Park History Links
Bidwell Park, often called the "Jewel of Chico," is by far the greatest legacy Chico founders General John and Annie Bidwell left to the community. It was John Bidwell's wish that Annie would give this land to the City of Chico for public use. She did so by deeding 1,900 acres in 1905 and another 301 acres in 1911. This parkland stretched from Upper Park in the east to Children's Playground in the west. Over the years, additions to the park were purchased by the City of Chico bringing the total acreage of the park to almost 2,300 acres by 1935. At that time, Bidwell Park was the fourth-largest municipal park in the country. In 1995, the City of Chico acquired 1417 acres on south side of Big Chico Creek bringing the total park land to its current 3,670 acres. Bidwell Park stretches nearly eleven miles, straddling Big Chico Creek from the Bidwell Mansion in downtown Chico up into the foothills of Upper Park.