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Moore Creek Park sits on the northeastern side of Lake Hennessey and encompasses more than 670 acres of woodland and canyons. It was purchased in 2008 by the Open Space District, after years in use as a cattle ranch. The park is accessible via Chiles Pope Valley Road, a winding road that leads around the lake.

The main trail, Moore Creek Trail leads across five creek crossings. The Open Space District saw the need for a new trail that would eliminate four of the five crossings and serve as an alternative to Moore Creek Trail. The Dryfoot Trail was started in early January, and work has continued into late January. As of now the trail is still under construction and is closed.

The first section of the Moore Creek Trail follows a gravel road for 1.3 miles, leading users to a wooded canyon cut down the middle by a stream. To access the new Dryfoot trail, simply stop before the first creek crossing and take a right up the hill. The Moore Creek Trail is visible from sections of the Dryfoot trail. Moore Creek is also visible from the Dryfoot trail.

If you choose to follow the Moore Creek trail into the park, after around 3.2 miles, trail users will find the Andrea Wolf vista, named after a dedicated volunteer; it sits in her favorite spot in the park. Close to the vista, down to the canyon floor, there is a swimming hole. If followed, the trail continues to Angwin. All creek crossings are crossable by a 4-by-4 wood beam.

The new trail will be cut into the hillside east of the Moore Creek Trail. The Forest Trails Alliance has been employed by the Napa Open Space District to cut the new trail above the original that leads into the park.

On Jan. 13 and 21, volunteers from the area worked on the trail alongside the Forest Trail Alliance. The Forest Trails plans to add several small stone bridges on the trail as well, one of which is completed. A waterfall will be visible along the new trail during the rainy season.

The Open Space District is also about halfway finished with the Madrone Trail at Moore Creek. The Madrone Trail is accessible to the left just after the first creek crossing. The Open Space District is having a volunteer project at the Madrone Trail on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and despite the damp weather, the park is actually quite nice this time of year, as long as you don’t mind getting a bit of mud on your boots.

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Cell service at Moore Creek is limited. It is always safer to hike with a partner to help in case of an emergency especially in a place like Moore Creek. There is also no potable water at Moore Creek; all trail users must bring their own. As far as lavatory facilities, the park has one restroom at the parking lot, as well as thousands of oak trees scattered throughout the park.

Moore Creek park is beautiful and serene; the more people that get to experience it the better. The new Dryfoot Trail will address the need to skip most of the creek crossings and make Moore Creek more accessible to people.

The Open Space District is always improving and working on all of the trails it manages, including Moore Creek. If you would like to be a part of the effort to help maintain our parks, contact Chino Yip at cyip@ncrposd.org.

Abe Smith is a senior at New Technology High School in Napa, and an intern with the Napa Open Space District.

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