Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

Robert Louis Stevenson State ParkRobert Louis Stevenson Park rolls up the side of craggy hills.  Stevenson, from Scotland (link to our own Scotland site), loved the Napa Valley.

He and his wife honeymooned here.  They camped and took in the air, which was supposed to have healing powers.  Stevenson wrote sections of The Silverado Squatters and studied settings from the Valley that he would later use in Treasure Island.   (If you haven’t read it, do!) On a clear day, you can see from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to San Francisco Bay.   

Do bring your own water.  This is a rugged park, and there is none available there.  The Memorial Trail leads through the undeveloped land to an old gold mine and a monument to the Stevenson’s.   A fire road winds to the top of Mount St. Helena.  The Napa Valley stretches in front of you like a languid, luxurious tiger. It is breathtaking.

The views from the top of Napa’s highest peak, Mt. St. Helena, are the best in the valley.  Stevenson and his bride, Fannie Osbourne, met at an artist’s retreat.  It was the perfect spot for romantics who love the land, and it still is.

To find the park, just head north out of Calistoga for 8 miles on Highway 29.  The trail starts from the western parking lot. If you want a shorter walk, or it’s pretty hot outside, jog off the main trail after about 3 ½ miles to the South Peak.  Also amazing views.

The eastern parking lot marks the start of the Table Rock Trail, a 2.2 mile trek that climbs out of woodlands and past volcanic rock to a ridge overlooking an eerie landscape and the southern part of Napa Valley.

Enjoy one of the places in wine country that is an untouched miracle.

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Wine Country.  Join her at www.blevinswordworx.com for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed west.

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