By Melissa Wynn

What could be more relaxing on a hot day in Chico than a leisurely float on an inner tube. Rafting and “tubing” along the Sacramento River is a favorite pastime for the locals. Inner-tube rentals are available at a variety of locations in town, especially along Nord Ave, or you can purchase your own at Star Liquors at 959 Nord Ave. . Tubers can park and launch at the Irvine Finch Access Site on Highway 32, just East of Hamilton City,and enjoy a leisurely float.  Many floaters like to rest at Beer Can Beach and then get out at Scotty’s Boat Landing. This float averages two hours.

Tubing and kayaking  along Butte Creek is also a popular area pastime. Public access to the creek is available at the Steel Bridge, and most paddle or bob along down to the historic Honey Run Covered Bridge and get out there. The scenery is breathtaking in this area and plenty of wide open spaces for picnicking can be found along the way. Get an extra tube and float your supplies with you. The day is sure to be blast. To get to Steel Bridge, take the Skyway exit off of Hwy 99 in Chico. Travel up the Skyway, making a left onto Honey Run Road. Follow Honey Run approximately five miles to the Covered Bridge, and make a left on Centerville Road. Go approximately four miles up to the Steel Bridge. This float can take anywhere from three to five hours, depending on river currents.

Beat the heat this summer summer tubin’ the waterways of Chico.

As with any water sport, tubers, rafters and kayakers should use extreme caution when floating and always wear a US Coast Guard approved flotation device. Be aware of  hidden “snags” or tree branches, as well as strong undercurrents.