One of the top reasons to visit the Napa Valley is for its natural beauty (after the wine of course). Escaping into the outdoors is a daily ritual in Napa Valley, and because the valley is a protected Agricultural Preserve, there are more than 53,000 acres of open space to explore. With rugged mountain ranges, redwood-covered creeks, and beautiful lakes all bursting with diverse foliage and wildlife, exploring the region by foot is an optimal way to experience Napa Valley.
Here are some of the best places for hiking in Napa Valley:
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers camping, picnicking, swimming, and more than 10 miles of hiking trails that go through stands of coastal redwoods as well as forests of Douglas-fir, tanoak, and madrone. Come after the rains to see the creek full and running and bring a blanket and picnic along the way.
Linda Falls, just north of St. Helena in the small town of Angwin, is one of Napa Valley's best-kept secrets. The falls are just a short hike (less than 15 minutes, even if you’re super-slow) from the trailhead and deliver almost unbelievable sights. During rainy season, water comes rushing over the falls and drops 50 feet. During dry season, the volume slows to a trickle, still beautiful, just in an entirely different way. Get all the details in Hidden Gems of Napa Valley: Linda Falls.
Skyline Park in Napa features over 25 miles of trails. The two-and-a-half-mile main trail leads to Lake Marie at the eastern end. There’s also an alternate route along the ridge trail that is a much more difficult climb. From this trail on a clear day, you can see San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo.
Westwood Hills in Napa has three miles of trails through beautiful groves of oak trees and grassy meadows and affords expansive views of the city. The park includes benches and picnic tables near the parking lot and along the trails.
Alston Park in Napa features a fenced dog park and open space trails that are dog-friendly. Half of the park is off-leash, and the other half is on-leash. Take your pup for an exercise and enjoy the view of the town of Napa and walk along vineyards.
Moore Creek Park at Lake Hennessey in St. Helena features more than 6 miles of new trails and is dog-friendly. One trail wraps around the lake so you can enjoy the blue water, or trek the other way to the secret water hole at the top.
Looking for a local guide to lead the way? Active Wine Adventures offers hike & wine, hike & beer, and other awesome outdoor tour options, taking guests to off-the-map locations to experience Napa Valley from a local's perspective.