While you can certainly enjoy the wineries, when visiting Napa Valley there is plenty to discover in the surrounding wilderness. From Redwood trees towering over creeks to glistening lakes, vibrant landscapes and views of magnificent mountain ranges, hiking around wine country is a wonderful way to soak up the beauty of Napa Valley.
Skyline Wilderness Park
The 850-acre Skyline Wilderness Park has something for every outdoor enthusiast. It features over 25 miles of trails and a short main trail (2.5 miles) that leads to Lake Marie at the eastern end. The park also has an alternate route that offers a more challenging climb along the ridge trail. On a clear day, the trail will reveal views spanning from the San Francisco Bay to Mount Tamalpais and Mount Diablo. The Skyline Park also offers facilities for camping, picnicking and horseback riding.
Westwood Hills is a quaint park with only three miles of forested trails –perfect for a gentle hike that allows trekkers to enjoy the lovely sights decorated with buckeye-dotted grasslands, pretty meadows, eucalyptus-filled canyons and expansive views of the city. The park includes charming picnic spots and even a small museum that exhibits the diverse foliage and wildlife found in the area.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Situated at the northern end of the valley between St. Helena and Calistoga, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park spans almost 2,000 acres of land with more than ten miles of trails that coast through creeks as well as Redwood trees, including forests of Madrone, Tanoak, and Douglas-fir. There is also a trail that links the park to the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park.
Built in 1846, the water-powered mill was once the social hub of the county as Napa Valley settlers would gather here to have their wheat and corn ground into flour or meal. The mill and its towering 36-foot water wheel have been partially restored and are protected as a historic state landmark. Guests are encouraged to pack snacks and bring a blanket so they can enjoy a serene picnic along the way.
Perfect for hikers who want to take their canine companions with them, Alston Park features open space trails and a fenced dog park. Owned by the city of Napa, the park that sweeps through 158 acres in the picturesque rolling hills of northwest Napa, was made public in 1991. It offers three miles of trails open to hikers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.
The trails wind through oak-decorated grasslands, wildflower-bedded meadows and an old plum orchard on the south. It also leads to an upper area referred to as Canine Commons –a popular off-leash dog site. Hike trails detour into a canyon by Redwood Creek, leading to picnic areas overlooking magnificent views of Napa Valley.
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