Weekend Sherpa: Hiking Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Try a different kind of liquid refreshment in Napa Valley: a year-round burbling stream flowing through a shaded redwood forest. Ritchey Creek is the centerpiece of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park just north of St. Helena. Miles of hiking trails can be found in the park, including a leisurely 4-mile loop that ambles alongside the creek, far from the traffic noise of Highway 29.
Walk among the easternmost coastal redwoods in the state, as well as maples, oaks, and madrones; the tall tree-cover cools things down when Napa Valley's summer heats up. Mixed evergreens and ferns festoon the trail bordering the banks of the creek. After the first 2 miles ford the creek—hopping rocks and logs—and return to the trailhead via the fire road. Strong finish.