2016 Fall Trail Challenge

Berryessa Peak trail
Berryessa Peak trail

Fall is an amazing time to hike, bike, and horseback ride the parks and trails in Napa County!  Join the 2016 Napa Open Space District Fall Trails Challenge and win fabulous prizes.

To enter:

  • Photograph you and/or your buddies hiking, biking or horseback riding on 5 of the 10 trails listed below;
  • Upload the photos to Facebook – Friends of the Napa Open Space District or to Instagram*; and
  • #NOSD

We will be randomly selecting winners from the start of the contest to the first day of winter, December 21, 2016.


Grand Prize:  Spend 2 nights in the newly renovated cabins at Bothe Napa Valley State Park.  The cabins consist of a kitchen, bathroom, one queen bed and a futon nestled in the beautiful pine trees of the park.  During the summer months enjoy the spring fed pool, hike the beautiful trails back into the canyons, or head over the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park and watch the 35-foot water wheel turn, milling wheat, polenta and other grains.  One lucky winner will be chosen and dates to be jointly determined in advance with the NOSD.

Join NOSD newest partner Trackers Earth at an outdoor training course, including a half a day archery class and one night in the cabins at Eco Camp Berryessa for one lucky winner and a guest.  To learn more about Trackers Earth and their outdoor training classes visit http://trackersbay.com/napa-county.php.  To learn more about EcoCamp Berryessa visit http://napaoutdoors.org/parks/ecocamp-berryessa/.  Dates subject to availability and must be used by May 2017. One lucky winner and a friend will be chosen for this prize.

Check out the Napa Valley from 1500 – 2000 feet on a Napa Valley Aloft Hot Air Balloon!  This prize is available to one lucky winner and a guest.  To learn more about Napa Valley Aloft, check out their website – http://nvaloft.com.


Napa Open Space District logo swag including a highly efficient insulated water bottle, the “best cap in the world” according to William Everett Brown, and decals to show your support of the District. Four lucky winners will be chosen.


Keep an eye out for additional prizes that may be added during the challenge!

Here are the trails:

Trail #1) Oat Hill Mine Trail

The trail, once a stage couch route between Calistoga and Aetna Springs, provides a magnificent recreational experience for hikers, mountain bicyclists and equestrians, although the trail is rough and rocky in many places, and can be quite challenging.  Visitors can enjoy sweeping views of Napa Valley along the lower Oat Hill Mine Trail, while the middle and upper sections of the trail cross striking volcanic formations. The trail passes through a diverse mixture of Oak, Douglas Fir, Gray Pine and Cypress forests, chaparral, and grasslands.  Keep an eye out for wagon wheel ruts on the trail.  Hike to Holms place, turn around and return to the parking lot.

Horse & Bike friendly.

9 miles round trip – 1936 feet (590 meter) elevation gain

Trail #2) Robert Louis Stevenson State Park – Mount St. Helena

Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Trail is a 1.2-mile one-way trail that leads from the parking lot on Highway 29 to the site of the bunkhouse at the Silverado Mine where Stevenson and his bride spent their honeymoon.  The trail switchbacks up the hillside through gorgeous Douglas Firs and Oak trees.  A short distance after the memorial marker the trail connects to the Mount St. Helena fire road and the trail to the summit for 3.8 miles.  As the trail is a fire road it is well graveled and smooth, however there is very little shade.  Once on top of the mountain there are trails leading to the north and south peaks for different vistas of Northern California.  The views of Mt. Shasta and Lassen to the north, the Sierra Nevada mountains to the east, Mt. Diablo and Tamalpais to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west are well work the hike, for a true top-of-the-world experience.

Horse & Bike friendly on the fire road.

10 miles round trip – 2030 feet (620 meter) elevation gain

Trail #3) Bothe Napa Valley State Park – Coyote Creek Trail

Located in the beautiful Bothe Napa Valley State Park, Coyote Peak Trail is a single-track trail with expansive views of the valley. This trail, combined with either Ritchey Canyon, Redwood and/or South Fork Trails is a 4 ½ mile loop that climbs out of the canyon offering views of the upper canyon and Napa Valley. Take Redwood Trail just over ¾ mile to Coyote Peak Trailhead and head south around the hillside to the top of Coyote Peak for shaded 360 degree views.

Bothe Napa Valley State Park is a fee based park.

5.25 miles round trip – 800 feet (245 meter) elevation gain

Trail #4) Bothe Napa Valley State Park – Vineyard Trail

Take the Redwood Trail and head north on to Ritchey Creek Trail.  Pass the first Vineyard loop trail marker and take the second one to the north.  Follow the Trail around the vineyard and connect back to Ritchey Creek and then Redwood Trail to the parking lot.

Bothe Napa Valley State Park is a fee based park.

3 miles round trip – 361 feet (110 meter) elevation gain

Trail #5) Moore Creek Park – Valentine Vista Trail

Valentine Vista Trail is a 3-mile one-way trip single-track trail from the parking lot, up the hillside, following the contours of the hill and across multiple water run-off streams flowing down the hillside before returning to the Moore Creek Trail for a nice loop back to the parking lot. The trail got its name because of the great views and because the route was first scouted by volunteers on Valentine Day.

Horse & Bike friendly

4.5+ miles round trip – 919 feet (280 meter) elevation gain

Trail #6) Moore Creek Park – Lake Hennessey Loop

The Lake Hennessey Shoreline Trail follows the contours of the Lake for fantastic views of the shoreline, lake and wildlife.  Alta Hennessey Trail is a dirt road that loops through the hills on the northern shore of Lake Hennessey.  Hikers, bikers and equestrians can park in the Moore Creek lot and hike the Chiles Creek trail to the trailhead.  On the northern shore of Lake Hennessey, the trail connects to the Shoreline Trail for a nice loop back to Chiles Creek Trail and the parking lot.  Sam the Eagle Trail is a single-track trail that parallels Alta Hennessey and the Shoreline Trail and provides more of a challenge in elevation change through the grassy hillsides of the eastern shore of Lake Hennessey.

Horse & Bike friendly.

6 miles round trip – 493 feet (150 meter) elevation gain

Moore Creek overlooking Lake Hennessy

Trail #7) Skyline Park –Buckeye Trail & Lake Marie Road loop

Buckeye Trail traverses the north-facing hillsides for a beautiful jaunt through buckeye forests and fern canyons.  Lake Marie Road is a dirt road that climbs steeply to Lake Marie to view the cliff formations, locally known as ‘Little Yosemite,’ and meandering through old growth oak woodlands, grassy meadows and hillsides.

Horse & Bike friendly

4.6 miles round trip – 657 feet (200 meter) elevation gain


Trail #8) American Canyon Wetlands

The American Canyon Wetlands Open Space is located in and around the City of American Canyon, and managed jointly by the City of American Canyon and the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District.  Following the Napa-Sonoma Marsh shore line, the trails provide a variety of ways to explore the marshland and Napa River.  The wetlands can be accessed by the Napa River Trail, which when complete, will follow the Napa River between Wetlands Edge Drive in American Canyon to Trancas Crossing Park in the City of Napa, and by the San Francisco Bay Trail, which when completed will circle the San Francisco Bay.  The wetlands are a great place for bird watching and enjoying the sunrise or sunset. There are two entrances to the trails, one at the end of Green Island Road (where there is also a kayak and canoe launch ramp and other short unimproved levee-top trails) and the other on Wetlands Edge Road and Eucalyptus Drive where there is paved parking and porta-potties. Congressman Mike Thompson’s Hike and Bike loop is a two-mile loop around an old decommissioned landfill and is open to hikers, bikers and equestrians.

Napa River and Bay Trail 5.4 miles round trip – no elevation gain

Bike Friendly

Congressman Mike Thompson’s Hike and Bike loop 2 mile loop – no elevation gain

Horse and Bike Friendly

Trail #9) Lake Berryessa – Smittle Creek Trail

Smittle Creek Trail is a 2.6-mile easy meander along the Lake Berryessa shoreline between Smittle Creek and Oak Shores Day Use Areas.  There are picnic and swimming locations along the shoreline for less crowded Lake access.  The trail hikes past Big and Small Islands which are nesting areas for Bald Eagles.  The trail also hosts deer as it winds through the oak woodlands.  The trail is accessible from the southern end of the Smittle Creek Day Use Area parking lot and Coyote Knolls, the northern most parking lot and picnic area in Oak Shores Day Use Area.

7 miles round trip – no elevation gain


Trail #10) Lake Berryessa – Pope Creek Trail

Pope Creek Trail is an easy 3-mile down and back trail that starts in the parking lot at Pope Creek Bridge and Lake Berryessa and follows the contours of the creek and hillside before dropping down to creek level.  The trail has a great lookout point on the top of a rock formation, however care is needed as the drop is significant.  This is also an access point for a water entry to Cedar Roughs.

3 miles round trip – little elevation gain

*All photos uploaded during the contest to social media sites subject for use by the Napa Open Space District to share the beauty of our parks and trails.