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As much as the native Napa Valley folks know how to eat and drink, they also know how to enjoy the beautiful environment in which they live. With many locals being long distance runners, cyclists, and just generally nature appreciators, it’s no surprise that back in September of 2008 a group of volunteers decided to build the Napa Valley Vine Trail. This off-road paved trail will soon reach 47 miles of the Napa Valley, stretching from the historic Vallejo Ferry Terminal all the way to Calistoga, it solidifies the area’s position as an ideal destination for outdoors adventurers.
While it has yet to be completed, all 10 sections of the Vine Trail are confirmed, mapped, plotted and only three of them are still in easement negotiations with landowners. North of Napa the Trail follows Highway 29 and then begins to follow Napa River heading to Vallejo where it ends at the Ferry Terminal, which connects to the rest of the Bay Area. The goal, which is more than halfway accomplished, is to make the trail available to all Napa Valley communities, as well as the greater Bay Area so that everyone from serious touring cyclists to families heading out for a Sunday afternoon walk or ride can safely explore the area.
The Trail has been a community effort from the beginning as Napa Valley’s most inspired leaders came together to create a safe recreation trail for the entire area. A group of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and creatives banded together to not only give locals another option for getting their daily exercise and family recreation in, but also to further open up Napa Valley to visitors who are looking for more than driving from vineyard to vineyard. By starting at the ferry terminal in Vallejo, the Napa Valley Vine Trail makes the Napa Valley all the more accessible to many touring cyclists who pass through the Bay Area each year. Off-the-road trails are proven economy boosters around the United States, and this is a chance to explore Napa Valley from a different perspective, and to do it safely, as the place has the highest number of car-biker collisions in the Bay Area. The selfless service by these committed community members has changed the face of both recreation and tourism in the Napa Valley forever.
If you’re considering a trip to Napa Valley and are a cycling enthusiast, think about making it a bike tour. With great places to stay like the Churchill Manor in downtown Napa, you can explore the entire Napa Valley in one day-long ride, and commit to exploring the entire Bay Area atop your bicycle. You’ll find that there are few places as bicycle friendly as Northern California, hence the creation of the Napa Valley Vine Trail. There’s no trouble finding the bike paths throughout San Francisco, the East Bay, and South Bay, and gorgeous rides through the area’s many hills and valleys. There is hardly a more picturesque place for a bike tour than the Bay Area, from the Pacific Ocean to the top of Mount Tam.