Museums and parks and Recreation in Grass valley California

Nevada County Parks

LOOKING FOR something to do? You need look only so far as one of Nevada County's public parks. If you have kids don't miss our Especially for Kids page.

Pioneer Park: Nimrod Street, Nevada City, 265-2521. Band shell, baseball, horseshoes, picnic areas with barbecues, playground, sand volleyball court, tennis (first-come basis). Swimming pool (seasonal), Monday-Saturday, noon-6:00 p.m., children, family, adult times; lessons available. Seaman's Lodge available for private parties, fee.

Memorial Park: (Picture at right) Colfax Highway, Grass Valley , 274-4390. Museum, playground, baseball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, picnic and barbecue areas, tennis (first-come basis). Swimming pool.

Tobiassen Park: Adjacent to the Rood or Government Center, beyond library; off Hwy. 49, Nevada City. Ballfield, pond, trails, picnic tables.

Condon Park: (See picture at left) Minnie Street off Butler Street, Grass Valley , 274-4390. Exercise and hiking trails, picnic and barbecue areas, basketball court, horseshoes, baseball, bocce court, disc golf course, arboretum, playground. Love Building available for private parties, fee.

Western Gateway Park: Penn Valley Highway, Penn Valley, 432-1990. Eighty-acre site, tennis (first-come basis), baseball, playgrounds, hiking, exercise course, horse arena, basketball, picnic and barbecue areas, fishing, amphitheatre. Open during daylight hours. Buttermaker's cottage available for parties, fee.

Truckee Regional Park: Hwy. 267 south of Truckee, 582-7720. Basketball, baseball, picnic and barbecue area, tennis (first-come basis), two playgrounds, volleyball, nature trail, Rodeo Grounds. Park system also includes Meadow Park on Donner Pass Road, new playground, playing fields; and Glenshire Park at 10990 Dorchester Dr., in the town of Truckee, playgrounds, softball, soccer. Swimming pool on Donner Pass Road, call 582-7725 for information.

Museums of Nevada County

Western Nevada County

Firehouse Museum #1
Firehouse built in 1861. Relics from Donner Party, Chinese temple altars, Indian artifacts, Victorian clothing, toys, tools. Hours: Summer seven days a week, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Winter, 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Friday - Sunday. Tours available, call to arrange. Location: 214 Main St., Nevada City; (530) 265-5468.

Searls Historical Library
Law office of Niles Searls, Chief Justice of California State Supreme Court, built in 1872. Historic books, photographs, manuscripts, research material.
Hours: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Location: 214 Church St., Nevada City; (530) 265-5910.

Nevada County Library - Local History Branch (Doris Foley Library)
Location: 211 N. Pine St. Nevada City.
Hours: 10:00am - 4:00 pm Monday through Wednesday
Features books, county records, newspapers back to the 1850s, and directories pertaining to the early history of Nevada County. For info call: (530) 265-4606

Grass Valley Museum
Location: Old Mt. St. Mary's Academy, corner of Church and Chapel Streets, Grass Valley. Hours: Year round 10 am - 3 pm Tuesday through Friday, Weekends June through October only, Noon to 3 pm.
Built in 1865 as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy, this restored school and orphanage offers a glimpse of some of the past uses of the building. The museum includes an original classroom, parlor, music room, doctor's office and memorabilia from Grass Valley's early days. For info call: (530) 273-5509

North Star Power House & Pelton Wheel Mining Exhibit
One of finest collections of hardrock mining equipment and artifacts in United States. Giant Pelton Wheel, picnic area. Location: At the end of Mill St. at Allison Ranch Road in Grass Valley. Near the intersection of Hwy.49 and Hwy.20 West.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, May 1 through October 15.
For info call: (530) 273-4255

Miners Foundry Cultural Center
Historic foundry building with interpretive display covering manufacturing of mining machinery including the famous Pelton Wheel. On view outside are examples of mining machinery and tools. Call to request docent tours. Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Location: 325 Spring St., Nevada City; (530) 265-5040.

Empire Mine State Historic Park
Location: 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley. Hours: January through April, 10 am to 5 pm, May through September 4th, 9 am to 6 pm, September 5th Through December, 10 am to 5 pm
The Empire Mine produced an estimated 5.8 million ounces of gold and became the richest and largest hardrock gold mine in the United States. This is the museum not to be missed when in Nevada County. Featuring exhibits of equipment, guided tours, and actual mine shafts. There are hiking trails to explore the 784-acre state park, tours, and an excellent museum. Tours include a 3D scale model of the tunnels, without which it is impossible to imagine the enormous scale of the operation. To contrast the industrial quality of the mining portion of the park there is an adjoining estate with a remarkable stone house, terraced rose garden, fountains and reflecting pools. Always evolving thanks to a dedicated staff of volunteers, many people visit this park several times per year without ever growing tired of the experience. Guests can now walk 30 feet into the main mine shaft but the park is planning a $2 million underground mine train project that will carry riders 750 feet into the depths of the mine.

Imaginarium Science Museum
Interactive science center with hands-on exhibits including wave machine, garden of smells, distorted room and model of Hubble Telescope lens. Special exhibits throughout the year, call for information. Call for special exhibits and events.
Hours: Noon - 5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. First Friday of month free to whole family if accompanied by child 5 years of age or younger, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Location: 161 Nevada City Hwy., Nevada City; (530) 478-6415.

South Yuba River State Park

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
Location: Take 49 North past the South Yuba River. Look for signs for a right turn after leaving the canyon. Follow signs. This is a good day trip as it is sufficiently far from Nevada City and includes many sights.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm, summer only.
For info call: (530) 265-2740

Transportation Exhibits
1. Pioneer Park, Nevada City
Old-time vehicles are displayed in the carriage house, which contains a stage, a beer wagon, a logging truck and early firefighting equipment.

2. Northern Queen Motel, Nevada City . Narrow gauge railroad cars and equipment, lovingly restored by members of the society's Transportation Division, are displayed on the motel grounds.

3. Nevada county Railroad & Transportation Museum . Artifacts and exhibits relating to historic Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad including vintage locomotive and antique railroad cars. 1901 automobile, the county's first, on display. Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: 5 Kidder Court, Nevada City (take Hollow Way adjacent to freeway at Gold Flat Road to Bost Avenue to Kidder Court); (530) 470-0902.

Underground Gold Miners Museum, The
Offers tours of an operating gold mine by reservation only. Museum open seasonally Memorial Day through Labor Day Sat. & Sunday only 1 to 5 addmission free. Tours: 287-3330

Eastern Nevada County

Truckee's Old Jail
Built in 1875, the museum contains historic photos, ice harvesting exhibits, Chinese pottery, Indian baskets.
Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Location: Jibboom and Spring Streets; (530) 582-0893.

Western SkiSport Museum
Ski history dating from gold mining days, films, evolution of equipment.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday, ski season. Call first.
Location: Boreal Ski Resort, I-80 at Donner Summit (530) 426-3313.

Emigrant Trail Museum
Open year round and includes exhibits about the human and natural history of area. The story of the Donner Party is also depicted. Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Location: Donner Memorial State Park, off I-80, 12593 Donner Pass Road; (530) 582-7892.

Museums of Sierra County

Loyalton Museum
The Loyalton Museum is located in Loyalton at the city park. This historic building features displays on logging, agriculture, the Washoe Indians, and fraternal organizations including the Rebekah Lodge. Outdoor exhibits include logging wagons, a donkey engine, and farm equipment 530-993-6754.

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