The following is an update from California State Parks.
UPDATE (May 15, 2020) - As California State Parks begins its phased reopening of parks and beaches in compliance with state and local public health ordinances, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Lake Oroville SRA.
What is open now?
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is now open for day-use vehicular access which includes parking lots, boat launches and trails.
Bidwell Canyon and Lake Oroville Marinas are preparing to reopen on Monday, May 18. Until then, vessel fueling, pump-out, and shuttle services will not be available. Due to ongoing concerns for the spread of COVID-19, some services will continue to be restricted or suspended for an undetermined time. Please contact the appropriate Marina for the most current information and please plan your visit accordingly.
Bidwell Canyon Marina (530) 589-9175 www.bidwellcanyonmarina.com
Lake Oroville Marina (530) 877-2883 www.lakeorovillemarina.com
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
The Lake Oroville Visitor Center is one of the most fascinating points of interest in Oroville. They hold several events throughout the year, have a museum, have access to trails, and do many more things.
The Brad Freeman/Dan Beebe Trail offers a 44.5 mile loop perfect for scenic hiking and biking. Over the weekend Chamber CEO/President, Eric Smith; Communications Coordinator, Amber Marron; and their families walked a small couple mile portion of the trail up to the old train tunnel.
We started off near the Feather River Bath House off of the roundabout on Montgomery Street. The weather was perfect as well as the view of the Feather River Fish Hatchery and the Diversion Pool. Hummingbirds were also in the air and could be seen in the trees along the pathway.
Our hike ended at the old train tunnel that was used to bring in supplies to build the Oroville Dam. Once through the train tunnel the path continues along the beautiful Feather River. You can see a full map of trails from the Department of Water Resources by Clicking Here.
If you have any questions about recreation in Oroville, you can contact the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce at (530) 538-2542 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Snow Goose Festival is in full swing in Butte County. This is the perfect event for birders to watch the migration of not only snow geese, but a plethora of other birds as well.
There is still time to get a tour for January 25 or 26. Just Click Here.
If you don't want to be part of a tour, you can bird watch on your own. Locally there will be birds on Lake Oroville and at the Oroville Wildlife Area. So, pack a lunch and bring a pair of binoculars!
The Forebay Aquatic Center is open for the summer season! This venue is the perfect place for anyone looking to be outdoors and in the water this summer.
For kids there are summer camps, field trips for schools, and equipment rental with all the safety measures to keep everyone safe in the water.
There are plenty of equipment rentals whether you are going by yourself or with a group. The choices are single kayak, sit-in kayak, tandem kayak, stand-up paddle board, pedal boat, hydrobike, and canoe. Rentals can be done per-hour up to entire season passes.
The Forebay Aquatic Center hosts a variety of events throughout their season, but are especially known for their Moonlight Paddles. Starting at sundown, the Forebay's staff offers a guided tour into the sunset and a paddle back to the shore under the moonlight.
Outside of water activities the Forebay is surrounded by a large picnic area which is perfect for birthday parties, family gatherings, and corporate parties. A portion of the Brad Freeman Trail also wraps around the Forebay that is perfect for a morning hike.
The Forebay is a California State Parks facility, so an $8 parking fee does apply. If you have any questions about recreation in the Oroville area, please contact the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce at (530) 538-2542.
The weather is perfect to take the family to a variety of camping spots Oroville has to offer. The breathtaking scenery around Oroville offers plenty of nature to explore on the land and in the water.
The Lake Oroville State Recreation Area offers a variety of camping amenities at the Bidwell Canyon Campground, Lime Saddle Campground, and Loafer Creek Campground. These include picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming, boat-in camping, floating campsites and horse camping. A special note should be made that currently in the Spring of 2019 Bidwell Canyon Campground has several FEMA sites to help house families that were affected by the 2018 Camp Fire that has affected camping availability.
To reserve a campsite at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, head to Reserve California, or reach out to the individual campgrounds:
Bidwell Canyon Campground
Lime Saddle Campground
Loafer Creek Campground
For those who enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of their RVs there are several places in Oroville that offer fantastic views and amazing customer service.
River Reflections offers a beautiful view of the Feather River. Call (530) 533-1995 or Visit the Website.
Riffles RV Park & Campground also offers amazing views of the Feather River and fishing. Call (530) 534-9956 or Visit the Website.
Lake Oroville Gold Country RV Community sits near Lake Oroville and has a pool, showers, and laundry machines. Call (530) 534-1133 or Visit the Website.
Feather Falls Casino gives you the complete KOA experience nestled in the foothills of Oroville. Call (530) 533-9020 or Visit the Website.
River One RV Park has boating and water sports near its location on the Feather River. Call (530) 533-8679 or Visit the Website.
Berry Creek Rancheria RV Park gives you easy access to the entertainment Gold Country Casino Resort Provides. Call (866) 991-5061 or Visit the Website.
If you want more information, always feel free to contact the Oroville Chamber at (530) 538-2542 or email at email@example.com.
May 2, 2019Oroville Operations and Main Spillway UpdateLake Level
The current Oroville reservoir elevation is 884 feet. Total releases into the Feather River continue at 10,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). DWR is safely managing Oroville reservoir inflows from melting snowpack and plans to keep lake levels high through spring and summer. DWR is operating the reservoir in accordance with normal state and federal regulations. A full lake is a welcome sight after years of drought and low levels to accommodate reconstruction. Good news as we head into the summer months for all those who love to recreate on the lake!
Thermalito Diversion Pool and Brad Freeman Trail Reopening
The Thermalito Diversion Pool and Brad Freeman Trail will reopen to the public on Friday, May 3. Kayakers, mountain bikers and hikers can access both areas seven days a week from 8 a.m. to sunset. Kayaks, non-motorized boats (electric motors allowed) and non-trailered boats can access the day use area located along Burma Road and bikers and hikers can take advantage of the two-mile section of the Brad Freeman Trail along the northern shore of the Diversion Pool.
Releases from the Hyatt Powerplant are adequate to meet operational requirements of the reservoir and there is no need to use the main spillway at this time. However, DWR may need to use the main spillway again this spring to manage inflows from snowmelt and will notify the public and media if this is necessary.
The Oroville main spillway is fully reconstructed and performed as designed when it was used in early April. DWR and expert consultants continue to monitor the main spillway, so workers may be visible on the spillway structure. When it is not in use, water on the spillway is from normal seepage through the spillway gates, which were not designed to be watertight.
Repaving operations continue on Oroville Dam Crest Road, the Spillway Boat Launch facility, and other nearby roads. Paving construction vehicles will continue to use Hyatt Access Road through May 29. Motorists and residents should anticipate additional construction traffic on Canyon Drive and on Oro Dam Blvd. East to the Hyatt Access Road Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. DWR apologizes for any inconvenience and will notify the public when there are any changes to this information. Thank you for your continued patience.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit:https://water.ca.gov/Programs/State-Water-Project/SWP-Facilities/Oroville/Oroville-Spillways
April 26, 2019Oroville Operations and Main Spillway UpdateCORRECTION: In our earlier notification, we stated that repaving operations on area roadways will be underway Monday to Friday through May 29. Paving will also take place this Sunday April 29 and on Saturdays through the end of May.
Oroville’s current reservoir elevation is 877 feet, an increase of 10 feet from last week. Total releases to the Feather River have also increased slightly to 10,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Oroville’s operations plan is designed to safely accommodate inflows from the above average snowpack, and DWR is aiming to keep lake levels high through spring and summer. Currently, releases from the Hyatt Powerplant are adequate to meet operational requirements of the reservoir and there is no need to use the main spillway at this time. However, we may need to use the main spillway again this year to manage inflows from increased snow melt. DWR will notify the public and media of any planned use of the main spillway.
The main spillway performed as designed when it was used April 2 through April 10, with releases topping out at 25,000 cfs. DWR engineers will continue to perform a thorough inspection of the main spillway to further evaluate its performance and will continue to be visible on the spillway structure. Water currently seen on the spillway results from normal seepage through the spillway radial gates, which are not designed to be watertight. Sandbags are used to direct the flow of water to one side of the spillway or the other to allow for safe access by DWR engineers.
DWR contractors have begun repaving operations on the Oroville Dam Crest Road, the Spillway Boat Launch facility and other area roadways. Paving construction vehicles will continue to use Hyatt Access Road through May 29. Motorists and residents should anticipate additional construction traffic on Canyon Drive and on Oro Dam Blvd. East to the Hyatt Access Road Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience and will notify you if there are any changes. Thank you for your continued patience.
For more information, follow us on Twitter or Facebook and read our news releases and DWR updates.
For all of you interested in the great outdoors, Feather Falls is a must see. The view of the towering waterfall is a 4.5-mile hike from the base. The total round trip from top to bottom is over 8 miles, so be sure to stay hydrated throughout your journey.
The falls reach a 410-foot vertical granite slab where it projects its energy through a narrow passageway. During the late winter months, the water levels reach maximum levels and allow Feather Falls to come alive.
The top of the falls is easily accessible and delivers a breathtaking scene of the deep valley that lies beneath. For those who are not fans of heights, an additional viewpoint was constructed that allows viewers to observe from a comfortable distance.
There is a big parking lot and pit toilets at the trailhead. There's only one trail from the parking lot and about 1/2 mi in it splits off to Upper/Lower Trails. The lower more strenuous trail is 3.5 miles and a moderate to heavy hike. The upper trail is moderate but a little longer hike of 4.5 miles. Most of all don't forget your camera! Feather Falls never disappoints and it is definitely a bucket list hike.
Click here for trail map.
On Saturday, January 26, Communications Coordinator, Amber Marron went on the Lake Oroville Visitor Center's Saturday Morning Nature Walk. This walk took us up Sycamore Hill on a beautiful morning.
The wind was crisp, but 17 other people joined me on this three mile walk. Hikers were both young and old, and with this being the toughest hike from January due to the steeper incline, everyone was able to complete the three mile walk just fine.
The guides from the Lake Oroville Visitor Center were always open to answering questions about species of mushrooms and plants to how the hiking trail was created. Once we climbed in elevation there were gorgeous views of the Oroville Dam and the river below.
Right before the very top there was a Trail Log for the Brad Freeman/Dan Bebee Trail which I signed. Unfortunately I could not make it to the very top due to my susceptibility to poison oak, so if you are looking to hike Sycamore Hill make sure to take precautions due to the presence of poison oak.
Overall it was a great time that I will continue to participate in! These weekly walks take place every Saturday with hikers meeting at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center at 9:00 am sharp.