Family Friendly Trails

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Do your kids love to be outside?  Are you looking for a place to take them where you don’t end up doing all the work?  Here are five ideas in Napa County to go outside and play!

Yountville Ecological Reserve: This nature preserve adjacent to the Napa River is centrally located, the hike is short and not too strenuous, and it gives you and your little ones a chance to see and dip your toes in the Napa River.

Moore Creek Park – Lake Hennessey Shoreline Trail: this is a great trail for wildlife spotting and its home to the wonderful Napa-Solano Audubon Birding Trail (be on the lookout for the colorful signs). The trail is flat and stroller friendly if you come in from the Conn Valley gate (if you come in from the Moore Creek Park staging area, there’s one stream crossing). Hike it as an out and back trail and turn around whenever you feel like your kids are ready. If visiting with older and/or sportier kids you might hike the Shoreline Trail from the Conn Valley gate, a little more than a mile to Sam the Eagle Trail, hike up Sam the Eagle 1.1 miles to Alta Hennessey, and then turn left on Alta Hennessey and drop back down to the Shoreline Trail via Alta Hennessey or Ken’s Cutoff (about .5 miles either way).

Napa River and Bay Trail: The trail is stroller friendly and has sections completed.  You’ll see a lot of young families out on the trails and completed sections include:

American Canyon Wetlands from Eucalyptus Drive to Green Island Road
Soscal Ferry Road to Anselmo Court
Kennedy Park to Third St.
Lincoln Ave. to Trancas St.
Napa Bike Path
Napa Valley Vine Trail: Solano Ave., Yountville Mile and Calistoga Bike Trail

Skyline Wilderness Park – Lake Marie Trail: it can be strenuous but there’s lots of cool stuff to see, like a cave, old stone ruins, and if you’re hearty enough, Lake Marie at the top.

Bothe Napa Valley State Park: The History Trail ends at the Bale Grist Mill and is a moderate, 1.2 mile one way out-and-back hike starting with a visit to the Pioneer Cemetery which contains the remains of several early Napa Valley pioneers, and ending at the fully restored Bale Grist Mill, a water-powered gristmill circa 1846. The trail passes through dense forest, clearings filled with chaparral shrubs, and a riparian corridor along Mill Creek.  This trail will be of interest to plant and bird lovers as well as history buffs. Note: There is an additional fee of $5.00 per adult/ $2.00 per child to enjoy the mill grounds and take a tour of the mill. On weekends you can watch grain being milled with the historic stones powered by the 36 ½ foot wooden water wheel.