Hike Date: June 3, 2012
Distance: ~ 5.4 miles
Trail(s): Lake Hennessey Trail
Where’s it at? Napa County off Howell Mountain / Conn Valley Rd.


Created by My Tracks on Android.
Total distance: 8.66 km (5.4 mi)
Total time: 1:18:55
Moving time: 1:10:10
Average speed: 6.59 km/h (4.1 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.41 km/h (4.6 mi/h)
Max speed: 11.16 km/h (6.9 mi/h)
Min elevation: 57 m (188 ft)
Max elevation: 81 m (266 ft)
Elevation gain: 271 m (888 ft)
Recorded: 06/03/2012 10:46 AM
Activity type: hiking

I found this trail while Googling around for hiking in and around Napa…I’m running out of new trails here! It’s a pretty short hike and there wasn’t much information about it.

Apparently Napa’s drinking water comes at least in part from Lake Hennessey. You can boat here and it is apparently a great fishing spot for trout and bass. I came to hike though! You’d think, and I was hopeful, that there would be a trail going all the way around this fairly small lake which would’ve made something like a 10-12 mile loop trail, but alas, nothing of the sort. You want to take Silverado Trail north and when you get around Saint helena/Rutherford, take the right at Howell Mountain Road (aka old howell mountain road). This is a pretty narrow and winding road but well paved. Take another right at Conn Valley Road and follow that to the very end where you can park.

The trailhead is right at the end of Conn Valley Road, and at first it isn’t clear whether you even are permitted to hike here, but I’d seen web posts about it so I went for it. The trail is an old gravel/dirt road and in pretty good shape for most of the hike. There is one spot where you will come to a bridge, and it had orange construction fencing around it, but not blocking it, so I went ahead and crossed. I’d have to say it’s the most damaged bridge I’ve ever crossed on a hike though, I wasn’t really sure if it would support my weight but it did.

I wish I’d taken this one earlier in the year. The hills and grasses were pretty brown and plenty of stickers to cling to my socks throughout. You can avoid them for the most part but the trail becomes very narrow and overgrown in a couple sections. The trail winds itself along the northern shore of the lake offering very dark blue waters to gaze at all the while. While I found this on a website about wildflowers, there really weren’t many to be seen this time of year. And it was pretty hot…today was maybe mid 80s but it felt warmer out on the trail which is mostly open except for a few shaded spots with oaks and spanish moss galore. I saw a family of deer and a few birds is all the wildlife there was to be had.

I started thinking I could’ve parked at the quicker-to-get-to boat launching area off Sage canyon Road but the trail doesn’t quite make it that far. You are abruptly stopped by a no tresspassing barbed wire fence and gate. This is where I turned around.

Throughout the hike you see kayakers and some motor boats on the water. Lots of fisherman along the shore and on boats, especially at the areas where there are cattails out in the water for the fish to hide in. I saw one guy catching a fish both on the way in and the way out as I passed him, they looked too small to keep though.

Not a destination hike but if you’re like me and trying to thoroughly explore an area’s trails, this one needs to be on your map.

Photos from Hiking Lake Hennessey Trail (click to enlarge)

Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa
http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa http://timsartoris.com/blog/a-hike-on-the-lake-hennessey-trail-in-napa
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail
Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail Hiking the Lake Hennessey Trail

Directions to Lake Hennessey Trail


View Lake Hennessey Trail in a larger map

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