“A sloping trail winding over sweeping vistas of vineyards dotting the verdant Napa Valley.
— Danielle Jackson
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife
Respect private property. No hunting or shooting is allowed in Robert Lewis Stevenson State Park, or on, from, or over the Oat Hill Mine Trail. Dogs must be under voice control at all times or else must be on leash. Dogs must be kept on or within 20 feet of the trail. Motor vehicles are not allowed. No fires and smoking.
Wide trails and some spots with scrambling. Watch out for mountain bikers.
The Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail follows over the former Oat Hill Mine Road. This road was an important means of transportation between the local town of Calistoga and the Oat Hill Mine, the third largest quicksilver or mercury mine. The mine operated from the early 1870's to the late 1960's. Today the road connects Aetna Springs Road and Calistoga. The trail can prove difficult with rocky terrain, but it is open to runners, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians.
The trailhead for the Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail is on 29 just north of Silverado Trail N. There are only three parking spots, but there is parking available along 29, very close to the trailhead. Starting out, you'll run around the local vineyards, with a metal fence along your left side. About 0.25 miles along the trail, you'll see your first vista overlook, allowing you to look out upon Napa Valley. About 0.75 miles along the trail, you'll see another vista overlook, with another sweeping view of Napa Valley.
The entire trail is well-maintained and well-marked, with posts marking every mile. From 0.75 miles to 2.33 miles, the trail climbs up to a ridge and then remains relatively even afterward. The Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail ends at about 4.3 miles at Holm's Place, an old homestead property of Karl Gustov Holm who built a log cabin in 1893. Parts of the stone wall from the barn remain in the area. At this point the trail meets with the Palisades Trail
and the Upper Oat Hill Mine Trail
. The Upper Oat Hill Mine Trail
sees seasonal closures. The Palisades Trail
goes north to Table Rock.
Flora & Fauna
There is an abundance of flora and fauna in the area, including lizards, salamanders, chipmunks, snakes, mountain lions, oak, douglas fir, gray pine, cypress, chaparral, and grasslands.