Take a circle tour—by boat, car, foot, or bike—around pine-trimmed Lake Almanor.
Length of trip: 1 day
Total mileage: 74.8/120.4km
Chester. Start with a blast-from-the-past breakfast at the Cotton Candy Diner , a ‘50s-style eatery that’s especially fun for kids. See historic photos and artifacts of dairy farming, logging, and gold-mining at Chester Museum and Library (200 First Ave.; 530/258-2742), learn about logging at Collins Pine Museum (500 Main St., 530/258-2111), and peruse Main Street for antiques and collectibles.
Chester. Stop in at Bodfish Bicycles & Quiet Mountain Sports to rent bikes and get directions to assorted riding routes, like the paved Lake Almanor Recreation Trail , an easy, 15-mile circuit along the west shore of Lake Almanor.
Lake Almanor West (6.9mi/11.1km; 14 min). Relax in the shade along the lakefront in this quiet community, where you can also take a swing on forest-trimmed fairways on the 9-hole, 6,317-yard Lake Almanor West Golf Course .
Westwood (24.3mi/39km; 36 min). Follow State 89 past tiny lakefront communities and vacation cabins scattered in the pines around Lake Almanor’s southern tip. Head along the eastern shore on State 47, then east to Westwood on State 36. Stretch your legs on a one end of the 24-mile-long Bizz Johnson Trail , which winds east to Susanville.
Lake Almanor (24.7mi/39.7km; 42 min). Double-back to Lake Almanor to explore the north peninsula with its resorts and marinas. Try Big Cove Resort to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat for low-key exploring, or pick up fishing gear and try your luck at landing a trophy-size trout.
Lake Almanor (10.8mi/17.2km; 20 min). Relax with a cool drink at pretty Bailey Creek Golf Course , with a handsome clubhouse and an outdoor snack bar overlooking manicured greens and lush forests.
Chester (8.1mi; 13km; 13 min). Finish your lake loop at a local classic, Pine Cone Frosty (321 Main St.; 530/258-2593), where you can indulge yourself in a towering swirl of chocolate-dipped soft-serve ice cream, a super-thick shake, or eye-popping hot-fudge sundae. Or just go ahead and order all three; we won’t tell.