Did you know there’s a college tucked up in Napa County? And it’s got plenty of wide-open space for hiking. Located in the tiny town of Angwin, Pacific Union College has 864 acres of forest that are now open to the public.
It’s a pretty big deal since this land of mixed forest—pine, oak, Douglas fir, and coast redwood—has been private since the early 1900s. How’d this happen? It’s complicated. But it ends in conservation initiatives, and that’s worth celebrating.
Currently there are 35 miles of trails open for hiking and biking, including a 2.9-mile addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Hike this section and enjoy Inspiration Point, a rail-guarded outcropping with a beautiful view of Pope Valley. The land isn’t fully equipped with great trail signs yet, so pay attention and bring a map, then enjoy the riches of conservation: nature preserved.
Quick trivia: What’s our state butterfly? Hint: its existence depends on an endemic flower found in the forest here, called Napa false indigo! Name that butterfly!
BONUS WINE: You’re so close to all the good wine! Take your pick of Napa County yum, but a winery we find interesting is Raymond for its friendliness and eccentricity. Wine club takes on a double-entendre here. The Crystal Cellar bar is where you should taste for outstanding Cabs, made all the more interesting by the surrounding ambient lighting and other eye-catching décor. For food, the fried chicken sandwich, garlic fries, and Oreo milkshakes at Gott’s Roadside hit the spot.
Download a map of the Pacific Union College trails. Park at the Las Posadas trailhead in Angwin. Enter the gate and follow the trail going straight, not right paralleling the road. Continue for a couple of minutes and find the “2” trail marker. Continue straight again at the “14” trail marker. This is the Mossy Rock Trail. Stay on this all the way to Inspiration Point, following the signs, and return the way you came. Dog-friendly!