An information kiosk at the Sierra Valley Preserve helps orient the visitor. Photo submitted

Sierra Valley Preserve West Entrance – opening May 8

Signs help directors to the Sierra Valley Preserve and its new trails. Photo submitted

In eastern Plumas County just south of the town of Beckwourth lies the only place in the wide expanse of Sierra Valley that is publicly accessible—the Sierra Valley Preserve. Owned and operated by the local nonprofit Feather River Land Trust (FRLT), the Preserve was created to protect its unique habitats, richly diverse plant and bird life, public access, and the headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Feather River.

Over the last year, FRLT has been working hard to expand visitor facilities at the west side of the Preserve and is opening this magnificent site to the public on Saturday, May 8!

The new West Entrance features an improved parking area, beautifully illustrated signs that highlight the ecology, geology, and history of the landscape, and nearly 2 miles of well-maintained walking paths, including a botanical trail with signs identifying the unique plant life that inhabits the Preserve.

FRLT acquired and conserved this spectacular 2,586-acre Preserve over the course of 18 years, with support from the community at large and its partners The Northern Sierra Partnership and The Nature Conservancy.

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Visiting the Sierra Valley Preserve

 Directions: The new West Entrance is located on the east side County Road A23 (Beckwourth-Calpine Road), approximately 2.7 miles south of Hwy 70. If traveling east on Hwy 70 from Portola, turn right (south) on A23, then left into the gate at the entrance.

Hours of Operation: The West Entrance will be open from sunrise to sunset, Tuesday through Saturday and will be closed on Sundays and Mondays at this time. FRLT hopes to open the Preserve seven days a week once it has adequate staffing to support full time operations.

Accessibility: A portion of the new trail is accessible and meets ADA standards. If you are a person with a disability, please contact the Preserve Manager at 530-283-1793 for the code to an access road that will allow you to drive to an accessible parking area next to the trailhead.

Guidelines: Please note that dogs are not permitted at the Sierra Valley Preserve due to sensitive wildlife and livestock. Visitors are asked to follow all current COVID-19 guidelines, including staying home if you have symptoms, and maintaining social distance from other visitors while using the trails and facilities. A porta-potty is located in the parking area but there are no trash bins available, so please pack out everything you bring in.

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East Entrance: There is also a public access point at the East Entrance of the Preserve, which remains open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. The parking area for this entrance is located about 1.7 miles south of Hwy 70 on County Road A24, at what are locally known as the Maddalena Corrals. It features a .75-mile walking path to a wildlife viewing platform perched at the edge of seasonal wetlands.

More info: For more information and a map of the Preserve, please visit: frlt.org/Sierra-Valley-Preserve. If you have any questions, please contact the Preserve Manager at 530-283-9095, or the main offices of the Feather River Land Trust at 530-283-5758.

More improvements to come

Completion of these new amenities at the West Entrance is the first milestone in a major public access improvement project at the Sierra Valley Preserve. The next phase of work will include additional trails, picnic areas, and a visitor’s center that will be home to interpretive exhibits and a series of fun and educational programs and events. Stay tuned for updates on this project, future events, and all things FRLT by signing up for their e-newsletter: frlt.org/enews.

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The Sierra Valley Preserve is one of five preserves throughout the Feather River region that are owned and managed by FRLT for public enjoyment. All Preserves are open to the public free of charge.

FRLT is a locally based nonprofit and maintaining amenities at its Preserves is only possible thanks to the generosity of the public. To support the ongoing operation of these special places and conservation of lands and waters throughout the Feather River Watershed, please consider becoming a member of the Feather River Land Trust by making a donation at: frlt.org/donate.

The Feather River Land Trust is proud to welcome everyone to experience the beauty of Sierra Valley and thanks all of its partners, members, and the community who have made this project possible!

A new bench provides a restful place to stop and view nature. Photo submitted
Informational signs dot the pathways in the Sierra Valley Preserve. Photo submitted