Through the Grapevine

Bike the Vine Trail to Yountville in Napa Valley

Woman riding a bike on the the Vine Trail in Napa Valley

The idea seems fantastic: Cycle up California’s most famous wine valley—Napa Valley. The execution? It’s a bit more complicated with cars—until now. The Vine Trail is an ambitious project to connect Vallejo to Calistoga going through the heart of Napa Valley on a car-free biking and walking trail totaling 47 miles. So far, 12.5 miles are completed, going from Napa to Yountville.

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We recommend starting from the Redwood Road trailhead and cycling north on the Oak Knoll Section. This beautiful and scenic stretch of paved trail parallels Highway 29, and for the first 2 miles you’ll be rolling through a north Napa residential area. But as soon as the houses give way, the vineyards move in, all amber and maple in the fall.

Woman biking on the Vine Trail in Napa Valley

Pedal through the famous Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley passing wineries including Laird Family Estate, Silenus Winery, and Domaine Chandon. After 6 easy miles of pedaling, you’re in Yountville, and your choices for lunch are numerous.

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We suggest going all the way to the trail’s end to R+D Kitchen. It has a huge patio with socially distant tables and several fire pits. {Covid-19 Update, December 2020: outdoor dining is now closed but you can still find take-out.} Enjoy a salad or sushi or a burger—it’s eclectic and damn good. Just don’t hit the cab too hard; you still have to pedal back 6 miles.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Covid Isn’t Canceling the Outdoors (yet)” Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss their bike ride on the Vine Trail in Napa Valley.

Woman biking on the Vine Trail in Napa Valley

For a 13-mile ride (6.5 miles each way), start at the Redwood Rd. parking area (map). Follow the Vine Trail signs for 6.5 miles going north to Yountville. The Vine Trail is wheelchair accessible. Dog-friendly on the trail and at R+D Kitchen’s patio.

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