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Stories from the valley

Bringing Nature Close

Contributed by Jim Morris

As the quest for toilet paper takes a more serpentine course, with sporting and cultural events postponed or cancelled for weeks to come, as the term social distancing becomes part of regular dialogue, I have an even greater need to find peace in nature.  

As naturalist John Muir said so well, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”  

Fortunately, there are serene places to enjoy right here in the Sacramento Valley. 

If you’re in need of a respite from the breakneck pace of pandemic news coverage, if you want a chance to exhale and hit your internal reset button, I suggest the answer is close at hand.

Here are a few peaceful pit stops to consider:

The Sutter Buttes

The world’s smallest mountain range is a smile-inducing sight. Depending on the weather and where you view them, the scenery can vary greatly, but every view has a payoff.  There are a series of hikes around the Buttes that continue into May, although I would definitely call them to confirm they are still in the offing. Here’s more information from the Middle Mountain Foundation

Wildlife Refuges

We have world-class wildlife viewing in our valley. Even though we are past the peak Pacific Flyway migration, a visit to one of our refuges is highly-recommended and always rewarding. Here are a few options to consider. Research hiking options or just take the auto loop.

Waterfalls and Wildflowers 

Wildflower viewing doesn’t get better than at North Table Mountain in Butte County. If you’re up for a long hike with an amazing payoff, consider Feather Falls near Oroville. 

Another awe-inspiring, year-round waterfall is Burney Falls in Shasta County.  I believe it’s highly-underrated and is one of the top natural attractions in all of California! 

What great adventure can you plan with your family? Spring is a great time to get out and enjoy the Sacramento Valley. 

I hope whatever path you choose, it brings you peace.