The Ridge area is blessed with a variety of hiking and nature trails. Remember, these are no smoking areas. Leave nothing, take nothing, obey all posted warning signs. And, whether alone or with someone, always let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return. Have a cellular telephone? For your safety, take it along.
Bille Park Nature Trail
Located on Bille Road, one mile west of Skyway. Bille Park dates back to 1907 when it was an olive and grape orchard. It has a rich history following several sales until 1966 when the property was purchased by the Paradise Recreation and Park District. Indian artifacts and dwelling caves were discovered at the site. The trail is .4 miles, one way. Sections of the trail to the canyon overlook are unimproved. Be safe, use caution.
Paradise Memorial Trail Way
This trail is an old railroad right of way which goes the length of Paradise. It is approximately 4 miles, one way. Starting at the Skyway and Roe Road, it takes an easy uphill climb to Skyway and Clark Road. The section between Fir Street and Rocky Lane is paved, about 2 1/2 miles. Bicycles are allowed, and there is cross traffic at various locations where the trail crosses major streets.
Fitness Improvement Trail
The Feather River Hospital Fitness Improvement Trail begins across the parking lot of the Health Center. It is a 1.6 mile course with 14 exercise stations. From Skyway, take Pearson Road, crossing Clark Road, to Pentz Road. About 3 miles. Turn left on Pentz Road to the hospital.
Aquatic Scenic Trail
Being planned, a 900-foot scenic trail connecting Aquatic Park to the Gold Nuggett Museum.
Paradise Lake Trail
A hiking trail which runs east around the lake to North Lake Road. Paradise lake is 3 miles east of Skyway. From the Skyway, at the signal light in Magalia, take Coulotenc Road to Lucretia Road.
About 2 miles on Coutolenc Road off Skyway at the light in Magalia. The park is an unimproved area covering 320 acres. Several trails go down into the West Branch river canyon and to Hidden Falls. Take the dirt road marked with sign for Paradise Bow Hunters. Park near the archery range, area known as Black Oak Flats and take trail to Hidden Falls.
Butte Creek Trail
Trail begins from Humbug Road on the south to De Sabla Powerhouse Road, north.
Nature Preserve Trails
The Upper Ridge Nature Preserve has three major trails and several connecting trails or scenic loops. For a current map and trail access information, stop by the Paradise Pines Property Owners Association office, 14211 Wycliff Way, off Skyway.
The south end of the Lower Trail starts where the gravel section of Ponderosa Way crosses the bridge over Middle Butte Creek at an elevation of just over 1900 feet. From this point the trail follows as close to Middle Butte Creek as the terrain will permit to about 1/4 mile north of "Lil Falls" where it climbs up through a lava bed and intersects with the upper trail.
The Upper Trail starts just north of 14452 Colter Way at the south end and runs generally north to Colter and Masterson. The elevation at the south entrance is about 2500 feet and drops rapidly through several switch-backs to about 2300 feet. From this point the trail climbs very gradually to about 2450 feet where it exits on Colter Way.
The Flume Trail starts at the lower end of Hupp's Ditch, an abandoned flume, and follows this ditch to a point about 1/4 mile north of Lil Falls where it joins the Upper Trail. Access to the lower end of the flume trail can be reached from The Lane Court entrance or from the new trail which cuts off of the old Carnegie Trail and follows close the seasonal creek. This new trail provides a very gradual decent to the lower end of Hupp's Ditch and is the more scenic of the two connecting trails. Entrance to the Carnegie Trail is located across from 14464 Carnegie Way.
At about the mid-point of all trails you will find the "Lil Falls" interchange where all of the main trails join together. The elevation at Lil Falls is about 2100 feet and is one of the most beautiful spots in the Greenbelt. Plant identification signs have been placed on or near the best specimens of various plants (as listed on the trail map/brochure) found along the trails.
PG&E Flume Pathways
The PG&E flumes that zigzag along the Ridge provide pathways alongside. There are three major flumes in use. These are the Hendricks Canel, from the Feather River's West Branch near Stirling City to the De Sabla powerhouse; the Miocene Canal, from the Feather River's West Branch near Coutolenc Road to the Lime Saddle powerhouse where the water is discharged into the Lower Miocene Canal along Highway 70 to the Coal Canyon powerhouse; and one from Butte Creek below Butte Meadows which goes along the upper Butte Canyon to the De Sabla powerhouse. The paths are not policed, and can be dangerous. PG&E owns the right-of-way of these flumes and paths but much of them are on private property. Next to being fun places to hike, the flumes are rich in history.
The Miocene Canal pathway is the most popular. Access via the trail behind the Feather River Hospital, which runs into the path where you'll be able to stroll over 18-inch wide catwalks. These catwalks run directly over troughs of flowing water where there is no ground for a foot path. The trail is a healthy 7-mile hike.
Popular Swimming Holes
Favorite swimming holes are near the west branch of the Feather River, Head Dam and Whiskey Flats, both located off Coutolenc Road. Another is at the end of Dean Road (off Pentz Road), a spot near the flumes. This is a location where caution prevails, as in all swimming areas. A number of technical rescues have taken place over the years.
On Bader Mine Road off Skyway (near Rocky's Club) is Little Pearl.
The Okie Dam famous for its fish ladders is located on Honey Run Road. The swimming area is above the structure.
Note for Dog Owners
Having a dog, you know it's difficult finding places where you can freely go with your pet, leashed or unleashed. Paradise has very strict leash laws, as does Butte County. Very few if any parks and trails allow pets. If you must bring your dog, be aware of regulations where you go to avoid being cited for a violation.
The Paradise Memorial Trailway which extends the length of Paradise will allow dogs, leashed. You must also pick up after your pet. The Upper Ridge Nature Preserve trails are open to dogs, again they must be leashed.