Mountain biking in
The Wine Country
- Armstrong Redwoods
- Sugarloaf Ridge
- Oat Hill Mine Road -
- Mount St. Helena
- Home -
Vineyards flourish on arid oak savannas whose green hillsides shine under blue skies in the
temperate air of spring.
After the occasional showers through the winter, the summer sizzles and the sun bakes the moist clay
soil setting it for another good season of riding.
The southern expanses of California vinyards begin around Santa Barbara, continuing through San Luis Obispo
to Paso Robles.
Here acres of grape vines flicker along the highway like an old black-and-white reel as you drive up 101.
Past the Salinas Valley, vinyards begin to appear again around Monterey and in the Santa
Cruz Mountain as the freeway goes north along San Francisco Bay. But after Marin,
wineries seem ubiquitous in all areas but the most wet salty soil of the coast.
While vinyards are found all along California, here "The Wine Country" refers to Sonoma and Napa Counties.
The Valley of the Moon, in which the city of Sonoma lies, is the cultural heart of this region and is surrounded
by ridges covered with oak forests where ridable trails can be found.
But you'll have to look really hard. I mean, this page has long lagged behind the other areas, and not for lack of effort.
We've really looked around and asked around, and given this area all the benefit of the doubt,
but what is truly open for mountain biking is just an
infanistesimal sliver of the many potenially awesome ridgelines that rise above the valley floor.
This area has every reason to be a great biking mecca, but for now we will have to settle for the few parks which are
Annadel State Park: Lake Ilsanjo and Ledson Marsh
"Bang, slam, boing, non-stop; it was like Adam West was beating up my ass.
The routes here were embedded with citrus-sized boulders, making for
a bone and bike jarring ride, and so it was no surprise to learn then that
Annadel once served as a quarry for cobblestones.
The combination of fast, flat terrain and embedded babyheads just did not match well
with my budget steel hardtail.
Finally my butt was in too much pain. With the plaintive whine of
a school boy who gets carrots everyday for lunch trying to get his friends
chocolate cupcake, I said 'Kenny, let's trade bikes.' It was more of a joke, more
of a wish for full suspension just this once, but indeed I got it.
I suppose he wanted to appreciate the comparison as well.
Anyway, riding his Sugar felt like coasting on pillows--
But after 10 minutes I traded back. All things considered, my bike is was it is, but still, it was mine."
(b. May 21, 2001)
Annadel State Park is one of the most accessible mountain biking playgrounds in the northern Bay Area counties,
with miles of legal, always bumpy, and at times technical singletrack.
This loop encompasses a representative central section of the park.
By car, take 101 north to Santa Rosa. Take route 12 east to Mission, turn right,
then after a couple blocks turn left on Montgomery. Follow that to Channel drive, and
follow Channel drive until it ends in a parking lot.
The gate closes at sunset, so if you are leaving from the Bay Area allow around 90
minutes driving time and a couple hours in the park.
On bike, follow the W.P. Richardson trail up to Lake Ilsanjo.
For a beginner ride, you can ride the small network of trails around there and head back,
or continue up the Canyon trail to the Marsh Trail.
This turn can be easy to miss so watch for the sign nearby a small rest area.
Follow the Marsh trail east to Buick meadow, where it flattens out and continues to Ledson Marsh.
Circumventing clockwise Ledson Marsh it automatically becomes the Ridge Trail, where Kenny and I traded
The Ridge trail returns you back to the Marsh Trail, although we missed
the turn and got lost on Upper Steve's Trail, which I'm not sure is bike legal but
we didn't see any signs to the contrary. From the Marsh Trail, at the Buick Meadow
bench, the South Burma Road will return you to the Lake Ilsanjo basin.
With trail names like "Cobblestone" and "Rough Go," the more suspension you have the better,
especially considering the climbing isn't too bad.
The W.P. Richardson trail leaving the parking lot is a smooth, broad fire road
crossing a heavily forested ridge of redwoods, then descends amongst scragly oak
to Lake Ilsanjo. The ascent is a 500 foot gain in just under two miles.
Around Lake Ilsanjo there is a number of mostly smooth, flat trails
amongst pleasant meadows.
The main ascent on the Marsh Trail to Buick Meadow is another 500 feet over 1½ miles.
At Buick meadow the Marsh trail remains flat but rocky, with plenty of ups and downs as the
Ridge trail circumvents the Marsh. The steepest part of the
ride will be a quick 100-foot ascent along the South Burma Trail, before dropping
600 feet toward Lake Ilsanjo over 1¼ miles. The South Burma Trail is
singletrack and rather technical with plenty of climbing even in the downhill direction.
Comment : A ride around the lake by itself would be a fine beginner ride.
It has the calm scenic beauty of Annadel, with smooth
easy trails and gentle streams.
But into the hills, beyond the varied ecology and interesting wild life, here you can make your full
suspension earn its pricetag.
Back to top.
Web Page -
With restricted mountain biking options, I know it must be tempting to ride your road bike amongst
the pleasant vinyards. Romantic, no?
BUT, keep in mind half the drivers here are drunk or loaded on meth, who go speeding along
these country road with hardly any shoulder. I can't see how riding this way can possibly be fun.
Whenever I hear of a bicycle fatality on the radio, half the time it is the highways around Santa Rosa or Napa.
Armstrong Redwoods and Austin Creek
"Steam rising from the redwood mulch kept moisture in the air thick, and without
wind today the sweat pooled on our body and dripped from fingers and brow.
Another heat wave was passing through this late summer day,
so if we had any sense, we would have brought our swimsuits over to the coast.
But up we climbed toward Bullfrog Pond, though still-warm evening air, above the redwoods,
where grasslands sparsely populated with oak rose rolled over hills and ridges that glowed with dimming light from the sun.
Without cool air to chill blood breath-by-breath,
body heat rose with every crank up the patchy asphalt, slowly heading toward collapse, in a slow a carefully-balanced
race to the ridgetop that was the only hope for relief.
Only then, lit by the fiery hue from the west, did the slighted hint of breeze
feel like a kiss from the sky."
(b. August 24, 2003)
This ride begins in a small grove of old-growth redwoods, then heads out into the grassy hills and forested
valleys between Santa Rosa and the Pacific Coast.
Bicycles are basically allowed on only one out-and-back route, that starts paved and becomes fireroad,
with a couple of branches off to the side.
We first discovered it, early in the development of this web page (July 2001), during a fact-finding tour
to investigate the paucity of mountain biking info coming from Sonoma County.
By car, follow 101 North to Petaluma, and head west
on 116. At Guerneville (pronounced "Gurn-ville"), where 116 ends, make a left on River Road,
then quick right on Armstrong Redwoods Road, then go a couple miles to the entrance. There is a parking
lot just outside the park which is free.
The Ranger Station sells a map for 50 cents.
On bike, the main road passes through the redwoods for a mile, then climbs steadily to the vista point.
Turn left along the Austin Creek Service Road
down into the valley, and continue until you can go no further. Return the way you came--
which means you'll have to backtrack along the steep route you took down into the valley.
Profile: A paved road takes you 3½ miles through Armstrong Redwoods (elev. 100)
up to a scenic viewpoint (elev. 1400), then down to Bullfrog Pond (elev. 1200).
The main climb is 1100 feet over 1.7 miles (12%) starting just beyond the redwood grove.
Being paved probably helped but made higher gears and speeds tempting
as we headed toward a very steep section near the end.
From the vista point you can head up the service
road for a mile toward McCray Peak at 1940 feet.
Or you can drop down very steeply along Austin Creek Trail, to around 300 feet, which then goes
into the interior valleys for 6-8 miles on creekside fireroads.
Comment [5½]: Due to a late start we only made it to Bullfrog Pond,
which was a cardio workout with pleasant views,
but starting any earlier the heat probably would have made the ride insufferable.
Although paved, and not a loop,
it began in the majestic redwoods and quickly climbed above it to oak savanas with nice views all around.
Back to top.
Web Page -
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Bald Mountain Loop
"Walking my bike along the gentle Meadow Trail, I paused to read the
signs telling me about the planets. Given the burn up Bald Mountain and steep rocky decent along
Grey Pine, it was somewhat ironic I was pushing here. I had about written this ride off after discovering that almost
all of the trail leading up to Bald Mountain was paved. A wet and windy fog had engulfed the barren peak itself,
hiding the excellent views, but
at least there were a couple signs there showing us what we were supposed to see. The Grey Pine Trail
leading down from the peak was a different story though. This was a roller coaster ride through eroded
trails almost narrowing to singletrack in places. One stretch was so rocky it was like riding down a steep stream bed,
and there were a couple of stream crossings near the bottom. While no place was horrific, it
was technical enough that somewhere I ripped my outer tire
ultimately leading to pinch flats in both my rear innertube
and the spare. Fortunately the first
blowout was at the second stream crossing near the start of the Meadow Trail, so walking back was faster
than the repairs." (b. February 16, 2002)
Directions: Not far from Annadel, Sugarloaf is a straightfoward climb above the vinyards to the peak of
Bald Mountain, then a return down the more technical backside.
By car Take 101 north to Santa Rosa, then east on 12 following the signs as it winds through
the city. A few miles after Santa Rosa you'll hit the vinyards, then watch out for Adobe Canyon Road and turn left
when you reach it, following it to the ranger station where there is a $2 day use fee. It's an extra dollar for the
map, which was kind of a rip off because it was printed on cheap paper that started to fall apart when things got
sweaty. But the ranger was pretty, so what else could we do? Park in the first lot that you see.
On bike, Follow the Bald Mountain Trail upwards, turning right on the Grey Pine Trail just before
reaching the Peak. Follow Grey Pine back down, and after the second stream crossing turn right on the
Meadow Trail back to the parking lot.
Profile: Bald Mountain (elev. 2729) is a 1500 foot climb in 2.7 miles.
That's 11% on average, but it proceeds in a stepwise fashion with steeper stretches broken up by flat ones.
All (but the very beginning and end) is paved, with the pros and cons that any blacktop fireroad has.
The steepest part is just before you reach the peak, unfortunately, but at least you are back on dirt.
The Grey Pine trail drops you down that 1500 feet in 2.6 miles
along rocky, muddy and eroded trails with plenty of steep ups and downs getting pretty narrow in places.
On muddy parts it was heavily chewed up by hoof prints.
The meadow trail back to the parking lot is flat on good fireroad.
The total loop is 6.6 miles.
Comment : if you are driving all the way from San Francisco to
Santa Rosa, then go to Annadel. If you've been to Annadel, then go to Annadel and
find a different trail. BUT, for those of you who don't have full suspension and still want children then check out
Sugarloaf Ridge. Actually the ride down Grey Pine Trail was pretty fun, and on a better day the views might
have pushed the score higher.
Back to top.
Web Page -
Map Link (1039K)
Sugarloaf? Mmmmm, yes, I'll have a couple of slices please, especially after climbing Bald Mountain.
Not! There was a time that refined sugar was sold in tall cones, or "loaves,"
rather than the granulated stuff we have today. While there are many, many mountains and ski resorts
named after this antiquated food source, sugar loaves are so uncommon now that the last link with a
picture of one went dead. There is no picture of a sugarloaf on the Internet.
I'll keep looking again once in awhile. [Update: 12/27/04] Well, you know what they say about bilingual people, trilingual people, and Americans.
I only looked at English-speaking web pages for pictures.
Jeff D. of Cal pointed out
a picture of a sugar loaf on a German page.
Scroll down... it's the white mounds next to the guy in the tights drinking on the job. More recent ones
I've seen were longer and skinnier.
[Update: 04/22/08] I guess I just can't win-- Christianne M. writes:
"The link to the picture of the sugar loaf is not on a
German page, but a Dutch page. There's quite a difference in language and countries, even though they are situated next
to each other geographically. But there is also an English version of the same page.
Maybe you can link to that one instead of the Dutch page.
And btw, the man in the picture is making hypocras (spiced wine),
which he is sampling to see if it's all right. Kind regards,"
A dark day in the proud legacy of San Luis Obispo Senior High indeed =p.
Oat Hill Mine Road
"A film of trickling water sparkled as it flowed
across worn surfaces of ancient lava flows, into eroded wagon wheel tracks,
dripping like tears into the gravel, and fading like memories of the passing year.
As the trail gradually twisted upward to granite formations above,
the first rain in months had brought out the scents of dust and dry brush in the cool
crispness of Autumn air.
The coming darkness would soon herald storms from the north through the coldest days of the year,
but today bright shades of red and yellow from fields of vines below spread like a patchwork quilt
across the Napa Valley.
In time, days would grow longer and the green hillsides would bloom again.
The rear coil compressed under the hard kick of the crank as the tire firmly engaged the lava bed pushing the
bike up and across the uneven and pocketed surface.
Grinding toward the vertical stone peaks that followed along the ridge,
I could only wonder how much more of this I'd sustain.
The gnarled features and loose rocks undercut what was otherwise a fairly moderate grade." (b. November 11, 2002)
Oat Hill Mine Road rises from the city of Calistoga to the "palasades" along the eastern ridge,
providing a moderate climb on technically interesting singletrack to some of the best geological
formations in all of the bay area.
By car, from SF, head north on 101, east on 37 at Novato, then North on 29 toward Calistoga.
Once past the city of Napa, turn right on one of the crossroads over to the Silverado Trail (such as Oak
Knoll Ave, Madison, or Oakville crossroad), which parallels 29 north to Calistoga.
This is a scenic, but fairly fast highway following the eastern fringe of the Napa Valley.
When the Silverado trail ends in Calistoga, exactly at the intersection of 29 and the Silverado trail,
to your right is a small dirt parking lot where the trail begins at the rusted gate.
On bike, basically follow the trail to the volcanic
formations along the ridge, and eventually the trail ends at the miners camp. Return the way you came.
Profile: In a perfect world, profile-wise, there would be a smooth fireroad to the summit
looping to the technical singletrack descent. But there is no fireroad.
If you want to go blasting down this trail, you'll have to pay the ugly price.
It's 1700 vertical feet in 4.3 miles, over a
stable 8% grade. Technically, it's divided into three parts of roughly equal length. The first is regular trail, ranging
from singletrack to fireroad, maybe a bit rockier and more eroded then average but nothing special.
Then comes the deep erosions with loose rocks and gravel, reminiscent
of riding up a creek bed for about a mile, but you can usually find a decent line.
Eventually the lava flows begin.
At first it's 50 feet here, 100 feet there, but as
the trail progresses upward they become more and more contiguous until,
at the top of the ridge, the path more resembles exposed rocky
coastline than any trail.
Full suspension helps, and beware of hikers on the way down.
overall this is a great trail with a technical climb, a wicked downhill joyride, and a little bit of history.
The views of the Napa Valley and volcanic formations were amazing, and I'd have never guessed I could fill the
camera's 128 MB memory card in a 4.3 mile section of trail. But it's rather short, out-and-back,
and there is no trail to the mines themselves which would have nice to check out.
Plan for extra time-- this complicated trail is best if it's savored.
Back to top.
Navigating lava formations requires technique in addition to good
conditioning, and it's fair to say that without prior experience our results
were mixed and we had a number of falls. Here is an interesting
write-up called The Middle Chainring that discusses one approach. It's from
the Bikin' Fools
website which nicely describes many experiences riding different trails in
the hills around Calistoga.
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park: Mount St. Helena
"In an explosion that shook the earth and lit the sky,
the giant redwoods fell flat beneath the
massive shock wave that crushed all while expanding along a blast radius for miles.
A cold dark silence followed as ash settled across the
Napa Valley, which burried the fallen forests left gray and without life.
Once the dust had cleared and the molten rock had cooled,
a fragmented peak towered over the desolation, while a cauldron of steam vents would simmer always down in the basin below.
As the ash sank into the topsoil, living forests reclaimed the land.
Ice ages would come to pass, until three million years later lines of vinyards crossed the fertile valleys,
and a tiny ribbon of dirt road twisted northward to the summit.
Grinding up the switchbacks, we passed between
cracked volcanic formations, slowly disintegrating from each yearly frost that follows the autumn rains.
Dense pines dominated the eastern slope, giving way to chaparral in the higher
elevations, through which we saw ripe farmlands stretching out beneath the haze." (b. August 18, 2002)
Directions: If you're curious, Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island
and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, spent is honeymoon here. The ride is a smooth fireroad ascent, overlooking
volcanic formations, up to one of
the dominant peaks at the northern end of the Napa Valley. By car Take 101 North to Novato, head east
on 37 to Vallejo, then stay on 29 North all the way to the park.
Detour along the Silverado Trail starting in Napa for a much more scenic drive which isn't too slow.
After Calistoga the road will start twisting into the hills.
The trailhead is a gated fireroad on the left that begins shortly after you cross a crest and start heading downhill.
You can park just beyond it on a long stretch of dirt to the right (at marker 29 NAP 45.76 if memory serves).
On bike, follow the dirt road to the North Peak and back. There's just one trail so no opportunities
for loops. Optionally you can check out the short side trail to the south peak if you just gotta get some more exercise,
but there wasn't much to see except radio equipment.
This fireroad from the trailhead (elev. 2100) to the North Peak (elev. 4343)
switchbacks up the mountain over 5½ miles,
with one flat section in the broad saddle between the north and south peaks for half a mile.
It's a long and stable 8% grade, except for the final assault on the north peak where it
may reach into the teens for a quarter mile.
There was little erosion thanks to a large drainage ditch off to the side.
Driving from sea level to the trailhead caused both our water bottles
to open-- make sure they are secured in an upright position.
Comment [7½]: The views overlooking Napa Valley, the 360 you get at the summit,
and the nice drive if you take the Silverado Trail, all add spice to this
straightforward out-and-back fire road climb, so in the end it was a pretty satifying outing.
We both agreed the whole ride is strikingly reminiscent of the Old Railroad Grade climbing Mount Tam,
but Mount St. Helena outdoes it with better views.
Back to top.
Web Page -
Boggs Mountain Demonstration Forest
"Roots, ruts, and sharp twists in the night:
Are factors outside my control devoid of reason, or does chaos expose the greater plan?
This thought weighed heavily during unpowered acceleration from the end of the Scout Trail
around the northern edge of the park.
Through the trees the sun's red orb hovered eerily over distant mountains,
casting its crimson hue through dust and foul chemical fumes that rose from valleys where vinyards grew.
While ducking branches I leaned into turns, and moved quickly through trees obscurred in stop-motion blur.
The young forest crowded the pathway, sqeezing the edges, with precious little room for mistake.
Trail hazards lurked in shadows of a dying sun, and narrowed the range of circumstance that fell within conscious control.
But balanced suspension leveled the bumps, hydraulic brakes held the bends, and the final
twilight moment lit a glorious descent back to the start."
(b. September 21, 2003)
Directions: Boggs Mountain is a mid-sized singletrack mecca near the semi-resort town of Cobb,
between Calistoga and Clear Lake. Trails encircle the peak, where
new-growth firs and Ponderosa Pine dominate the terrain. This route logically links most of the mapped singletrack
with some fun downhill and climbing that isn't too bad.
By car, drive to Calistoga. [From SF the fastest way is probably Mark West Road off 101 just past Santa Rosa,
then turn left on Calistoga Road, which connects to 29 north. From the East Bay, take
80 north to Vallejo, exit and head west on Marine World Drive, then turn right on Sonoma Drive which later becomes 29 north.]
Continue on 29 north through downtown Calistoga and on to Middletown.
There, turn left onto 175, drive to Cobb, then at the sign to the CDF fire station turn
right on Forestry Road and drive half a mile to the heliport.
The drive is around 2¼ hours on mountainy roads.
On bike, after a brief climb from the parking lot to the ridgeline via the Shaker Trail and 210,
descend Jethro's toward the meadows.
[10/10/04: Following Tim, UncleMTB, our local guide, we took an unmarked route here that I doubt was exactly legal all the way
to the far side of the meadow.]
Then follow the Grizzly Trail east to 100, head up
to the Big Springs trail, then John's Trail, then Crew and Berry's Trail to the Scout Trail, which
peaks at the high point of the ride, then down Karen's, Hoberg's, Mac's and back to the start.
If you work in one final descent along the Creek trail from Calso Camp, you'll have had a good day.
For the above route, from the parking lot (elev. 3000), it's a quick warmup to the the ridgeline (elev. 3300).
Then drop down to the meadows along the far slope (elev. 2500) along Jethro's [and the "game
trail" if you know where it is... actually, this
Then you'll return along undulating singletrack back up to the summit of the Scout trail (elev. 3500),
before big ring descent along Karen's and Hoberg's loop, then one last fast, rough, switchbacking part
along Mac's back to the parking lot.
The trails wind vertically up-and-down the whole time so net elevation gain will add up.
Our 13-mile loop ended up being 2300 feet of climbing.
Comment [8½]: The trails at Boggs are fun and fast, and can get quite technical.
The official trails at Boggs are comparable to those of Skeggs, Soquel, or Saratoga Gap,
all of which are shorter drives,
but it's a fun adventure on the remote and isolated outskirts of the Bay Area,
in a county it seems sometimes that time forgot.
Afterwards, you can go to the St. Helena Brewing Company, in Middletown, on the corner of 29 and 175
(closes at 9:00 pm, like everything else in the area)--
but the little deli in Cobb (lunch only, closes at 3:00) on the corner of 175 and Bottle Rock Road,
was a diamond in the rough.
Back to top.
Web Page -
Map Link (1.4Mb PDF) -
Boggs Mountain is the first park, to my knowledge, that we've ridden where hunting is legal.
The state subdivides hunting regulations
according to region.
All areas between Ventura and Mendocino county,
east to the Central Valley, are included under Zone A. Here deer hunting season is from the first Saturday in
August and lasts 44 days. Bear hunting starts the same time, but extends to the end of December.
But guess what... It's squirel huntin' season year round! Wild boar too. We've ridden Boggs twice, our first time
was the last weekend of deer
season, and neither time heard a shot fired.
Then again, we didn't see any deer either, where elsewhere there are usually tons of
them about in the early evening.
Other Rides... Well who would have ever guessed-- Jack London State Park is only open from 10:00-5:00,
so I guess it pays to check these things ahead of time.
Arriving when everything was fenced off, we pulled out a
bay area map and noticed Sonoma Valley Regional Park
(9/19/04) right across from Glen Ellen. The entrance is
around the corner on Highway 12, and, lucky for us, there are no restrictions to bikes. Little trails go everywhere,
over and down several ridgelines spackled with oak trees, and it reminded us of a cross between Arascadero and Rockville.
Not a bad save, but don't go expecting Rockville.
Tannhauser came on the radio while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge,
which alone made the trip worth it on the hour-long drive to Valhalla.
Click to expand
Climbing the fireroad switchbacking to the summit of Mt. St. Helena through high coniferous forests.
Extending into the haze below is the ridge that eventually leads to Oat Hill. Closer up are the lava formations
from the blast that leveled the redwoods and created the local geysers.
The steaming vent of Old Faithful geyser in Calistoga, and the Petrified forest on the way to Santa Rosa, remain
evidence of the volcanic explosion that created Mount St. Helena (in the background of the first picture) 3.4 million
These petrified logs are the largest found anywhere, some exceeding 100 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter.
Here is at the top of the Oat Hill Ridge, looking toward the hazy vinyards in the valley whose leaves have changed with
the coming of fall.
The CDF heliport near the entrance to Boggs, which offers some fine singletrack far up in Lake County.
Here isn't far away from the peak of Boggs Mountain.
Our web page is getting us places! Up there way in front of us is Tim who graciously, and patiently, offered to show us
around the secret trails of Boggs.
Our first experience there was just okay because we got there too late, but Tim agreed to show us was
is truly great about the park. How cool is that?
Here we're warming up on the Shaker Trail from the parking lot, soon to be rising over the crest of the ridge,
to then go down Jethro's trail and then, ahem, the somewhat not-so-official "Game trail,"
down to a remote little meadow on the far side.
Boggs has a bad rap, and this one may be somewhat true, photographically at least,
for looking pretty much the same wherever you go.
Yes, this is a different shot from the photo immediately above.
In the 50's, Boggs forest had been pretty well clear cut.
Then the timber company realized the property was almost worthless being stripped of its natural
beauty, so to avoid taxes they sold it to California to turn it into a demonstration forest.
Not exactly a satisfying tradeoff, but some good things did come of it in terms of mountain biking trails.
Should look pristine in another hundred years or so.
Back to top.
Annadel is one of GORPs
Top 10 California singletrack picks. This site offers some more good
general information about Annadel. It's name is a derivative of "Annie's Dell." Annie was the
grandaughter of one of the previous landowners when streets were still paved with
cobblestones and Annie's Dell was the major quarry supplying San Francisco.
Lake Ilsanjo was named after Ilse and Joe who later lived there, farming the area
when asphalt came into use with the advent of the automobile.
Don't believe me about the bumpy and painful trails?
talks all about it right here. Even before the Europeans arrived, the Pomo and
Wappo tribes used the obsidian quarries here for spears and arrowheads.
In the year 2000, the Oat Hill area was intended to be sold to estate
developers by, I think, the city of Calistoga. Instead, it was purchased by
the Land Trust of Napa Valley
and relinquished to the State of California to
become part of Robert Louis Stephenson State Park. So far I see no evidence
the transfer has occurred, and the trails appear to be totally unmaintained
in the slow transition.
Anyway, it appears the Land Trust of Napa County holds a lot of land, but has chosen to restrict mountain
biking from nearly all of it.
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