• Wheelchair accessible picnic sites
    • Vallombrosa at Mangrove, both sides of the bridge
    • One Mile group picnic area
    • Cedar Grove (group)
    • Lower Park site #:
      6, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34
      These sites have adjacent parking and crushed-rock pathways.
    • Five Mile Recreation Area
    • Wildwood Park (at entrance to Upper Park)
  • Wheelchair accessible bathrooms
    • CARD Center (inside the building)
    • One Mile Recreation Area
    • Cedar Grove
    • Chico Creek Nature Center (inside the building; no paved handicapped parking area)
    • Hooker Oak (portable)
    • Five Mile Recreation Area
    • Horse Arena (portable; no paved handicapped parking area)
    • Wildwood Park (at entrance to Upper Park)
    • Horseshoe Lake (portable)
    • Parking Area E (portable, no paved handicapped parking area)
    • Day Camp (portable, no paved handicapped parking area)
    • Bear Hole (portable, no paved handicapped parking area)
  • Paved handicapped parking
    • CARD Center
    • One Mile north of Sycamore Pool
    • One Mile group picnic area
    • One Mile in cul-de-sac south of pedestrian bridge
    • Caper Acres
    • Cedar Grove
    • Five Mile
    • Wildwood Park
    • Horseshoe Lake
  • World of Trees Independence Trail
  • Horseshoe Lake Fishing Pier

Proposal for wheelchair access on part of Yahi Trail and new bridges

Park visitors enjoy view of Salmon Hole

Presently, the only limited mobility access areas of Upper Park are a picnic area at Five Mile, the new observatory, and the fishing pier at Horseshoe Lake.

Two bridge locations have been proposed for Upper Park, one near Day Camp and the other at the end of Upper Park Road. The views from each of these bridges should be outstanding. It has been proposed that these two locations be made handicapped-accessible by providing accessible trails from Parking Areas I and U. Both trails must be routed and designed as part of the upcoming Environmental Impact Review process so now is the time to decide whether to study the feasibility of providing this access.

It may also be possible to make the creekside Yahi Trail between Parking Area H at Day Camp and Area I handicapped-accessible too, providing a kind of loop trail.

Accessibility issues in general

Most of the trails and facilities in Bidwell Park were built before accessibility issues were recognized.

The permanent bathrooms have been retrofitted to provide handicapped access.

Picnic sites, as they are being moved away from the creek, are rebuilt to facilitate access by wheelchairs and walkers.

The paved roads on both sides of Big Chico Creek in Lower Park are usable for wheelchairs and kids learning to ride bicycles. This is especially true before 9 a.m. on South Park Drive and Peterson Drive before 11 a.m., when the roads are closed to vehicles and all the time on the closed section of South Park Dr. (between Caper Acres and Cedar Grove).

The new Horseshoe Lake fishing pier and the Chico Community Observatory are both accessible. However, there is only one trail in the entire 3,670-acre park that is fully accessible (World of Trees Independence Trail by Cedar Grove).

The parking lot and portable toilet proposed for the disc golf course will be accessible, but there are presently no plans to make even part of the disc golf course accessible to wheelchair users.

Although one of the reasons frequently cited for keeping Upper Park Road open to vehicles five days a week is access by people who are unable to walk in, none of the parking areas along the road have any handicapped-accessible paved parking.

The portable toilets at Brown’s Hole, Salmon Hole, and Alligator Hole are not accessible. The ones at the Horse Arena, Parking Area E, Day Camp, and Bear Hole are handicapped-accessible, but without a paved parking area and path to the facility, it’s difficult for many wheelchair users to get to them.

Bidwell Park is not exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access should be a consideration for all future park projects.