Trails at Bothe-Napa Valley
Bothe-Napa Valley offers wonderful year-round walking and hiking trails.
Ritchey Canyon Trail is a 4 mile (one way) out-and-back hike that takes you through the park on historic routes. Your hike starts along a year-round stream shaded by redwoods, firs and thickets of spice bush. You’ll pass the campgrounds along lower Ritchey Creek and at about 1 mile, you will recognize some common garden trees and shrubs as you walk through what was once Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s country home away from San Francisco. The old stone fountain and redwood barn date from the Hitchcock days. The trail then steepens eventually ending at the site of the old Traverso homestead with a few of the old orchard trees still in evidence.
History Trail is a moderate, 1.2 mile one way out-and-back hike starting with a visit to the Pioneer Cemetery which contains the remains of several early Napa Valley pioneers, and ending at the fully restored Bale Grist Mill, a water-powered gristmill circa 1846. The trail passes through dense forest, clearings filled with chaparral shrubs, and a riparian corridor along Mill Creek. This trail will be of interest to plant and bird lovers as well as history buffs.
Note: There is an additional fee of $5.00 per adult/ $2.00 per child to enjoy the mill grounds and take a tour of the mill. On weekends you can watch grain being milled with the historic stones powered by the 36 ½ foot wooden water wheel.
Coyote Peak Trail has expansive views of the valley.
This trail is a 4 ½ mile loop that climbs out of the canyon offering you views of the upper canyon and Napa Valley. Combining this trail with Ritchey Canyon, Redwood and South Fork Trails make a popular loop and reveals the variety of plant communities found in the park.
Take Redwood Trail just over ¾ mile to Coyote Peak Trailhead.
Redwood Trail skirts the south side of Ritchey Creek. This path is heavily shaded by redwoods and mixed-evergreen forest. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the creek bank among the ferns 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.
Redwood Trail begins at the trail head parking area and continues to where it crosses the creek, about 1 ½ miles up the canyon. You have to rock hop to cross the creek, which may become impassable after a storm. This is the end of Redwood Trail. After you cross the creek, turn right on Ritchey Canyon Trail and loop back or turn left up the Spring Trail to connect with the South Fork and Coyote Peak trails.
Native American Plant Garden, Wappo People – Native American Plant Garden, Wappo People is a 3/4 acre easy walking trail located next to the Bothe-Napa Valley Visitor Center. A “Guide to Plants and Their Uses” is available for sale. This is a site used to broaden the visitors understanding of the first people to inhabit this area. Many of these plants still are used today for ceremony, food, medicine, and technology, such as basket weaving.
For information on trails at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, click on that page.