December 20, 2018 – This New Year’s Day 2019, California State Parks will participate in the 8th Annual First Day Hikes at parks across the state. This national-led effort encourages people to experience the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors with a seasoned guide so that they may be inspired to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year.

In 2018 more than 50 parks offered more than 80 hikes with close to 2,900 visitors participating. Last year, nearly 55,000 people celebrated the New Year on more than 1,600 hikes in participating state parks nationwide despite harsh weather on the East Coast.

So start the New Year out right with a hike—soak up some fresh air, take in the sights and smells of the forest, and get those muscles activated, with a First Day Hike sponsored by the Friends of North Bloomfield and Malakoff Diggins. The 3+ mile hike is part of a national event; encouraging people to experience the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors, led by an experienced guide.

This year’s hike will be led by Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins Executive Committee Member Rhea Williamson. Rhea is a retired professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focused on the impact of land uses and various contaminants of concern on water quality and water uses in National Parks, Native American lands, rivers, wetlands, reservoirs and lakes, and San Francisco Bay. With respect to gold mining, Rhea was part of a team of researchers who investigated acid mine drainage impacts throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills. She also worked on mercury loading to San Francisco Bay and on the physical, chemical and biological methodologies for mitigating mining related contamination. Rhea is a Board Member of the South Yuba River Park Association, and is a member of several other organizations working to protect and restore the environment so it is available for use by generations to come.

First Day hikes not only honor fitness resolutions, but they are designed to inspire us to take advantage of our local State Park treasures throughout the year.

#HikeInto2019 #FirstDayHike, #CAStateParks, #FriendsofMalakoff, #MalakoffDiggins

Pre-registration is requested. In order to assure quality experience and safety, we are limiting the hike to the first 30 registrants.

Link to register for free hike:

Name of trail: Blair-Slaughterhouse Trail

Time of hike: Jan. 1, 2019, 9:30 am (Check in begins at 9:30, hikers will begin trek at 10:00 a.m.)

Meeting location: Picnic area across from Park Headquarters/Museum

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
23579 North Bloomfield Road
Nevada City, CA 95959

Degree of difficulty (Moderate)

Minimum age for children (8 years)

Length of hike: ~3.2 miles

Cost: $5 parking fee, using self pay envelope

Things to bring: Sturdy shoes, water, dress in layers, snacks or lunch for after the hike. Rain or snow will cancel event.

Dogs are not permitted on the trail, so please leave your pets at home.

Check for hike updates. (Click on the First Day Hike logo on the right margin of the webpage.)

Additional information: This 3.2 mile hike is along well-maintained trails from the historic town of North Bloomfield to Blair Pond along Humbug Creek. Historic sluice channels, riveted metal pipes and other gold mining related artifacts are evident. The trail continues to the campground to the Diggins Overlook, with views of the spectacular pit and canyon walls excavated by hydraulic mining in the late 1800’s. We will then hike back towards town via Slaughterhouse Trail and Church Trail, which lead us past the old cemetery and back to the main part of town.

Directions: Recommended (Paved) Road
This route will take you about 45 minutes from Nevada City.

The park and historic town of North Bloomfield are located 26 miles northeast of Nevada City, California.

  • From Hwy 49 /Hwy 20, turn north onto Hwy 49 toward Downieville for 10.5 miles.
  • Turn right onto Tyler-Foote Crossing Rd. There you will see a Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park sign.
  • Follow the pavement (and double yellow line) for 15 miles. The road name will change to Cruzon Grade, then to Backbone.
  • When the double yellow line ends, (the road ahead is gravel) turn right onto Derbec Road and proceed about one mile down the hill to North Bloomfield Road.
  • Turn right onto North Bloomfield Rd.
  • Travel another ½ mile to the historic town of North Bloomfield, and park headquarters.

California State Parks First Day Hikes Homepage:

History of America’s First Day Hikes:

First Day Hikes originated in Massachusetts in 1992 and are sponsored each year by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Since 2012, First Day Hikes have been held in all 50 states and marketed as America’s State Parks First Day Hikes. Since 2018, First Day Hikes became an international movement with Ontario Parks in Canada offering First Day Hikes. Since 1992 in Massachusetts, and since 2012 in the nation, January 1st has become synonymous with our state parks and helps us promote our beautiful public lands, year-round recreation, and foster healthy lifestyles.