Best bird watching trails in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, California

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Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, California
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Top trails (23)
#1 - Nortonville and Black Diamond Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 3 h 13 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There are fees for parking and for bringing pet dogs. Once a booming coal mining area, the hills are now quiet and peaceful. Yet, they still offer a glimpse into the past mining history. Five coal mining towns once occupied the Black Diamond area from the 1860s until the early 1900s, the most famous being Nortonville and Somersville. Almost four million tons of coal were removed before coal mining stopped and sand mining began by the Hazel-Atlas glass company. Part of these underground mines are still accessible via guided interpretive tours. This route takes you through the heart of the Black Diamond Mines historic area, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and delta. As you initially ascend the ridge, you will pass the Rose Hill Cemetery, which is a grim but fascinating reminder of the town of Nortonville and the challenging lives its citizens lived. Past the graveyard, you will come to a lookout point that offers the first of many panoramic views. Later, descending the Black Diamond Trail, colorful sandstone rock walls tower above the scattered oak woodland. As you make your way down Black Diamond Way keep your eyes open for the giant Coulter Pines, and see if you can find “Jim’s Place”, where the “door” is always open! A little further up Black Diamond Trail is a small side trip to the Air Shaft. Make a right on Cumberland Trail, go about 100 yards and it’s on your left. Turn around and return to Black Diamond Trail to continue uphill on main route. Enjoy other beautiful views and rock formations on the rest of the hike. Park at the parking lot .8 miles up the road from the Visitor Center. Walk up the trail, past the restrooms, and continue straight and slightly to the right onto Nortonville Trail. Follow the trail posts, staying on Nortonville Trail as it begins to climb towards Rose Hill Cemetery. You may wish to explore the cemetery or bypass it by staying on the main trail. Once past the cemetery, continue uphill and over the ridge, and drop down into Nortonville. Stay left on the trail straight into Coal Canyon and head up the single track trail, straight ahead at the base of the canyon. At the top past Jim’s Place make a left on the paved Black Diamond Trail. Continue uphill until you reach a closed Park Gate. Take the left just before the Gate on a dirt road which is Black Diamond Trail. Continue on this all the way back to the ridge above the cemetery and make a right at the fork onto Nortonville Trail and retrace your steps down past the cemetery, descending back to the parking lot where you began. Fees: $5 Seasonal, weekends and holidays, $4 per trailered vehicle, $2 per dogShow more
#2 - Chapparal, Manhattan Canyon Black Diamond Mines Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 15 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There are fees for parking and for bringing pet dogs in this preserve. It wasn't always like this: In the 1800s, a coal economy ruled the region. When the coal ran out, the miners moved on, leaving tombstones where towns once stood. Mining resumed years later: this time they dug sand for a local glassmaker. Tours of the old silica sand mines are a popular fixture of Black Diamond Mines. This route starts out in the parking lot on the old Somersville town site, passing the Rose Hill Cemetery and moving on to Nortonville, another town site lost to time. Show more
#3 - Miner's Trail
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 4.6 mi • Est. 2 h 41 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There are fees for parking and for bringing pet dogs. This route is a nice introduction to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. It is a 5,717 acre preserve with coal mines, a historic cemetery, approximately 50 trails, and Bay Views. Take the Canyon trail to connect to the Black Diamond Trail Temperatures in the summer can be extreme so make sure to bring water and sunscreen. Dogs are allowed on leash in developed areas/under voice command in undeveloped areas of the parkShow more
#4 - Stewartville and Ridge Trail Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 7.4 mi • Est. 3 h 48 m
#5 - Star Mine Trail
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 2 h 58 m
#6 - Old Homestead Loop Trail
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 5 m
#7 - Stewartville Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 4 h 22 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There is a parking fee to access the preserve and a fee if you bring a pet dog. This preserve has over 50 trails with beautiful scenery and diverse plant life. Picnic tables, water, and restrooms are available. Show more
#8 - Chaparral, Ridge, and Stewartville Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 2 mi • Est. 1 h 11 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There is a parking fee to access the preserve and a fee if you bring a pet dog. This preserve has over 50 trails with beautiful scenery and diverse plant life. Picnic tables, water, and restrooms are available. Show more
#9 - Stewartville, Ridge, Chaparral, Black Diamond and Nortonville Trail Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 2 h 2 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There is a parking fee to access the preserve and a fee if you bring a pet dog. This preserve has over 50 trails with beautiful scenery and diverse plant life. Picnic tables, water, and restrooms are available. Show more
#10 - Black Diamond Mines Ridge Trail Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 7.6 mi • Est. 4 h 13 m
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