Bidwell Park is a municipal park located in Chico, California. The park was established July 10, 1905 through the donation by Annie Bidwell of approximately 2,500 acres of land to the City of Chico. Since that time, the City has purchased additional land, such as Cedar Grove in 1922, and 1,200 acres of land south of Big Chico Creek in upper Bidwell Park in 1995. Today, the total Park size is 3,670 acres, nearly 11 miles in length, making it the third largest municipal park in California and one of the 25 largest city parks in the United States.
Bidwell Park is "divided" by Manzanita Avenue. The area west of Manzanita Avenue is referred to as Lower Park and the area to the east is referred to as Middle and Upper Park. Middle Park extends from Manzanita to a point roughly equal to the upstream edge of the Chico Municipal Golf Course. The noticeable difference between Upper/Middle and Lower Park is the terrain. Upper Park is located in the foothills of the southernmost Cascades. It has steep terrain and shallow soils, and contains many rock formations, including the unique Chico Formation sandstone and Lovejoy Basalt rocks. Lower Park is flat and level with a deep soil structure supporting a thick canopy of trees which provide ample shade for the visitor. Special rules also apply in the Upper Park and the road is unpaved for much of its length.