Located in Calaveras County in the state of California, Paloma was one of the places mined for placer gold. This unincorporated community became famous for its Gwin Mine, which was acquired by William M. Gwin. He was California’s first U.S. Senator and purchased the property in the mid 19th century.

Although the mine closed in 1908, it yielded gold worth millions of dollars. You’ll come across a few buildings while exploring Paloma, which reminds visitors of its mining past. Here are some of the places you can explore near Paloma:

1. Preston Castle

This castle was built in the late 19th century on a hill in Ione, a city in Amador County, California. Preston Castle has been constructed in the Romanesque style and was the administrative building for the Preston School of Industry. This school was established for the purpose of rehabilitating young offenders instead of just imprisoning them.

The Preston School of Industry went on to become a shining example in the juvenile prison reform movement. It was instrumental in giving the convicted boys a real chance at life. This was done by educating them in academics as well as useful trades of those times. The school closed after the construction of a new administrative building.

Preston Castle soon deteriorated owing to general neglect, weather conditions, and vandalism. However, it is a California State Historic Landmark. You can visit this castle with the help of tours conducted to raise funds for the rehabilitation project.

2. Black Chasm Cavern

You’ll get to explore some amazing crystal formations in Black Chasm Cavern, located in Volcano, California. This cavern maintains temperatures around 58-Degree Fahrenheit. It will make you feel cool during the heat of summers and warm during winter chills. No matter what time of the year it is, you’ll always feel comfortable in this cavern.

Black Chasm Cavern became a National Natural Landmark in the 1970s. It is a marvelous example of the country’s natural history and has a tremendous geological significance. You can explore this cavern with the help of guided tours. Besides, you’ll also be delighted to visit a fascinating gift shop.

3. Amador Central Railroad

A memorable ride in one of the vintage railcars would be the highlight of your Amador Central Railroad trip. It will take you through the Amador County foothills, giving you the opportunity to witness the beautiful green fields. While enjoying the rural Amador County scenery, you’ll also get to know the history of this railroad. This is made possible with the help of information that the operators of the railcars provide.

One thing to keep in mind is that pets are not allowed on these rides. The Amador Central Railroad belongs to the Amador County Historical Society and the RRC Historical Society. These two societies have maintained this historic railroad by working together for more than a decade. Today, the Amador Central Railroad Corporation has taken over its maintenance and operations.

4. Renegade Winery

Established in 2006, this winery is located in the historic town of Mokelumne Hill. It offers custom bar stools for patrons along with some soothing wines. Upon visiting this winery, you’ll get the chance to taste its award-winning wines. You’ll also get to experience a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the wine bar.

Mark R, the owner of this winery, learned to make wine from a winemaker for two years. He then decided to try making wine all by himself. He has apparently done quite well, as eight of his wines have won awards at the local fairs.

5. Palomar Mountain State Park

The Palomar Mountain State Park is located in northern San Diego County. It comprises awe-inspiring mountain meadows and a beautiful forest. This park is ideal for hiking, camping, picnics, and trout fishing. Much of the area is covered by coniferous forests, while the mountain is surrounded by dry lowlands.

Palomar Mountain State Park is one of the areas in southern California where you can enjoy an atmosphere similar to Sierra Nevada. This is mainly due to its large fir, pine, and cedar trees. The park has an area with an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level. This allows you to enjoy cool evenings even during summers. You’ll also come across vista points in this park, which offer breathtaking panoramic views.

If you wish to try camping in the park, you’ll need to make your reservations in advance during peak seasons. The trails are available only for foot traffic. Mountain bikes and dogs are not allowed on these trails. Another important thing to keep in mind before visiting this state park is that there are no gas stations on Palomar Mountain.

6. Kennedy Gold Mine

A guided tour of the Kennedy Gold Mine would give you a glimpse of its glorious past. This historic gold mine was established in 1860 and is one of the world’s deepest gold mines. The tour would give you an idea of how gold changed the entire way of life in the state. After James Marshall discovered gold, this place witnessed a rise in the arrival of people from distant lands.

Many people came and settled in the state between 1848 and 1858. The Kennedy Gold Mine produced gold worth about $34,280,000. During the Kennedy Gold Mine surface tour, you’ll get to see its official building. You can also explore the building where miners changed into their mining garb before going underground to work.

7. Mighty Farms

This charming campground is located to the north of Fullen Road. It allows you to explore over 150 acres of the mesmerizing Seirra foothills. The owners of the campground also grow cut flowers, mushrooms, and other produce. One of the two available camping areas is the ‘Soup Kitchen’. Located near the flower garden, this campsite allows you to enjoy kitchen space, outdoor shower, and a fire pit.

You can enjoy complete privacy while camping in this area if there are no other campers. You’ll get to enjoy a more isolated spot if you choose the other camping area. It is called ‘1 Pine’ and can be accessed by the second driveway located about a hundred yards away from the farm.

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