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Lake Madrone might be small at just 25 acres, but it is anything but scant on looks. The lake is a phenomenal beauty surrounded by a gated mountain community in rural Butte County. In the Shasta Cascade region of California, characterized by vast landscapes and the great outdoors, the lake is a lovely retreat in the respite of nature.
Thickly lined by redwoods, dogwoods and other forest trees, Madrone Lake has fascinating history. Before the arrival of the California Gold Rush, the lake area was home to the hunter-gatherer Maidu people who had spread their villages all across the Sacramento Valley to the Nevada state line. In 1850, a trail was established through the Sierra Mountains from Reno to Marysville, passing through the region where Lake Madrone is currently located. As hotels and other establishments rose up around the pass, gold was discovered in the 1900s near Berry Creek, on which Lake Madrone was eventually impounded. The discovery, which occurred a quarter mile south of today's Lake Madrone, was the beginning of many in that area and the Berry Creek Mine became one of the richest mines in Butte County.
The success of the mine attracted some development to the area and the Berry Creek Hotel, close to where the Lake Madrone Dam is now, was built to accommodate miners. It was eventually destroyed by fire but in the 1920s a small mill was built and a dam, the Apple Tree Dam, was established creating Lake Madrone. The dam washed out in 1929 and was replaced by a second dam in 1931 which is still standing strong today. The Lake Madrone Trading Post was established not long after the second dam. It had a store, bar and shell gas. The "Post" changed its name to Lake Madrone Inn in 1975 before shutting down in 1988. The abandoned inn can still be seen on the lake.
Lake Madrone is a private escape for those looking to get away for the weekend, a week or two, or for a whole season. Vacation rentals are available among the houses established on the forested land around the lake. Real estate options are viable too. You can make Lake Madrone your year-round retreat. A ski beach serves the Lake Madrone community where various community events such as picnics are held. Residents swim, boat and fish on the lake. Though recreation is the lake's primary purpose, it is also used as a resource for fire protection.
Just north of Lake Madrone is the Plumas National Forest. Its vast and diverse acreage of mountains, lakes, streams, valleys, meadows and canyons will provide phenomenal experiences to any nature enthusiast. You will love the many adventures in the wild. Activities include cycling, climbing, hunting, caving, horse riding, mineral prospecting, and nature viewing. Also not too far from Lake Madrone is Lake Oroville, a manmade lake sprawling about 16,000 surface acres. A 47-foot viewing tower gives visitors an amazing panoramic view. The lake is great for sailing or windsurfing, and is also known for bass fishing. With the Chico-Paradise metropolitan area so close by, you have endless opportunities for a mix of beautiful scenery, delectable dining, rich history, dynamic culture, and great entertainment.
Come to Lake Madrone in any season. The native dogwoods are lovely in the fall; the winters' snowfalls are majestic; spring is alive with nature's love; and the summers are simply sublime. The lake is always beautiful. Enjoy a romantic holiday in seclusion at Lake Madrone or live in perpetual bliss as you watch the seasons change in the reflection of the water.
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