Explore the GREAT outdoors of St. Helena. It’s not all about the wine, St. Helena offers exceptional hiking trails, world-class mountain biking, bird watching, and opportunities to forage for mushrooms! Here’s your perfect guide to an adventurist St. Helena outdoor excursion!
Exploring Local Trails
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park hiking is full of beautiful scenery. A trail to the west climbs to the summit of Mount St. Helena, while trails to the east lead hikers below the volcanic cliffs of the Palisades. The views include nearby geyser country and when weather permits distant mountains such as Lassen, Shasta and the Sierra Nevada can be seen.
The Stevenson Memorial Trail takes you up a summit of 4,343-foot Mt. Saint Helena. The first mile of the trail switchbacks through a shady single-track trail, the latter 4 miles are on well-graded fire roads with very little shade. The last push to the summit offers the best views highlighting the Bay Area peaks, Mounts Diablo and Tamalpais.
Bothe Napa Valley State Park located 4 miles north of St. Helena on Highway 29, it is easily accessible, and offers a little something for everyone! Try a casual stroll up the Redwood Trail along Ritchey Creek, or a more challenging climb up the Coyote Peak Trail for a nice view of the surrounding hills. Bring a picnic and enjoy a full day!
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, just north of St. Helena offers an authentic peek into California’s rural heritage. Visitors can watch the original set of French Buhr millstones in action when the miller grinds grain into Bale Mill flours and meals.
Oat Hill Mine Trail offers panoramic views of the valley as it climbs over 1500 feet up the eastern hills, minutes outside St. Helena known as the palisades. Within the first 1/4 mile, you’ll find breathtaking views at every turn. This is a 10-mile one-way adventure!
Dog Friendly Parks
Wappo Park offers a fenced area for dogs to roam off-leash. This bark-covered area includes picnic tables on a concrete pad, benches, shade trees, a drinking fountain for dogs and their humans.
Along the Lake Hennessy unit south of parking area dogs are allowed to roam the outdoors and must be on leash at all times.
South of St. Helena, Napa River Ecological Reserve dogs can roam the park and trails on a leash.
The Napa Valley has the best riding in the world. We’ve put together a list of favorite bike routes!
Moore Creek Park is a multi-use park that encompasses 673 acres of canyon open space with Moore Creek, and 900 acres of oak woodland on the northeastern side of Lake Hennessey. If you’re a mountain biker, you’re going to want to check out the single track out here… It is world class!
The trails of Pacific Union College are 35 miles of recreational trails through over 1,000 acres of coast redwoods, Douglas firs, ponderosa pines, oaks, bay laurels, and Madrones that are rich diversity and sticking beauty.
South Loop this ride rolls along the Silverado Trail to the town of Yountville where you’ll cross over to Highway 29. You’ll ride almost to Napa before turning west into the vineyards.
North of St. Helena, near Calistoga an easy loop follows a rolling 30 mile ride up Silverado Trail and north of St. Helena. This is a good ride to take in the countryside and to take a break from the hills. For an extra adventure take the loop on Franz Valley School Road as it is mostly shaded and beautiful quiet riding.
Other Outdoor Activities
Bothe Napa Valley offers free guided walking tours throughout the year. Contact the chamber for more information.
Go wild mushroom hunting in Wine Country St. Helena. The Napa Truffle Festival is a four-day event held in January each year. It draws foodies, chefs, and aspiring truffle growers to legendary Napa Valley. Combing the sides of tree trunks and peeling away blankets of fallen leaves, the hikers search for chanterelles, matsutakes, and other buried treasures.
At Moore Creek park bald eagles have been sighted along with golden eagles, hawks, osprey, great blue heron, white egrets, woodpeckers and loons.
Pacific Union College recreational trails are where rare Napa False Indigos have been sighted and you can hear the calls of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl.
Sleep under the Napa Valley stars! Click here to view our guide to camping in St. Helena.
Backpacking and Fishing
Just east of St. Helena, Lake Berryessa offers diverse rugged and wild terrain great for backing and fishing. To view a complete list of backpacking trails, click here.
In need of some outdoor necessities to make your adventure complete?
Where to shop for outdoor gear? Check out Sportago! Located in downtown St. Helena this boutique sporting goods store focuses on great outdoor clothing, footwear, and accessories.
St. Helena Cyclery is a one-stop-shop for bike rentals, biking gear, a full-service bicycle repair department, and knowledge on local Napa Valley trails. Stop by the shop and learn more about the incredible cycling opportunities in St. Helena!
Napa Valley Vine Trail
The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition is a grass-roots nonprofit with a vision to build a walking and biking trail system to connect the entire Napa Valley physically, artistically, and culturally. Click here for more information.