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Napa Valley, California

Parks and Camping in the Napa Valley

Most of the land in the Napa Valley is privately owned, so parks, hiking and camping are limited. Although there is no county park system, cities have a variety of neighborhood and community parks.

The State of California operates two state parks, Bothé-Napa Valley and Robert Louis Stevenson, and one state historical park, Bale Grist Mill. There is also a large equestrian, hiking and limited camping park run by a private, non-profit organization, Skyline Wilderness Park. In the northeastern part of the county, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation oversees Lake Berryessa.

Calistoga

Parks and Recreation

707.942.2838

www.ci.calistoga.ca.us

Pioneer Park

1308 Cedar Street

Small park located one black from downtown Calistoga. Gazebo, Picnic tables, BBQ pits. Great spot for weddings, group picnics and concerts. Rental available.

Napa

Parks and Recreation

707.257.9529

www.cityofnapa.org/Menu/MnuCommunityResources.htm

Alston Park

On Dry Creek Road on the northeastern edge of town.

707.257.9529

Alston Park is a Napa City "open space" park. Parking for the 157-acre park is at the north and south ends of the park off Dry Creek Road. At each lot there are hiker entrances and bicycle and horse gates to allow access to three miles of trail.

Three small picnic areas within the park allow for views of the Napa Valley. Portable restrooms are available at the south park entrance.

Fuller Park

Jefferson Street at Oak Street

707.257.9529

Fuller Park is a Napa City park located at the edge of Napa's Old Town. This 10 acre park is a favorite spot for picnics (25 tables and three reservable group sites) and birthday parties.

Located throughout the park are various monuments and plaques commemorating important events. Perhaps the most prominent monument is a watering fountain for horses and small animals. Moved to the park in 1965, the fountain was originally created to stand in the center of the intersection of Polk and Franklin Streets in downtown Napa.

Kennedy Park

On Highway 221 just south of Napa Valley College

707.257.9529 Golf Course: 707.255.4333

J.F. Kennedy Park is a Napa City park that runs along the Napa River. The 350-acre park includes five reservable picnic areas. The park also offers softball, soccer, volleyball, boat launching, hiking, a children's playground, and the 18-hole Napa Golf Course. The Pelusi Recreation building can be reserved for meetings, weddings or private parties.

Skyline Wilderness Park

2201 Imola Avenue

707.252.0481

www.skylinepark.org

Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to dark Friday - Sunday 8 a.m .to dark. Daily visitor's fee is $4 per vehicle, RV camping $14, and tent sites $8.

Skyline Park is an 850-acre wilderness area at the southeast corner of Napa. It's managed by a non-profit organization formed to protect the area. You¹ll find lots of wildlife, including deer and wild turkey. Skyline has over 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use. The 2.5 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 better workout, but is not for those out of shape. From this trail on a clear day, you can see San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo. Beautiful.

Skyline also offers picnic and barbecue areas, an RV park, and tent camping. The best place to hike in Napa.

Westwood Hills Park

On Browns Valley Road, about one mile west of Highway 29

707.257.9529

Westwood Hills Park is a heavily-wooded Napa City park. The park provides 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.

The non-profit Napa Valley Naturalists operate the Carolyn Parr Nature Museum near the parking lot at the park. The Center's exhibits depict the plants and animals found in Napa County's five different habitats. There's also a children's nature library, "hands-on" corner of skins, nests and bones, and an extensive nature reference library. The Center is open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 pm. During the summer it is open Tuesday-Sunday at the same hours.

St. Helena

Parks and Recreation

707.963.5706

www.ci.st-helena.ca.us

Crane Park

On Crane Ave. 500 ft south of the intersection of Crane Ave. and Grayson Ave.

Ten acres with six lighted tennis courts, four lighted bocce ball courts, two Little League baseball fields, horse shoe pits, children's play ground and individual and group picnic areas and two restrooms. Group picnic areas must be reserved during peak use months of April through October. Crane Park is the home of the St. Helena Farmers Market which is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Friday May through October.

Lyman Park

1300 block of Main St. between Pine and Adams Streets.

A one-acre park with individual picnic tables, grassy areas, a children's play area and historic gazebo. The gazebo may be rented for events such as weddings and birthday parties. Lyman Park is host to the Summer Band Concerts on Thursday evenings during July and August. This is a passive park and no active game playing is allowed. One restroom.

Yountville

Parks and Recreation

707.944.8712

Yountville Park

On Washington Street at the north end of town, just across the street from the Napa Valley Lodge

707.944.8851

Yountville Park is a very popular place for picnics (and post-hot air balloon flight champagne brunches) and one of the best parks around for kids, boasting a unique assortment of play equipment.

Across the street from the park is Pioneer Cemetery and the grave of George Yount, first settler in the valley and the founder of Yountville (although he called it "Sebastopol", overlooking the fact that Sonoma County already had a town of that name).

State Parks

For state parks in the Napa Valley and throughout California, buy California State Parks : A Complete Recreation Guide

Hiking in the valley—and everywhere. Buy California's State Parks: A Day Hiker's Guide

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

3369 North Saint Helena Highway (Highway 29)

St. Helena CA 94574

707.942.4575

www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=482

Three miles north of St. Helena Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open daily throughout the year except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Built in 1846 by Edward Bale, the mill has been restored to operating condition complete with its 36-foot wooden waterwheel and big millstones. On weekends, you can watch the mill in action, grinding grain to produce stone ground flour. Schedule your visit in October for Old Mill Days or December for Pioneer Christmas.

The "Bears" who were involved in the Bear Flag Revolt at Sonoma (when Yankees living in California caused it to split off from Mexico and join the United States) gathered here beforehand. A fun and educational experience for the kids and parents, too. Limited picnic facilities.

In addition to scheduled tours and demonstrations at the mill on weekends at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 and 2:30 p.m., groups may schedule visits for Tuesdays or Wednesdays by calling the park at least 30 days in advance.

Bothé-Napa Valley State Park

3801 North Saint Helena Highway (Highway 29)

Calistoga CA 94515

707.942.4575

www.napanet.net/~bothe/

Bothé is just north of Bale Grist Mill, and the two parks are connected by a one-mile trail.

The nearly 2,000-acre park has excellent trails along Ritchey Creek and through beautiful redwood groves. It offers 50 camping areas either near redwoods along the creekside, or among the oaks and manzanita on sunny slopes above the creek. Campsites are also available for groups, hikers and bicyclists, and one site is fully wheelchair accessible. Picnic areas and an outdoor swimming pool are available.

The Native American Garden, is located next to the Visitor Center. Many of these plants are still used today by the Wappo People.

Day use fees are $5.00 per car. Camping is $16 on the weekends, $15 during the week. It's a wonderful place for all ages and the loveliest public place to hike in the entire valley.

Guided horseback tours are available at Bothé through Triple Creek Horse Outfit .

Hiking at Bothé-Napa Valley State Park

1. Ritchey Canyon Trail takes you through the heart of the park on historic routes and paths that parallel a year-round stream shaded by redwoods, firs and other plants that prefer cool, moist environments. The trail becomes steeper after a half mile, but offers solitude and a pleasant picnic spot at the homestead site.

2. Redwood Trail skirts the south side of Ritchey Creek. Along its upper section, the path is heavily shaded by redwoods and mixed-evergreen forest. You will enjoy a peaceful walk along the creek bank among the ferns, Solomon's seal, and other shade-loving plants. Early in the spring, trillium and redwood orchids bloom at the base of the young redwoods that have sprouted from the roots of trees that were felled during settlement of the valley in the 1850s.

3. Coyote Peak Trail climbs out of the canyon bottom offering views of the upper canyon and Napa Valley. Combining this trail with the Ritchey Canyon, Redwood and South Fork Trails makes a popular loop of 4.4 miles and reveals the variety of plant communities found in the park.

4. South Fork Trail goes up a canyon following a skid road used by early pioneers to haul out redwoods. After 0.4 miles the trail leaves the skid road and continues at an easier grade, passing a spur trail to a good overlook of Ritchey Canyon before rejoining the Spring Trail.

5. History Trail leads from the picnic area to the historic Bale Grist Mill. Near its beginning the trail passes through a pioneer cemetery and the site of the first church of Napa County, built in 1853. It was named after the Reverend Asa White, who gave sermons in a grove of trees on this site. A steep section of the trail climbs from the cemetery onto a ridge paralleling Highway 29.

The trail ends at the mill after passing the remains of the pond and ditches that brought water from Mill Creek to power the mill's overshot water wheel.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

3801 North St. Helena Highway

Calistoga CA 94515

707.942.4575

www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=472

This undeveloped 5,000-acre park is seven miles north of Calistoga, and open during daylight hours only.

There's a hiking trail to the top of Mount St. Helena, exhibits, a picnic area, and an historic landmark monument to Stevenson.

Bring your own drinking water for the long, sometimes very hot, climb up the mountain. Best time to visit is spring or fall. The view from the summit includes the nearby geyser country and, weather permitting, distant mountains such as Lassen, Shasta and the Sierra Nevada. Not only is there no water, there are no restrooms either. And only limited parking. Which probably explains why there's no entrance fee.

The park contains the old townsite of Silverado, and the tent site where Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island, spent six weeks in the summer of 1880. Stevenson and his bride stayed in an abandoned mining building near the Silverado Mine. The building is long gone and a monument marks the site. While at the site, Stevenson kept a journal that he later used to write The Silverado Squatters.

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