It's where many in the North State go to get away from it all, but if you were planning on taking a drive through Upper Bidwell Park this winter, you might be out of luck. "We're down to bedrock in many places, and cobble, and no road base left, which makes for very hazardous conditions," according to Chico Parks and Natural Resources Manager, Dan Efseaff.
Those hazardous conditions have led parks officials to close the road to vehicles at Horseshoe Lake. And Efseaff says, you can blame it on the weather. "We had a lot of rain in a short period of time. The landscape wasn't ready for absorbing that water, so we had a lot of runoff on these drainages." The damage to the roads is obvious once you pass the first gate at upper park. The swift water has led to erosion in several area's, and Efseaff says that could make traveling dangerous. "You drop off that lip, you're going to have some damage to the vehicle, or could hurt somebody."
According to officials, it's been two years since any maintenance was done to the road, and 10 years since the entire road has been re-worked. Efseaff says that lack of upkeep has contributed to the problem. "Gravel roads should be worked on every three years, or so. This road is long overdue for some major work. We just haven't had the budget, or funding to do that."
Even though a large scale repair of the road may be out of the picture for now, Efseaff says the city will be working to make the road safe, and functional again this spring.