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Malakoff Diggings State Park

This post was written by jd on February 10, 2009
Posted Under: Hiking,State Parks,Travel
The Hendy Monitor, used to wash the mountains down

The Hendy Monitor, used to wash the mountains down

With all the bad news lately, it’s time to take a deep breath and think about all of the natural beauties that exist in this County. My friend Judy and I took a trip to Malakoff Diggings a couple of weeks ago. You can go the way we did, from Nevada City on Highway 49, turn right onto North Bloomfield Road, continue on until you come to the park. I prefer this route, with parts of the road steep with many switch backs, cutting across an old bridge over the South Yuba River. You can stop by the bridge and appreciate the wonders of nature and what the force of water can do to a river bed. Then continue on until you get to the park and the town of North Bloomfield.. Interesting, the web site of the State tells you that this route is not recommended. I guess if you are not used to driving in the mountains, it’s not a good way to go, but it is sure a beautiful drive. Google Map

The other way to go, which is a lot faster is to leave Nevada City, travel eleven miles up Highway 49 to left on Tyler Foote Road and continue on to the park. The road changes names several times, but stay on the pavement and you will get there to the park and North Bloomfield.  

Downtown North Bloomfield
Downtown North Bloomfield

Once you get there, there are hiking trails, campgrounds and of course seeing the destruction that the miners seeking gold did to the surrounding mountains. It’s amazing that what was an ecological disaster at the time, has now become a state park. Time has pretty much healed the area with the forest coming back along with the animal life. In the center of the park is the historic town of North Bloomfield. The State has done a really good job of restoring many of the old buildings, and at certain times of the year they are open for you to go in and see what the old miners saw.

Mountain washed down by the miners seeking gold

Mountain washed down by the miners seeking gold

In 1851 a miner came to town with a pocket full of gold. They followed him to what is now North Bloomfield and could find no gold, so they named the town Humbug. As the town grew to a population of 1,229 people, the residents wanted a post office, so they named the town Bloomfield. However there was another Bloomfield, so they named the town North Bloomfield. The present population is 2-12, I guess depending upon how many rangers are out there, and not counting the bears.

I could go on with the colorful history of the park, but detailed information is available at Wikipedia Malakoff State Historic Park and the website of the California State Parks Website

Take trip up there when the weather is nice, hike, relax, take a nice lunch with you and realize there is more to life then all the negative news we’ve been hearing lately.

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