Named after a prominent Redding attorney, Claude Caldwell. Features 73 acres with many activities for all ages. During the hot summer months the aquatic park is highly popular – (especially the tall water slide). Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Also offers a skate park and a bike park for children. But perhaps one of the park’s most appealing features is it’s proximity to the Sacramento River and access to the Sacramento River Trail. Fish viewing windows are available – although it can be difficult to see fish due to the glazed over glass. Located next to the fish ladder which crosses the full length of the river. This park is best visited during daylight hours.
Mary Lake Park
Redding Memorial Park
Shasta State Historic Park
is well worth a visit. Conveniently located about only 10 minutes from downtown Redding on the way to Whiskeytown Lake this old town is spread out along both sides of Highway 299. This is the old site of Shasta City (locally referred to as Old Shasta), dubbed the “Queen City” of the northern California mining towns. Shasta City (not to be confused with Mount Shasta City or Shasta Lake City) used to be a prominent mining town with a population at it’s height of about 2,500 people.
Today, what is left of the town is mainly old semi standing brick buildings. A number of the buildings on the west side of the road only contain partial walls while grass has grown over what used to be the floors. The courthouse (built in 1855) is located on the east side of the road and is worth visiting – especially when it is open (maintains somewhat limited hours centered around the weekends). Now a museum, exhibits contain artifacts of local history and an excellent collection of old California art.
Wondering why the old town is all brick buildings. There is a good explanation for this. Two highly destructive fires ripped through town in less then a year – after experiencing this the townspeople decided to rebuild a third time using mainly brick and steel. Steel shutters over windows were also used. Shasta City’s first brick building was built in 1853. Later that year the Bull, Baker & Co building was Shasta’s most expensive building at that time ($15,00).
The Western Star Lodge (also built in 1853) is of special historical significance; it is the oldest Masonic Lodge in the entire state of California (dedicated in 1854). It has been in continuous use for more then 160 years.
We always enjoy bringing a picnic lunch to this park and eating next to the old buildings. A picnic allows one to sit and relieve the history of this unique gold mining town and spiritually connect with all the souls who lived, worked and shopped here during it’s heyday in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Most mining towns in California have either settled back into the earth or have been rebuilt due to fire. And in more recent times, Shorty’s Eatery operates in what is a building that was roughly recreated as Blumb’s Bakery (an old bakery in town that operated for more then 50 years). Homey, cute and welcoming, they offer a variety of foods including hot dogs, pannini’s and baked goods of course.
For more information about the park visit: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=456
And just up the road towards Whiskeytown Lake on your right hand side is the marker for the Pioneer Baby’s Grave. The infant died in 1864 and was buried nearby – in 1923 this highway was actually rerouted to avoid passing over the grave site.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Packing a diversity of experiences and activities into 300 acres spread out along both sides of the Sacramento River, Turtle Bay Exploration Park offers plenty to do for all ages. Arguably the attraction that brings people to the park is the now iconic Sundial Bridge (designed by famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava) but once people get their visual fill of this bridge, they realize there is certainly more to do within the park.
The museum is located next to the Sundial Bridge on the south side of the Sacramento River. Fun for families, there are numerous exhibits about the Sacramento River, Turtle Bay Park, local industries including forestry and geology and flora and fauna of the region. A special gallery features works of art. Those willing to walk 10-15 minutes across the Sundial Bridge will discover an arboretum and trails that lead through botanical gardens next to the river. In addition a nursery is located near the botanical gardens focusing on native vegetation – with limited hours usually open on the weekend for plant sales. And trails lead to the Sacramento River Trail system – with miles of trails leading up river.
For more information visit: www.turtlebay.org