Chico Seed Orchard

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

[Photograph]: Cramer Lane, Entrance to Genetic Resource and Conservation Center with Fall Colors.

The Chico Seed Orchard is located on 209 acres in Chico, California. Development started in 1904 when the site was assigned to the Agricultural Research Service for the purpose of plant breeding research and plant introduction from all over the world.

The orchard's primary functions are:

  • Provide high-quality, source-identified seed.
  • Enhance reforestation success in current and future planting environments.
  • Promote gene conservation in the Pacific Southwest Region.
  • Focus on ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir seed production.

Seed produced at the Chico Seed Orchard benefits:

  • Ecological restoration
  • Wildfire recovery
  • Native American cultural values
  • Forest health, including research and disease resistance

The secondary function is to provide for recreation, public service, and education.  Recreational activities include:

  • 1-mile self-guided, paved and accessible nature trail
  • Wildlife and bird watching
  • Dog walking (leash required)
  • Picnicking
  • Trash and restrooms available
  • No public drinking water

Note: The main gate on site is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on holidays.  The pedestrian gate is open in the summer seven days a week, except on holidays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. Visitors are not allowed on the property after dark.

[Photograph]: Genetic Resource and Conservation Center Nature Trail. [Photograph]: Giant Bamboo Along the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center Nature Trail. [Photograph]:  Foxgloves and Giant Bamboo Along Nature Trail. [Photograph]: Nature trail with flowering daffodils. [Photograph]:  Picnic area next to creek, along the nature trail.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The pedestrian gate is open
Reservations: None
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
  • Visitors are not allowed on the property after dark.
  • No public services available at the office.
  • Butte County pet leash laws apply, are posted, and are enforced.
  • Public access is restricted to specific roads and areas designated for recreational use.
Closest Towns: Chico
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Forest Service

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Picnic tables Yes
Drinking water No
Interpretive Site Nature Trail
Toilets Vault
Accessible Accessible Nature Trail
Areas & Activities



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[Graphic]: Map displaying the Mendocino National Forest and surrounding area.

Mendocino National Forest Location Map ยป