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Hammon Grove, Sycamore Ranch are perfect destination on sunny day
Oct. 1 to April 30: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
May 1 to Sept. 30: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
Pacific Standard Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Daylight Saving Time: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
Yuba-Sutter residents Josh Allen and Shelbie Jacobsen took full advantage of the warm winter weather as they played a round of disc golf at Hammon Grove Park in Browns Valley on Sunday.
Sunlight shimmered across the Yuba River as the mid-20s couple ate burritos in the park just east of Sycamore Ranch. When they were finished, they spent the rest of the day tossing colorful frisbees around the nine-hole course.
"It's a nice little park," Allen said.
After a gloomy Sunday morning, several Yuba-Sutter residents enjoyed a sunny afternoon at the two neighboring parks. Whether it was playing frisbee golf, hiking, fishing or picnicking, visitors found a variety of ways to enjoy the spring-like weather.
Among the locals were Yuba City residents Jon and Morgan Cunningham, who shared a picnic with their Marysville friends, Alyce and Nathan Sokoloski.
The couples' children, 10-month-old Abel Cunningham and 7-month-old Ellie Sokoloski, rolled around on soft blankets during their first play date.
For the Sokoloskis, it was their first trip to Hammon Grove. The Cunninghams, however, are seasoned vets.
"They've done a good job here," Jon Cunningham said, referring to the county's upkeep of the park. "They really have."
However, just as many people visited the area who live outside Yuba-Sutter.
Dave Poteracke of Sonoma County was fly fishing in the Yuba River near Sycamore Ranch on Sunday, but hadn't caught anything after a couple hours.
Poteracke has been fly fishing for about 20 years, he said. "But I've never got any better at it," he added.
Others, such as longtime angler and Grass Valley resident Pam Raschke, came up to the park just to relax, she said.
"This is solitude and relaxation," Raschke said. "To hell with the fish."
Hammon Grove Park, a 44-acre piece of land known for its history of gold mining, rests at the base of the Sierra foothills where Dry Creek connects to the Yuba River.
The site used to be home to a town called Long Bar, which has since been buried under layers of hydraulic mining debris, according to the county's website.
Now the park is used for a variety of recreation activities.
"I love it here," Grass Valley resident Pam Rashcke said. "It's very peaceful."
A one-mile trail stretches around the park to give guests an opportunity to explore some of the Yuba foothills.
Tahoe resident James Fullerton was walking the trail on Sunday.
"It's a beautiful place," he said.
Hammon Grove has several amenities, including picnic tables, barbeques, horseshoe pits, river access, hiking, fishing, restrooms and a stage area.
The park is located east of Marysville at 5560 Highway 20, just east of the Dry Creek Bridge.
Next door to Hammon Grove Park is Sycamore Ranch, a park with 90 acres of camping and Yuba River access that was purchased by Yuba County in May 2010.
Dale Everett, caretaker at the Sycamore Ranch campgrounds for the last five years, said everyone seems to enjoy the newly renovated park.
"It's a good price and not that far away," he said.
The price for a one night stay at the campgrounds is $20, he said, and all sites are water- and electric-ready. New asphalt, heavy concrete tables and fire rings have recently been installed as well.
In all, the park has 58 campsites. Group sites must be reserved, but everything else is on a "first come, first served" basis.
Everett said the park is getting more popular over the years and, at times, the campsites are completely booked.
However, some people, such as Sonoma County resident Dave Poteracke, only come to the area to fish. "They do a nice job of keeping it up," he said.
CONTACT Griffin Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4783. Find him on Facebook at /ADgriffinrogers or on Twitter at @ADgriffinrogers.