The Smittle Creek Trail is a great place to go for a lovely short hike in Napa along the shores of Lake Berryessa, and is the only developed trail on the lake. You can pick up the Smittle Creek Trail at its southern trailhead in the Oak Shores Day Use Area, or at its northern trailhead at the Smittle Creek Day Use Area. Both sites have bathrooms, trash cans, and ample parking, among other amenities. Do note that these sites close at dusk.
This two-and-a-half-mile trail follows a winding course along the lakeshore. As your pup trots by your side, sniffing the air for scents coming in off the water, you'll see islands, coves, and inlets. Oaks grow in groves near the lake, offering shady spots to sniff and rest. This easygoing hike is a great choice when you're as interested in spending an afternoon lolling and reading in the sun as putting in the miles. It's also fun for wanderers and explorers who enjoy finding hidden nooks and crannies and investigating animal footprints and the calls of distant birds.
The rolling hills around the lake are bright green in spring and summer, and turn golden as autumn settles in. As much as this is a beautiful place to come when it's verdant, it's equally lovely on a misty fall afternoon. Different wildflowers bloom at different times of year, including lupines, poppies, snake lily, and yarrow. Look at the purple and gold they splash against the green hills and the deep blue of the sky! Strange lichen grows on branches curling toward the clouds. Many different wildlife species can be seen from the trail, including bald and golden eagles. Ground squirrels scurry about, sure to please any pups working on their degree in squirrel investigation.
After spending an afternoon exploring the shores of Lake Berryessa on the Smittle Creek Trail, you and your pup will feel refreshed and restored.