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The spring-summer Land Trust hike season in Napa County

The spring-summer Land Trust hike season in Napa County

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The many man-hours involved in planning and leading all of Land Trust of Napa County’s 60-80 guided outings each year can be accomplished only with the help of hard-working volunteers. Two of the many dedicated people who help make it happen are Bruce and Janet Ivey.

Since 2015, Bruce and Janet have led guided hikes to several places around the county and often are two of the first to fill in if another volunteer encounters a scheduling problem. Nature walks in the woods growing up in Michigan sparked an interest in hiking that eventually led them to mountain hikes as they moved west. Backpacking trips in the 1970s leading high school students in Montana put them on a path toward guiding others while they were outside enjoying nature.

More than 10 years ago, when they heard about the Land Trust’s campaign to conserve the Wildlake and Duff ranches, the Iveys made it a point to start volunteering for the Land Trust.

“We had hiked those properties before they were purchased by the Land Trust, and protecting them from development seemed a very worthwhile goal,” said Bruce Ivey.

With a new schedule of spring and summer hikes just published, the two long-time hike leaders have their eyes on a few favorites.

“We always like hikes to Linda Falls and Zim Zim Falls because waterfalls are great, and the Zim Zim hike introduces people to the more remote parts of northern Napa County,” said Janet Ivey.

“We also like the Turk’s Head hike because of its historical connections and the great views of the north end of Napa Valley,” said Bruce Ivey.

For the Iveys, leading hikes for the fun of it isn’t the only reason they keep coming back. They see a direct connection between the hikes and protecting land.

“The first step in preserving undeveloped places is to get people to love them,” said Janet Ivey. “Sharing some of our favorite hikes is a good way to do that.”

For the full line-up of guided hikes, volunteer workdays and special events like full moon walks and stargazing, visit

— Zim Zim Falls & Birding for Beginners, March 22

Leaders: Chris Benz and Larry Kent

Rating: Moderate, 7 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation gain

This hike to Zim Zim Falls leads to the highest waterfall in Napa County, which is located in the Knoxville Wildlife Area just north of Lake Berryessa. An easy hike along old ranch roads concludes with a moderate climb to the viewpoint. Along the way we will learn about the birds in this area, how to spot them, and their role in this ecosystem. Bring: water shoes (we cross Zim Zim Creek nine times), lunch, and binoculars (if you have them).

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— Turk’s Head, April 26

Leaders: Bruce and Janet Ivey

Rating: Moderate, 4 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation gain

This hike at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park goes to an uncrowded area on the southern flank of Mt. St. Helena. We’ll pass through the site of Silverado City (population 1,500 in the mid-1870s), then on to Turk’s Head, a rock formation on the ridge separating Knight’s Valley from upper Napa Valley. This was a common destination in the late 1800s for tourists staying at the Toll House on the old stagecoach road from Calistoga to Middletown. This in-and-out hike is mostly on a two-track road.

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Linda Falls Workday – June 26

Leader: Megan Lilla

Rating: Moderate, 1-2 miles, 1,000 feet elevation gain

Help the Land Trust restore riparian habitat along Conn Creek. We’ll focus on watering recently planted native seedlings as well as invasive species removal. Optional hike to the Linda Falls waterfall after workday. Provided: tools, gloves, instruction.

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