NorCal Trail Rides’ wise guides lead horseback explorers of all skill levels on safe and comfortable excursions through the Northern California countryside. Before embarking on 60-minute trail rides, guides supply riders with the tack, helmets, and water necessary for the trip, and then pair them up with one of the stable's horses. The group then sets out for a relaxing jaunt by the Sacramento River, where they can feast their eyes on local wildlife while gulping down local fresh air. NorCal Trail Rides leads excursions every day of the year, but potential rein operators should call ahead for a reservation, as times can change depending on the season and forecasts for bad weather or alien invasion.
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 guides at Lazy T Trail Rides lead excursions on horseback along the well-groomed trails of the Feather River and through the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, an 11,869-acre woodland habitat where it is not uncommon to see deer, rabbits, wild turkey, foxes, and ospreys. As the trip progresses, riders can travel at their desired speed, feeling free to stick to the marked trails or set off cross-country at a brisker pace. All the while, the company makes sure safety is the top priority: it?s a fully insured outfitter, and riders are encouraged to use helmets to prevent injury in case they fall or a ram challenges them to a pickup football game.
Sprawling across 300 acres, Turtle Bay Exploration Park has all the space it needs to showcase Northern California's ecosystems as well as the history of its people. Located in Redding, which was named one of the top affordable summer driving destinations by CBS News, this celebration of nature, anthropology, and art starts in the McConnell Arboretum. Its gardens use 200 acres to form a living map of the five major Mediterranean climate zones: Chile, South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean basin, and California. In addition to providing picturesque views, these gardens use water-wise methods to emphasize the importance of sustainability. * Paul Bunyan?s Forest Camp displays artifacts and photographs from early lumber camps while also teaching visitors about the local birds and reptiles that continue to thrive in the nearby forests. * The Turtle Bay Museum helps visitors explore the region's animal life or general scientific topics through rotating exhibits along with a 22,000 square foot aquarium. * The Sundial Bridge features sweeping, 217-foot pylon that supports the bridge's elegant design while minimizing its environmental impact on the river below. * Buster Simpson's The Monolith is an installation built inside the ruins of the Kutras Aggregate Plant, which provided the gravel used to create the concrete for Shasta Dam.
Bald eagles soar through the air, trout and bass dart beneath tranquil waves, and fresh mountain water pours into three different lakes: Trinity, Shasta, and Lewiston. Across these landscapes, visitors can embrace the great outdoors at Shasta Recreation Company’s campgrounds and semipermanent yurts. After making camp, visitors can hit the hiking trails that wind through the towering pine trees and along the shore—where each of the three lakes sets the stage for aquatic activities. In the hands of guests, fishing lines plunge into Shasta Lake in search of bass; boats churn up water along Trinity Lake's 145 miles of tree-lined shoreline; and canoes transport paddlers across Lewiston Lake's placid waters.
Five miles north of the resort, a web of hiking trails meanders through the conifer forests and wildflower meadows of Mount Shasta, whose summit towers 14,162 feet above sea level. Hikers can take to the Black Butte Trail—a moderately steep climb—which originates on Everitt Memorial Highway amid an aromatic cluster of pine and cedar trees. About halfway up the rocky 2.5-mile trail, Black Butte unveils a sprawling, westerly view of Mount Eddy, and at this relatively level vista point, hikers often set down their wooden walking sticks and jugs of water to marvel at the Shasta valley glistening below. Within the small clapboard structure that houses the Sisson Museum, permanent exhibits showing off collections of Native American basketry and antique mountaineering artifacts illuminate Mount Shasta's eclectic culture. Families walk through the fish hatchery adjacent to the building, peering into the long, narrow ponds harboring rainbow and brown trout before moving on to the property's three kids' fishing ponds. There, amid rolling coolers and green mesh nets, parents bait hooks for jumping children eager to reel in shiny silver trout, and volunteers stroll the dirt perimeters taking photos of little ones' catches.In downtown Mount Shasta, The Goat Tavern indulges an eclectic crowd with hearty burgers and a beer list scrawled on a chalkboard. Tattooed motorcycle crews sit alongside couples in cardigans on the outdoor dining deck, which is perched above the area's main drag. Waitresses parade through, balancing dishes laden with spicy chicken sandwiches and piles of fragrant garlic fries.