fun to do kids bridgeport california   Travel for Kids
  | California | Gold Country
     
   

Bridgeport - South Yuba River State Park

Panning for gold
During the Gold Rush, Bridgeport was a key river crossing on the supply route between San Francisco, the gold fields, and even silver mines in Nevada. Freight wagons transported supplies and timber to the mines, bringing back gold and silver bars to the mint in San Francisco. Today Bridgeport is part of South Yuba River State Park, where kids can still pan for gold.
To get to Bridgeport, from Grass Valley, take Highway 20 west, then go north on Pleasant Valley Road.
Bridgeport covered bridge
  Bridgeport covered bridge – In 1862, a wooden covered bridge, 249 ft. long, was built across the South Yuba River. At times, as many as 100 wagons crossed over the toll bridge in one day, and it wasn't cheap. A wagon with 8 horses or mules was $6.00, one horse buggy was $1.00, a horseman fifty cents, hogs and sheep were 5 cents.
    Walk through the bridge, stopping to look out the windows at the rushing river flowing underneath, and the curved arch span of the bridge, a real engineering feat for its time.
 

Family Beach On a hot summer's day, be sure to bring your swim suits to play in the South Yuba River – very popular with local families. Kids can dam up the little side streams (plenty of rocks) or pan for gold. Wade in the river, but no diving and little kids should have floaties. Shaded picnic tables, this is the perfect place to spend the afternoon.

    Pan for gold The river has shallow water and gravel bars along its banks, perfect for gold panning. Buy plastic gold pans in the visitor center, and kids can pan for gold in the state park whatever gold you find, you can keep!
    Visitor Center Stop into the visitor center for an introduction to the history and wildlife of the area. Find out about the early Native American Northern Maidu people who lived in area for thousands of years and pioneer families who came during the Gold Rush. Kids can touch mountain lion and black bear pelts, and check out the plaster footprints and dioramas of Sierra wildlife.
      Saturdays and Sundays, at 11am are gold panning demonstrations in front of the visitor center (Memorial Day to Labor Day). The last Sunday in April is Living History Day, with demonstrations and people in period costumes.
      Buy plastic gold pans at the visitor center. Grass and picnic tables are out front.
    Barn and pioneer cemetery Stop into the big old barn to see original wooden freight, log and delivery wagons. Take a short walk west along the old toll road (bordered with stone walls) to the Kneebone family pioneer cemetery. The oldest grave is Captain William Thompson who died in 1853.
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