Groups operating facilities in the park and nearby
Currently six organizations lease areas within Bidwell Park:
- 18-hole Bidwell Park Golf Course is located on about 130 acres of Upper Bidwell Park, and is leased and operated by the non-profit Bidwell Park Golf Club.
- Chico Creek Nature Center, located on East 8th St. in Lower Park, operates as the information and interpretive center for Bidwell Park and houses a non-releasable living animal museum.
- Chico Community Observatory offers telescopes for public stargazing. Located near Horseshoe Lake, it is open Thursday through Sunday nights, weather permitting, and Sunday afternoons for observations of the sun. A map showing the observatory can be seen here [pdf].
- Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) provides recreational facilities for the greater Chico area. CARD facilities leased within Bidwell Park include Sycamore Field at One Mile, and the Hooker Oak Recreation Area.
- Chico Equestrian Association leases about 19 acres in Upper Park, which includes the horse arenas off Wildwood Ave. near the entrance to Upper Park.
- Chico Rod & Gun Club has an indoor shooting range in Upper Bidwell Park.
Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve is just upstream from the Upper Park and is owned and operated by the Bidwell Environmental Institute at California State University, Chico. Because of the research that’s conducted here and the hunting that’s allowed at various times of the year on this property, dogs are not allowed and you must sign in at one of the entrances for access. Also, bicycle riding is not permitted on the BCCER trails – they can’t afford to upgrade the trails to accommodate mountain bike use.
Bidwell Mansion State Historical Park is located on The Esplanade at the west end of Bidwell Park.
Gateway Science Museum (formerly called the Northern California Natural History Museum) has a facility next to Bidwell Mansion. They also offer two lectures series each year.