As an avid runner, hiker, and lover of Oat Hill Mine Trail I am excited to learn more of the history of this awesome trail. It wasn’t always a place for recreation but instead a working road for mining in the Palisades. You can still see the ruins of the Holmes Place homestead located at the intersections for the palisades trail or continuing on to Aetna Springs.

You too can learn more of the history next Wednesday, Feb. 21.

In association with Rianda House, Ken Stanton will present a history of Oat Hill Mine Trails at 3 p.m. at the Calistoga Community Center, located at 1307 Washington St.

The Oat Hill Mine, also known as Napa Consolidated Mine, produced the largest amount of quicksilver in Napa County. The mine was constructed in 1876 and operated sporadically until the mid-1980s when it was disabled for safety reasons.

In 1892-1893 the road from Calistoga to Pope Valley was completed with one fork leading to Aetna Springs Resort, another to Oat Hill Mine. This road is now the popular Oat Hill Mine hiking trail. The trail is part of Robert Louis Stevenson Park and intersects with the Palisades Trail. RSVP: 963-8555, ext. 101.

If you’re interested in the history of the trail or the history of Napa Valley and it’s mining industry this is an event not to be missed.

Rachel Melick is the Calistoga Recreation Manager. She contributes the Recreation Reader column on a weekly basis. Melick can be reached at 942-2844 or rmelick@ci.calistoga.ca.us.

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