The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve contains 3,950 acres of diverse canyon and ridge habitats, including 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek, and is home to many species of plants and animals. The BCCER was created with the purchase of the Simmons Ranch in 1999 and the Henning Ranch in 2001. It is owned by the California State University, Chico, Research Foundation.
The goals of the Reserve are to:
- Support the educational mission of CSU, Chico by providing a site with natural resources to support research and teaching
- Develop, upgrade and maintain databases to support research and instruction
- Protect and monitor on-site natural resources
- Provide public outreach and education
Public walk-in access for nature viewing is open from dawn to dusk every day (except for hunt days, which are noted on the website).