Malakoff Diggins: A Fun Step Back in Time
Nevada County, CA - Some of California State Parks don't always attract the attention they deserve.
Thankfully, in the case of Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park we are offered a fun opportunity to have this gem of history mostly to ourselves. With the exception of resident bears, a state worker or two and a few other solitude seekers, peace and quiet is all but guaranteed for a good portion of the year.
Located in the town of North Bloomfield, California (population 8-12), Malakoff Diggins is the site of California's largest "hydraulic" mine which created substantial environmental damage from Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay and resulted in the first Federal Environmental Protection Law in 1884, according to the Malakoff Diggins website.
After grabbing lunch at Pete's Pizza in historic Nevada City, we set out along North Bloomfield Road. Traveling this route is not recommended as it soon turns into miles of a winding and dusty gravel road. We continued undeterred. Cell phone service was unavailable throughout the trip and not a single car passed our way. (Check Google for the less adventurous route)
Upon reaching the "outskirts", visitors are greeted by the old church, school and cemetery. Shuttered some 73 years ago,around the time of World War II, some restoration efforts are underway. Although the school is boarded up, you may still peer inside the church windows and imagine life in the mid to late 1800's. The buildings are beautifully set among towering pines and just across the road you can sample the impact of hydraulic mining with a view of the valley.
A short distance up the road as you enter the town, parking is just ahead on the left in front of the Skidmore House and there is an $8 Day Use Fee. You can pay at the museum.
Leisurely wandering the small community, you can check out the old fire station, mercantile, barber shop, saloon, hotel, blacksmith and more. The preservation and restoration made it easy to imagine a thriving mountain community which numbered well over 1,000 during its prime.
Don't forget to spend some time in the musuem which offers a detailed and fascinating look back in time. The staff are friendly and appeared happy to answer our barrage of questions.
For those seeking a little more adventure, the area offers miles of hiking travels, Blair Lake, Humbug Creek and plenty of terrific picnic spots and scenic locations. Remember, you are in the wilderness and bears can be found wandering the town, so stay alert and prepare accordingly.
Malakoff Diggins offers an excellent day trip from South Placer County at about 70 miles Northeast. The town is compact and sits on a flat road, so walking is easy for just about everyone. There is enough to see and do along the way that makes it a fun trip for both the young and old alike. A great taste of California history and outdoors along a scenic route make it a winning combination in local travel.
RRToday Rating: Highly Recommended
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesImmigration Executive Action: Republicans and DemocratsAnother stark contrast of opposing sides on Obama's Executive Action on Immigration, highlighted by two Republican Congressman Tom McClintock's remarks and the California Democratic Party
PCWA Moves Forward on Watershed RemediationIn the aftermath of the massive King Fire, the Placer County Water Agency is taking emergency steps to prevent and manage the runoff of fire debris and erosion into the
Holiday Flu Could Be Grinch This YearWith Thanksgiving nearing and the holiday season upon us, many people will be hitting the malls for shopping, the airways for travel, and interacting with large groups of people
Placer County Honors Citizens with Commemorative CoinsThe Placer County Board of Supervisors honored Dr. Bryce Jessup of William Jessup University and volunteer extraordinaire Fuzzy Jarnagin of Loomis Tuesday, presenting them with
Rain or Shine: Mountain Mandarin Festival Is OnFree admission offered for Festival goers with orange umbrellas! Mountain Mandarin Festival Is On.
92% of Americans Traveling for ThanksgivingSurvey Says: 92% of Americans Traveling for Thanksgiving Plan to Drive; 71% Expect to Spend Less This Year
Thanksgiving Travel Advisory: Sacramento International AirportPassenger traffic is expected to rise this year for travelers going through Sacramento International Airport. A few tips to improve your travel experience
Rocklin Crime Report Update (11-20-14)Rocklin, CA - Rocklin California Crime Report Update for November 20, 2014.
65,000 Injuries a Year to U.S. FirefightersThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the latest edition of its U.S. Firefighter Injury Report which highlights data on injuries sustained by firefighters on duty.
Grant Targets Impaired DriversThe California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently announced receiving a federal "Reducing Impaired Driving" grant, which will fund 150 sobriety checkpoints
KidsFirst Denim & Diamonds Appreciation EventCelebrating two weeks before the rest of the United States, KidsFirst, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County, spent Thursday, November 13th in Thanksgiving mode
Placer County's Most Wanted: Johnnie Castro44 year old, Johnnie Castro, last known address of Roseville, CA, is currently being sought by authorities for Failure to register residence