5 Beautiful Wine Country Hikes

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Strap on those boots, pick up that walking stick, and hit the trails for a beautiful springtime hike.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park (Santa Rosa)

Some two decades of planning and $21 million in spending paid off in early 2013 as the 1,100-acre Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve finally opened to the public. Debuting with four miles of trails for hikers and dogs, plus a three-mile network for equestrians and cyclists, it will eventually expand to 17 miles within the total 820-acres of preserves anchored by a peak soaring 1,400 feet-high.

Jack London State Historic Park (Glen Ellen)

On March 14, 2015, park officials will host a ribbon-cutting and public-hiking party for the brand new 1.2-mile East Slope of Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail. The reward for making the trek through oak woodland and open grassland habitats is sweeping panoramic views from the peak, plus improved opportunity to explore the 20-plus miles of trails now accessible within the Park’s 1,400 scenic acres.

Sonoma Mountain Regional Park (Glen Ellen)

This new section of the 738-acre Sonoma Mountain Regional Park connects the north slope of the mountain with a new, 4.25-mile trail link to Jack London State Historic Park. It’s a wondrous space, featuring forests of oaks and redwoods, numerous creeks, broad meadows, vernal ponds, and sweeping views of Sonoma Valley, the Santa Rosa Plain, nearby Taylor Mountain, and the Mayacamas.

Napa Valley Vine Trail (Napa)

Imagine being able to walk, jog, bike or hike the 12.5-miles from Yountville to Kennedy Park in south Napa. Thanks to the new Napa Valley Vine Trail, you can, as the first portion of the eventual 47-mile path is developed, and connecting all the way from Vallejo to Calistoga when complete.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park (Calistoga)

The abandoned Silverado mining camp on the mountainside was a hideaway for the reclusive author in 1880, and the site of his cave house/cabin shack is marked by a historic plaque, next to the silver mine along the trail to the summit. This is a gorgeous, quiet slice of earth; however, this isn’t a trail for weak legs – the plaque is 2 miles up from the parking lot, while the total hike to the top of Mount St. Helena is about 5 miles on rough terrain with a 1,300-foot elevation gain.

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