As a visitor, there’s so much fun to be had in the upper Napa Valley just by spending your days eating and drinking that it’s easy to overlook another draw of our region: the miles of beautiful hiking trails that meander through unspoiled forests and mountains surrounding the valley vineyards. This weekend the Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail in Calistoga will be dedicated as the most recent portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. For those unfamiliar with the Bay Area Ridge Trail, this admirable project seeks to create a continuous 550+-mile trail for hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians along the ridgelines surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. With 340+ miles of trails on the Ridge Trail already open, the Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail adds 4.5 miles to that growing total.
The Ridge Trail website describes the beauty of the Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail best: “This 4.5 mile trail follows an historic carriage and mining road, crossing seasonal creeks as it climbs through oak woodlands and chaparral, offering clear views of the Napa Valley and Mt. St. Helena.” The Lower Oat Hill Mine Tail connects with the Palisades Trail, which wanders along those stunning Palisades cliffs visible from our winery guest house. Time to grab those hiking boots!