The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is the site at which gold was first discovered by James. W Marshall in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush. For those who are interested in the state’s famous Gold Rush history, a tour of the park will definitely be an extremely rewarding experience.
The Gold Discovery Museum
The Gold Discovery Museum should definitely be one of your first stops when visiting the park for the first time, as this is the ideal place from which to learn more about the Gold Rush. The exhibits here are mostly Gold Rush-themed, with everything from original mining equipment to horse-drawn vehicles.
Panning for Gold
One of the most popular activities at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is panning for gold, which visitors can try their hand at the American River. Lessons on how to pan for gold are held at the museum, while gold pans can also be purchased from there, or also from the park’s Bekeart’s Gun Shop, which sells a variety of old-fashioned trade goods.
Gold Discovery Tours
A relatively new addition to the park, the Gold Discovery Tours are guided walking tours that are held at least twice a day. From learning about the events that led up to the initial discovery of gold, to hearing about how it all impacted the town of Coloma, this is a tour that all Gold Rush enthusiasts should sign up for.
Living History Days
Every second Saturday of the month is Living History Day at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, with several fascinating living history activities and events. From rope making to candle dipping to Dutch oven cooking to traditional games, this is an event that guarantees to be plenty of fun for the entire family.
The American River Nature Center
In addition to being home to some of the most important historic sites in the state, the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is also a haven for nature and wildlife, and the American River Nature Center is the best place to learn more about this. Some of the exhibits here include murals of wildlife, animal mounts, and even a few small live animals.
There are a number of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the park, with the most popular being hiking along the many nature trails that criss-cross their way around the park grounds, leading to scenic picnic spots. White water rafting is also a hit here, which is no surprise considering the fact that the American River is known for being the very best in the country for rafting, with rapids that are perfect for beginners and families.
The Californian Gold Rush was an extremely significant time in history, and had a huge impact on the way in which the state subsequently progressed. From learning about the history of the Gold Rush, to trying your hand at panning for gold in the American River, there is no denying that the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is the very best place to learn more about how gold has influenced California.