Shasta Glide 'n Ride's tour guides time their running commentary, broadcast through headsets, to the whir of Segway wheels propelling patrons through scenic stretches of the paved Sacramento River Trail. First, riders hone Segway skills during a brief session that includes hands-on training, an instructional video, and tips on how to garner the best mechanical performance by impersonating a mother robot. With new Segway knowledge in hand, tours embark from the parking lot at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Roadsters obediently bend to their riders’ whims as they zoom across the nearby Sundial Bridge and through sunning flocks of wildlife to the tune of tales about the Gold Rush and Old West. Available cooling vests enable comfortable treks, even on days with 100-degree temperatures or hot-cocoa downpours, and modern technology allows Segways to slice through fog or light rain. Patrons can also design their own tours atop rental bikes and pedal through local flora and fauna for hours at a time.
Longtime riders Megan and Kristin Grove have a wealth of experience in dressage, vaulting, and three-day events, and they draw from this broad base of knowledge as they teach students at Equestrians in Harmony. Clients of all ages and skill levels can learn from the stables' well-rounded curriculum, which teaches them not only to ride but also to care for horses correctly. Lessons build riders' strength and coordination and improve horse-and-rider bonds, helping them work together as a team while competing at horse shows or fighting crime at night.
There's not a white T-shirt in sight at Mud Blast's finish line, though you might see a pink tutu. Messy terrain dominates the forests, fields, and river lands that line the race's five kilometers and the path to victory winds through tunnels, tires, hay-bale climbs, and other obstacles. Pits might lurk around any turn, threatening to cover runners in liquified dirt from head to toe to that marsupial pouch they didn't know they had. Mud blankets everyone who crosses the finish line: adults, teens, and even kids, who race through their own Mini Mud Blast course. Post-race celebrations add to the messy fun with awards for top finishers and best costumes.
The Mud Run's blend of competition and celebration occurs along the banks of both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. These locations aren't arbitrary; proceeds from each run go towards the conservation of these river lands, thanks to the efforts of the Mud Blast's parent company, River Partners. The organization owns Willow Bend and is actively working to restore its more than 160 acres to riparian habitat as well as Dos Rios Ranch and its 1,600 acres of woodlands, flood plains, and working agricultural fields.
At McDaniel Training Center, horses from a variety of training backgrounds—some of which include award-winning show horses—populate the stable as they await their next ride, a group of young campers, or their trainers. With more than 70 years of horse training, the Center continues to rack up accolades, thanks to the center's talented instructors. The staff brings the same careful attention to group and private lessons in both English and Western styles. For clients with their own horses, the team puts their horse training pedigree to work, whether horses are fresh from the stable or are ready to sign autographs after their first horse show.
The native beauty of Bidwell Park serves as the scenic backdrop for Bidwell Park Golf Course, a 6,363-yard layout comprised of two distinct 9-hole experiences. Characterized by parkland-style terrain, the front nine includes two of the round's more difficult tracks: the 520-yard, par-five fifth hole and the 412-yard, par-four sixth hole, both of which demand accurate drives and approach shots down narrow fairways and into greens guarded by sandtraps. The back nine ripples over Northern California foothills, creating shot opportunities where golfers will have to adjust their swings for up- or down-hill targets. Though water only comes into play on two holes, a stream runs throughout the entire course, attracting wildlife and caddies who need a place to wash the grass stains out of their coveralls.
Course at a Glance: