interested in swimming, the Sycamore Pool, located at the One-Mile Recreation Area, is an uncommon swimming experience, being a concrete pool built around Big Chico Creek. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend each year at the pool. When swimming in Big Chico Creek, be sure to use caution. Water which may appear to be shallow and/or slow moving can actually be swift and powerful. Don’t be a victim! Stay in areas where there is no white water. When possible, swim with friends. Also, as with all other activities, bring enough drinking water to stay hydrated.
Picnic Areas: Picnic Areas for large parties and events can be reserved by calling the Chico Park Division at (530) 896-7800.
Caper Acres: Caper Acres is a fantasy playground area for children 12 and younger. Children, accompanied by an adult, can visit Humpty Dumpty at the sandbox, swing to their heart’s content, climb into a “treehouse” and slip down its slides, and much more! A toddler-oriented play area, the “Nico Project”, was constructed in Spring 2007. Caper Acres is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until sunset, and is closed on Mondays for maintenance.
Cedar Grove: Cedar Grove is located off of East 8th Street, west of Forest Avenue next to the Chico Creek Nature Center. Educational and cultural events take place here, such as the Endangered Species Faire in May. The Grove offers picnic tables and barbecues that are easily accessible. Also at the Grove, the World of Trees Independence Trail meanders around one of the first forest experimentation stations in the United States.