Skyline Park: My First Visit

Inspiration

Some time ago I was browsing Google Earth for places near Fairfield to hike. A park on the outskirts of Napa caught my eye. I zoomed in to take a look at the Panoramio photos of places in the park and was impressed by one photo in particular. The day after Christmas 2010, photographer Chris Hattich snapped this photo of a creek that drains into Lake Marie. 

Execution

On October 15th, I finally visited Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa, Ca. It was not without trial and error. My first mistake was getting stuck in a traffic jam in Jameson Canyon. Second, I was deceived by the early morning fog and wore cargo pants instead of shorts. And a hoodie. So, by the time the sun burned off the fog at 10AM I was roasting. Despite my wardrobe FAIL, I still enjoyed the sights and sounds of the park.

Upon arrival, I paid my $5 parking fee and browsed around.   The park features more than just hiking and mountain biking.  Horses are permitted on the trails (I could see signs of their passing) and there is also an equestrian area,  an archery field (COOL!), an RV park and campground. 

Upon entering Martha Walker Garden. Regrets for not coming in spring and seeing the flowers in bloom.

Much like Hume Grove in Pena Adobe Park, Skyline has the Martha Walker Garden, a habitat of native plants. The garden features lots of shade, labeled plants, bird baths and benches. 

The beautiful, volunteer tended Martha Walker Garden

Wilderness

I saw squirrels the size of large house cats or so they seemed. The deer were photogenic (now and then). They came trampling by as I was photographing a treeline. Very excited, I picked up the tripod and followed them up the hill. It was a steep climb up the hill, but I did catch up. The deer didn't seem to alarmed at a human walking by. The spiderwebs were enormous (not sure why so many people have a fear of spiders).

The fog made the hills and trees have an otherworldly, ghostly atmosphere. When the fog did clear enough, I did see some great views of Napa and the hills surrounding the valley.

 

A glimpse between trees.

And I only took one trail. I hiked the Skyline trail to the lower Skyline trail. A short hike but very time consuming especially when setting up a tripod. The trailhead is about a quarter to half mile walk through the parking lot and Martha Walker garden. Then past the campground and road by the state hospital.

Skyline is run by volunteers and it shows that the staff love this place. The restrooms were the cleanest and most graffiti free park restrooms I have ever visited.  I definitely look forward to many hikes here.

Ancestor

Deer Hunting

Deer Hunting

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