The Nature Conservancy will host a series of free public hikes on two breathtaking preserves in the Chico area: the 37,540-acre Dye Creek Preserve, located near Los Molinos, and the Vina Plains Preserve, 12 miles north of Chico. Because the preserves are working cattle ranches, the Conservancy’s semi-annual tours provide the public with an opportunity to view some of the region’s most spectacular landscapes with knowledgeable and entertaining guides, providing insight on many cultural, geological and biological points of interest.
All events are held rain or shine, with the exception of a serious downpour. Sturdy footwear/hiking boots are a requirement. The weather may be hot, or humid and wet, so wear layered clothing, and bring waterproof clothing and a hat. Carry plenty of drinking water, and bring a lunch. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Space is limited to 25 persons, so visitors are advised to book early. To book a reservation or receive more information, contact Jackson Shedd of The Nature Conservancy at (760) 707-6942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vina Plains—March 31 and April 14, 10 AM to 12 PM
During the spring, the Vina Plains Preserve comes alive with colorful wildflowers, which carpet the grasslands and ring the vernal pools in spectacular bands of color. The pools support many rare, threatened or endangered species and attract a large array of waterfowl and shorebirds that feast on small crustaceans that fill the pools this time of year.
The one-mile hike is relatively flat, but the surface will be uneven and may be wet and slippery in places, depending on the weather. The hike will be led by California Native Plant Society botanists, who are extremely knowledgeable about the flora of the site.
Dye Creek Canyon—March 17, March 31 and April 21, 10 AM to 2 PM
The four- to five-mile hike follows the course of Dye Creek itself, which cuts through a pristine setting of volcanic buttes, hills and extensive blue oak woodlands, before flowing into the Sacramento River. Expect spectacular views; spring flowers; and occasional wildlife sightings, such as deer, golden eagles and woodpeckers (binoculars enhance the experience). You’ll also have a rare opportunity to explore a cave thought to be frequented by Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi indian tribe.
Please note: A good level of fitness and agility is required to complete the hike. This hike is somewhat rigorous—hikers will have to traverse a creek and navigate steep, rocky terrain—and hiking boots are a must. Dogs are not allowed during these events.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy