About Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve



    HORSETOWN-CLEAR CREEK PRESERVE SPRING 2024 EVENTS Children are welcome at all of our events and all events are free of charge. All events (unless otherwise noted) will meet at the HCCP parking area on Clear Creek Road, just west of the Clear Creek Bridge. March 30 (Sat.) 9:00 am. – ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY CLEAN UP Volunteers will…

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  • Spring 2024

    We enjoyed putting on some great hikes and events for the public last fall.  In a new hike, we watched USFWS Biologists perform their duties and research at the Screw Trap that captures or monitors juvenile salmon near our beach.  This spring, we will visit another Screw Trap location further downstream, closer to the China…

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  • Fall 2023

    Spring hikes and events were great, and we’re starting fall activities soon. These hikes provide a great opportunity to come out with a group and get acquainted with the trails at the preserve. Bring family and friends to enjoy the outdoors and learn about different topics of interest. We’re excited to let you know that…

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  • Spring 2023

    Our volunteers and board of directors have been busy since last fall, keeping trails clear of fallen trees and branches.  We also worked with a group from the California Conservation Corps to burn small piles that were stacked last year but not burned prior to the end of the burn season. Now it’s just about…

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History of the Area

The Gold Rush on Clear Creek marked a significant chapter in California’s history, with Major Reading’s discovery leading to a rush of fortune seekers and the development of thriving communities. The legacy of this era is still visible in the region’s history and natural beauty.

Read the full article.

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Our newsletter features updates about the preserve and a full calendar of upcoming events.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. when is the annual salmon run on Clear Creek?

    Several salmon runs occur throughout the year. The main Chinook salmon run happens between September 1 and December 1. Because the creek is a restored salmon run, be sure to check with Fish and Wildlife for current fishing regulations.

    2. What is that large machine in the water?

    It’s a Rotary Screw Trap, a specialized device used in fisheries and aquatic research to capture and study river and stream fish populations. It is made up of a rotating screw-shaped mechanism or auger that is placed in the watercourse, usually in such a way that fish swimming upstream come into contact with it. The trap’s design allows fish to be gently lifted or transported from the water into a collection area where researchers can study, count, measure, and release them without harm.

    3. Can I prospect for gold and artifacts at the Preserve?

    Because it is a historical preserve, no gold mining or artifact hunting is permitted; nevertheless, the BLM allows some of these activities on surrounding holdings.

    4. What birds, butterflies, and plants are at the preserve?

    View our list of common and uncommon bird sightings at the preserve here. The Monarch Butterfly, California Sister, and Acmon Blue are just a few of the many that have been sighted during April and May. See our plant gallery for a sneak peek at some of the flora.


    GPS coordinates:
    Elevation: 622 feet
    Latitude: 40°29.656’ N
    Longitude: 122°29.890’ W
    Google Map

    6. Is hunting or target shooting allowed?

    Hunting is prohibited within the Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve and lands downstream from the preserve towards Highway 273 and on public lands east of Clear Creek between Clear Creek Road and Placer Road. Target shooting is also prohibited.


    Meet Our Board Members

    Cathy Scott, President
    Cathy Scott

    Lisa Ross, Secretary
    Lisa Ross

    Lisa has been volunteering with Horsetown since 2012 and is currently serving as secretary on the Board of Directors. She enjoys the friendly coworkers and the opportunity to make a difference. Lisa also organizes the Adopt-a-Highway program that was originally set up and run by the late Frank Kosko. Volunteers clean trash from a stretch of Clear Creek Road around the preserve and the Reading Bar monument on a regular basis. She also enjoys helping to host spring and fall events, planting native plants at the preserve, and doing some trail work. She takes photographs and helps to implement the Facebook page. Lisa considers the work involved a labor of love.

    Michelle Maupin-Cornelius, Treasurer
    Michelle Maupin-Cornelius

    Chuck Dethero
    Chuck Dethero

    Don Neptune
    Don Neptune

    Don became a part of HCCP when founder Gene Clark began inviting organizations related to the environment to become involved in its development. Don was representing Shasta Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., and this interest grew into a HCCP Board Member position. As an architect, he helped especially in our bridge construction, trail map signage, trail maintenance, and recently in an installation oversight for the new toilet building.

    His interest in the BLM Cloverdale parcel on the northside of Clear Creek Road led to wandering and exploration and an interest in historical features, the two mini-falls, and possible trail locations. He has led several HCCP walks on that parcel.

    David Ledger
    David Ledger

    David learned to love and appreciate nature growing up on a ranch in San Luis Obispo County. He has been a field trip leader for Friends of the Dunes, the Shasta Group of Siera Club, and the Shasta Chapter of the California Native Plant Society for 12 years and is their current Conservation Chair. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Shasta Group of Sierra Club and is the founder and president of the Shasta Environmental Alliance.

    He really appreciates how active and involved the Horsetown Clear Creek Board members are. They really care about educating the public about our natural world. He has been leading wildflower field trips for Horsetown for many years and enjoys the diversity of people who attend.

    Chris Pearson
    Chris Pearson

    Ray Pfister
    Ray Pfister

    Ray enjoys volunteering with Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve. Ray originally worked with Frank Kosko on the trails a few years before he became a board member in 2012. Ray helps maintain the trails and amphitheater by helping keep them clear of fallen trees and weeds. He has always liked trail work. He worked with the Angeles National Forest as a volunteer for many years before moving to Redding. He also helps with the Adopt-a-Highway clean-ups and miscellaneous projects at the preserve.

    The programs and activities created by this board are the result of a developed friendship and common interest, as well as the dedication of current and past board members, including Frank Kosko and Charlie Ferrell.