The Bottling Process

#21 Tastings & Tours – Olive Oil

Satsuma mandarins, sweet, juicy, seedless oranges with a thin, loose peel, grow in many places throughout Butte County, but if you drive almong the foothills east of Oroville in the “citrus corridor”, you will find the farm signs along the roadways of Mt. Ida Rd., Featherdale Dr. and Olive Hwy. directing you to some of the tastiest mandarins in the nation. The mandarin season starts in late November and runs through mid-January, and the places we’ve listed welcome visitors.

Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch mandarins are the great tasting, seedless Satsuma mandarins. They are very sweet, easy to peel, and excellent for eating or juicing. The Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch has been a great source for holiday gift packages.

Morse Farms started in 2002 with the planting of 400 satsuma mandarin trees and a variety of lemons, limes, navel oranges, grapefruits and minneolas. They also produce mandarin marmalade, mandarin syrup, mandarin olive oil, mandarin jalapeno barbeque sauce and meat and vegetable seasoning and rubs.

Lou and Lola Lodigiani farm the five acre Tri-L Mandarin Ranch. During a good year their 850 trees will produce 85 tons of Owari Satsuma mandarins acclaimed supurb by Graham Kerr culinary and TV personality. Tri-L will have its annual Harvest Festival in early December 2016 with free admission.

If you’ve read a recent copy of “Wine Spectator” magazine, you’ll know that Oroville is rated as the best place in the nation to grow olives. And that explains why olive oil made from Oroville’s olives are taking “Best of Show” awards at the Los Angeles County Fair—the fair in the nation for olive oil judging!

We spoke with three of the local growers and olive oil producers and were impressed to learn that each of them had traveled abroad to study the process of making olive oil, one in France, one in Spain, and one in Italy.

The Berkeley Olive Grove spans 500 acres of mission olive trees that were planted by the University of California in 1913. The 500-acre site was chosen for its unique volcanic soil and climate.

Chaffin Family Orchards is a five generation family farm located in a warm air belt that wraps around the town of Oroville. The farm has been harvesting and producing olives and olive oil for over 75 years. For over 50 years the farm has produced beef cattle, citrus, stone fruits, and avocados.

The Wagon Wheel Market on Olive Highway carries many of the local olive oils, but Lodestar Farms also has a tasting room and gives tours; however, a phone call to any of them can get you an appointment to sample the best extra virgin olive oil this side of the Mediterranean!

The Purple Pig Blueberry Farm started January 2012 with 119 Southmoon and Jubilee Highbush blueberry plants and expanded in 2013 for a total of 189 plants. These are capable of producing about 20 pounds of berries per plant. These large juicy
berries are hand picked, sorted and packaged in Oroville in May and June. The berries are picked to order.


The Sierra Oro Farm Trail Map features many of the above-mentioned farms, ranches and vineyards. The maps are available from the Butte County communities’ Chambers of Commerce or call 530-566-9849.

Butte County farmers annually host (October 2016) a weekend of wine tasting and farm-fresh food sampling called the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend. The Passport Weekend showcases the wineries and farms currently on the Farm Trail Map. Tickets for the Passport Weekend are $30 per person and include free tasting at all farms on the map.

All proceeds go to benefit the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Association to further develop agri-tourism in Butte County. The Farm Trail destinations include more than 20 specialty farms/shops and 13 wineries. A Farm Trail Map gives directions to each participating destination and also highlights local tourist attractions, historic landmarks, hotels and fine dining.

In addition to a hard copy of the map, visitors can plan their own tour, get the current tour dates & times, ticket information and more at www.sierraoro. org, or emailing: [email protected].

Morse Mandarin Farms
8 Featherdale Dr., Oroville, CA 95966
(530) 589-2126
More Details

Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch
845 Mt. Ida Rd., Oroville, CA 95966
(530) 589-5799, Fax: (530) 589-5949
More Details

Tri-L Mandarin Ranch
Entrance on Mt. Ida Rd., near intersection of Mt. Ida & Naranja, Oroville, CA 95966
(530) 534-4316, Fax: (530) 534-1397
More Details

Berkeley Olive Grove
Oroville, Ca. 95965
(530) 533-1814
More Details

Butte View Olive Co.
2950 Louis Ave., Oroville, CA 95966
(530) 534-8320
More Details

Chaffin Family Orchards
606 Coal Canyon Road
Oroville, Ca. 95965
(530) 533-1676, (530) 533-8239

Lodestar Farms Olive Oil
3719 Foothill Blvd., Oroville, CA 95966
(530) 534-6548
More Details

The Purple Pig Blueberry Farm
Oroville, Ca. 95966
(530) 589-4736
More Details

Sierra Oro Farm Trail Map
(530) 566-9849
More Details


#22 Try Your Luck

These casinos have slot machines, blackjack, bingo, and just about anything you’d want if you’re feeling lucky!

All four casinos also feature live entertainment, and have restaurants on-site, and Gold Country has a 24-lane bowling alley.

Colusa Casino
3 Miles North of Colusa, Hwy. 45
(530) 458-8844
Details Click Here

Feather Falls Casino
Hwy. 70 to Ophir Rd. the east
(530) 533-3885
Details Click Here

Gold Country Casino & Hotel
4020 Olive Hwy.
(530) 538-4560
Details Click Here

Rolling Hills Casino
Liberal Avenue exit in Corning
(530) 528-3504
Details Click Here


#23 Up, Up & Away

Oroville Air Corp.

The sign on Wilbur Road reads “Oroville Air Corp.–Spectators Welcome.” And you can watch model airplanes being flown all most every day—every description of plane and some with wingspans of 120 inches—even helicoptors.

The group encourages spectators and urges young and old to put their own craft in the air, pointing out that you can be piloting your own radio-controlled airplane for less than $300.

The group meets monthly.

DWR built a 350 x 300 foot runway, but the Wilbur site is best known because it affords both land and water takeoffs and landings. Oroville is one of only two places in Northern California where both land and water facilities are available.

Oroville Air Corp.
North Wilbur Road at the Afterbay Canal
(530) 370-0318



#24 Admire the Murals

Oroville’s downtown has turned into a mural mecca with over 15 murals, and you can also find one at the Lake Oroville Visitor’s Center.

The murals high-light Oroville’s heritage going from the Gold Rush era through World War II.

These murals have been created thanks to the Downtown Business Association. If you have ideas or donations for future murals, please contact Mike Isch at Northwestern Trading, 1910 Bird St., Oroville, CA.



#25 Enjoy a Microbrew in Old Gold Miner Ambiance


Enjoy a Microbrew in Old Gold Miner Ambiance

With its exposed original brick walls and its very long bar, it reminds many of what gold miners might have experienced stepping in from a dusty Montgomery Street back in 1860. But I doubt the brew was as tasty in those times, since now you can taste their house beers along with other craft brews,as well as local wines.

Known for their Americana cuisine and custom soups, you’ll want to get there early for lunch or dinner or you may have to wait awhile for a table.

Miners Alley Brewing Company
2053 Montgomery St.
(530) 693-4388
Visit Miners Alley


#26 Sharpen Your Skills

Butte College

Butte College offers a quality education where students can earn Associate of Arts and Sciences degrees, transfer, certificate, career and technical programs, English as a second language, workforce training and adult non-credit classes.

Resting on 928 acres, the college has the largest campus in the state, and it is the only campus designated as a wildlife refuge.

If you’re starting your college career or thinking about a better job, Butte College offers an affordable, quality education with flexible day and night classes. With over 100 degree, transfer and certificate programs­—there’s something for everyone. Students save thousands when they take their
general education classes at Butte College and transfer the units to a university. Alumni have successfully transferred to prestigious campuses such as UC Davis, UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and Stanford, among others. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, and two out of three students receive financial aid, grants, or scholarships. Personalized tours can be arranged by phoning them or visiting their website.

Butte College
3536 Butte Campus Drive (Off Durham-Pentz Rd.)
Oroville, Ca. 95965-8399
(530) 895-2511
More Details


#27 The Last Yahi

Ishi – The Last Yahi

In 1911, an Indian about 50 years of age wandered into the outskirts of Oroville. An anthropologist from the University of California at Berkeley came here and took the man, whom he named Ishi, back to the university and was amazed to learn that Ishi spoke a language thought to have been extinct. Ishi worked at the school both as a janitor and as a teacher of his culture until his death in 1916.


The monument was designed and built by the McInturf family of Oroville and is constructed of fieldstone rocks gathered from the Deer Creek Canyon area where Ishi lived before his family died, and he found his way to Oroville. The Rotary Club has recently added picnic tables and landscaping to the area surrounding the monument, making it a pleasant spot to contemplate our land of many cultures.

Books about Ishi include Ishi, The Story of an American Indian by Kathleen Allan Meyer and Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber. In 1992, “The Last of His Tribe” starring Graham Greene as Ishi was filmed in the area. The movie was aired on HBO and is now in video stores.

California Historic Landmark
“The Last Yahi Indian”
Oro-Quincy Hwy. & Oak Street
Ishi Mural
Downtown on Robinson St. between Lincoln & Huntoon
Film & additional information availale at The Lake Oroville Visitor’s Center
(530) 538-2219

#28 Laugh, Cry & Applaud

Birdcage Theatre

It’s hard for us to believe that so much talent landed in one spot, but time and time again, we’re overwhelmed by the professional quality of productions that are staged here.

The Birdcage season begins in September, and nearly every month sees a new production. Hocks Unlimited presents their annual melodrama every July and features popcorn, beverages, and unlimited laughs.

Birdcage Theatre & Hocks Unlimited
1740 Bird Street
(530) 533-BIRD
More Info


#29 Former Steamers

Locomotive buffs will enjoy these two old steam engines. Railroads were an important part of Oroville’s history since the lumber industry played a dominant role in the local economy and depended heavily on the railroads.

The Shay engine located on the Park Avenue side originally belonged to the Hutchinson Lumber Co., purchased to operate on its private 20-mile logging railroad in the foothills east of here.

Both engines represent an important part of Oroville history.

Hewitt Park Steam Engines
Between Baldwin & Park Ave.,
access on Daryl Porter


#30 Fishing or Bird Watching


Just outside the Oroville city limits are 11,000 acres of preserved natural beauty with ample opportunities for fishing enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Egrets, beaver and river otters are among the many animals found here.

Administered by the California Department of Fish and Game, the area is divided into two units: the 4,300-acre Thermalito Afterbay with its 26 miles of shoreline and the 5,700-acre Borrow Area Preserve. Bass, catfish, and crappie are found in both the ponds and the afterbay area, and salmon, steelhead, and shad can be caught in the river, twelve miles of which wanders through the Borrow Area section. Canoes or car-top boats can be launched in several spots along the river.

Some fishing restrictions are men-tioned on maps available at the entry points. There are campsites (no fees) in the southern half of Borrow Area.

The area is also popular with birdwatchers since it provides a year-round or seasonal home to 171 species of birds.

Oroville State Wildlife Area
Headquarters: 945 Oro Dam Blvd. W.Entrances off of Oro Dam Blvd. W.,
Hwy 70, Pacific Heights Rd, Larkin Rd., Vance Ave. & Palm Ave.
Maps available at Entry Points
(530) 538-2236