Sample the landscape, not the wine, in Napa Valley (San Francisco Chronicle)

Excerpt from an article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 23, 2017. Note: This hike is so close the St. Helena that your Model Bakery English muffin will still be warm by the time you get here. 

I hear Linda Falls before I see it — always a sign I’m in for a good show.

Starting in Angwin, in the hills above Napa Valley, the trail to the falls descends through a sunny hillside of chaparral into a forest of Douglas firs, madrones and fragrant California bay trees. Much of the old-growth forest was felled for the sawmill that once operated here, but in the narrow canyons, some old giants persist.

Thanks to the Land Trust of Napa County, a nonprofit that now owns and maintains the Linda Falls Preserve on Howell Mountain, all of the trees will have a chance to become the old growth of the future.

The preserve offers a taste of a lesser-seen side of this world-famous wine region: wild and quiet, without a winery-bound tour bus in sight. As part of its mission to preserve the character of the county, the Land Trust has protected more than 100 square miles of Napa County, twice the area of San Francisco.

Nearly every weekend, the Land Trust leads field trips into the land they’ve helped preserve, providing access to waterfalls, redwood forests, deep canyons and high peaks — places, in many cases, not normally open to the public.

Read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle