Walking Moore Creek

We went to Lake Hennessy near St Helena (Napa Valley) several years ago. Time for a visit again.

We drove by the lake and went up Moore Creek – where I had found a park with trails. Our first task was crossing a creek – should be dry by summer. I noticed that the trail upstream indicated crossing water five times. This was our only time. For additional information click Moore Creek Park.

l creek

The park has 673 acres and 15 miles of trail. Occasionally flat, but we had to do some hill work in the 1.5+ mile on the Chiles Creek Trail. We never made it to the lake. Didn’t really matter. The first part of the trail climbs through the oaks. A fire had been through this area – but it’s recovering.

2 l path

One of the treats of this walk was finding the wildflowers. Chinese house and

Chinese house m

the unexpected Fairy Lantern.

Fairy lantern m

Looking up a hill, strengthened the look a lupines.

lupine hill m

But it wouldn’t be the first time.

lupine meadow m

8 l field

We caught a view of the mountains around us. Still with the lupines.

path mountains m

Through the meadows and the next woods, the trail is wide.

9 l road

We went down to a wetland area along the creek. We could rarely see Moore Creek here or from uphill.

wetland along Moore Creek m

The flowers were different. Mike caught this fiddleneck in full curl.

fiddle neck m

And Douglas iris.

douglas iris m

We climbed the trail some more and could see the creek was wider. I walked around a few more curves – still not at the lake. I heard some squawking and spotted five heron nests. We turned back with another half mile or more to go to the lake. Next time, we’ll carry lunch and take a good break to hike the five miles needed.

Trail Map. From the entrance to the parking lot we took trail marked by “horse trough.”

East of St Helena and Rutherford off Hwy 128. Go north on Chiles Pope Valley Rd. Turn off at Moore Creek Park. Map.

See you on the Trail! Get out there now, while the wildflowers bloom.

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Mike and Lynn Millar

more fairy lanterns m

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