Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp
Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp is an educational hub modeled after an old-time forest camp similar to ones all over Shasta County a hundred years ago. North State forests and wildlife are the heart of the Mill Building, and visitors delight in viewing the animals and exploring the hands-on exhibits. In addition to the Mill Building, the Paul Bunyan campus consists of outdoor play equipment, a water feature, an amphitheater that hosts our seasonal animal show, the Parrot Playhouse, our year-round aviary featuring Lorikeets, and our seasonal Butterfly House.
The Mill Building
The Mill Building, grounds, and Interpretive Forest were designed to help tell the story of forestry, past and present. The building resembles an old sawmill and includes parts from an old mill. The semi-permanent and changing exhibits in the gallery space celebrate the history of forestry and the forest industry in our region. The animal exhibits, which include animals that were injured or for other reasons would not be able to survive in the wild, interpret the forest as wildlife habitat.
Outdoor Play Area
The outside play equipment, artifacts (the Shay locomotive, steam donkey, and caboose), accompanying written information, and story pages are all designed to interpret various aspects of habitat, forestry, logging, and natural resources in our region. Stimpel Creek water feature represents Mt. Shasta, the Sacramento River, Shasta Lake, and the Shasta Dam. The Forest Amphitheater is used for animal presentations, guest speakers, and dramatic performances, to name a few.
Recently, some of the aging playground equipment was removed in order to accommodate hotel construction and, in the future, welcome new equipment and experiences for our guests. The conceptual drawings to the right are the most recent renderings of the ideas we have for the new and improved areas we plan to offer our guests, pending funding. Plus, we'll be updating the interior of the Mill Building and now have shade sails over the amphitheater seating! These improvements are possible thanks to the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, KBK Foundation, and California Cultural and Historical Endowment -- Museum Grant Program.
The Interpretive Forest was planted by the Forest Museum in 1992 and 1993 to demonstrate the importance of trees and forests to our region. It is designed to take you on a walk representing an imaginary journey across the forest ecosystems of Northern California, beginning in the cool, damp, coastal redwood forests near Eureka and ending in the hot, dry, easter pine forests near Susanville.
Butterflies! continues to captivate people who visit the enclosed butterfly house, where they observe hundreds of butterflies in a tranquil garden. The butterfly house usually consists of up to 32 species of butterflies found throughout the United States.
Visitors experience up-close colorful lories, or lorikeets, in our year-round, walk-through aviary. Guests interact with these wonderful Australian birds as they land on guests' head, arms, or simply just eat nectar directly from the guest's cup ($1/nectar cup).
Thanks to the generosity of private, directed donations, new habitats have been constructed to relocate many of Turtle Bay's beloved animal celebrities to larger, more natural enclosures within the Interpretive Forest.
Constructed in 2012, the Turtle Pond gives visitors an up-close look at a turtle habitat. The Turtle Pond is the home to our native western pond turtle, which once flourished in this area, and the invasive red-eared slider, which threatens western pond turtle populations.
Gifford Memorial Picnic Pavilion
In honor of Ken Gifford's contributions to the community and Turtle Bay, a large picnic pavilion was constructed in Wildlife Woods, near the Butterfly House. The design includes a 1,575 sq. ft. structure capable of seating 120, to accommodate large school groups and is also utilized for other Park programming and facility rentals. The project was funded through generous groups and individual directed donations.
The Elliott Redwood
When this Redwood was planted in 1850 in downtown Grass Valley, Calif., communication by telegraph was creating a revolution and San Francisco had just received its official incorporation as a city. This 29,600 pound Redwood log was donated to Turtle Bay's forestry program by Dennis Elliott and Daughters Logging.
- The log is 18 feet long with a 10'6" diameter on the large end and almost 6' diameter at the small end, and weighs in at 29,600 pounds.
- It's estimated that there are 3,810 board feet of timber in the log.
- This tree was too big for the mills!