Running at Moore Creek Park (St. Helena)
I’ve wanted to run at Moore Creek Park in St. Helena for a while now, but fires and park closures have prevented it. I was excited when the opportunity presented itself.
About Moore Creek Park:
Moore Creek Park is located in St. Helena and is great for running, hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian. It’s also home to Lake Hennessy, a key source of drinking water for the Napa (so no swimming). You can find a printable park map here.
There are just over 1,600 acres of rugged terrain at Moore Creek Park. You’ll find many wildlife and plants, including Oak woodlands, Douglas Fir & Madrone forest, grasslands, and chaparral.
Some of the larger mammals include black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, gray foxes, and coyotes.
History of Moore Creek Park and Lake Hennessy:
The City of Napa Developed the Conn Dam and Lake Hennessy way back in the 1940s. The lake is named after Edwin R. Hennessey, a Napa banker. Hennessy secured local development of the reservoir when an earlier Federal flood control project stalled.
Before 2008, Moore Creek Park was a privately owned cattle ranch. Napa Open Space District acquired it in 2008.
Unlike many Napa Valley parks, dogs are allowed on the Lake Hennessy trail system but must be leashed at all times.
Running at Moore Creek Park:
When I arrived at Moore Creek Park, I hadn’t looked at many of the trails. Admittedly, I knew there were some steep sections, but I imagined it to be similar to Skyline Park. Rocky and tough. I anticipated running a few 20-minute miles but ended up only running 15. There were several stream crossings on the Moore Creek Trail. I assume during major rain and floods, they are impossible to cross. I struggled, and we didn’t get much rain the week prior.
Running up Moore Creek is definitely worth the view. After you reach the peak, you’ll see Lake Hennessy and a large portion of the Northern Napa Valley.
I took the Moore Creek Trail: It runs along a dirt access road. You’ll find a split between the Valentine Vista trail and the Moore Creek Trail. The Moore Creek Trail has several stream crossings (I think I crossed 5 or 6) and is a combination of dirt roads, single track, and steep inclines. It isn’t that technical, and minus the stream crossings; you can run pretty much all of it. (I did hike up some of the steeper portions).
In all, I enjoyed Moore Creek Park, and I’ll definitely be back. It’s one of my favorite parks in all of Napa Valley.
You can see more hikes and trail runs here.
Questions for you:
What is the most scenic run you’ve done?
Have you been to Moore Creek Park?