Sunday, August 02, 2015

“The Flumes And Trails Of Paradise: Hiking Through History On The Ridge (Revised And Expanded Edition)”

Longtime Paradise residents Roger and Helen Ekins have refreshed and expanded their locally best-selling guide, “The Flumes And Trails Of Paradise: Hiking Through History On The Ridge” ($24.95 in paperback from Happy Trails Press; available at which also lists a host of local outlets).

According to an email from Roger, “Flumes” is “40% larger than the previous printings, with twice the wildflowers, 15 completely new trails, and significant new information/expansions of 15 or more of the existing trails.”

For readers new to the guide, the authors provide detailed hiking tips, a history of Paradise’s flume system (complete with historical photographs), and a list of “special interest hikes” (including for families and those with disabilities, and trails with swimming holes and waterfalls). In the revised edition there are twenty-one flume hikes and thirty-seven trails.

Each entry provides the length and difficulty, GPS coordinates to the parking area or trailhead, special features, and a rich narrative from seasoned and good-humored guides who give minute-by-minute timings and explanations for some of the things one might see along the way, including the Helltown monument (“erected in 1989 by the ‘Clampers’”). There’s also the best path to Hidden Fall near Coutelenc Park.

A favorite summer hike is Lower Trail in Paradise Pines: “For the most part the trail is always shady. … Moreover, much of the trail runs alongside Middle Butte Creek, so you get not only the shade, but the benefit of the cooler air always found near water.” Along the way you may even “see the grave of Dusty, the Christian Dog.”

There are views of Lake Oroville along the Lime Saddle trail in Paradise which is a “good choice for mountain or hybrid bikes.” But “cyclists take heed: not only is there considerable star thistle along the lower trail (a mortal enemy of inner-tubes!), but you’ll likely encounter loose gravel, especially on the curves. (The scar on Roger’s left knee attests to the wisdom of this second note of caution.)”

A guide who takes the fall so you don’t have to? Thistle be just another reason to get this indispensable new edition.

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