Bay Area Ridge Trail Finds 3-Mile “Missing Link” in Pacific Union College’s Forest

The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a ring of hiking, cycling, and equestrian trails on the ridgelines surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area, where people come from around the world to work toward their “bucket list” dreams of hiking or riding this scenic trail. Ultimately planned to be 550 miles, its current 365 miles include the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio, artist Andy Goldsworthy’s famous “Spire,” the John Muir National Historic Site, Jack London’s grave, some iconic redwood forests, and now — the Pacific Union College Demonstration and Experimental Forest, with its magnificent views east toward Pope Valley and Lake Berryessa.

PUC recently announced a strategic partnership with the Napa Regional Parks and Open Space District which officially opens PUC’s trails to the public and, because the Open Space District and the Bay Area Ridge trail are affiliated, also adds 3 miles to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

According to PUC’s news release, for many years PUC’s trails have been known mostly by word of mouth. “Even locals are sometimes unaware of the college’s 35 miles of recreational trails through more than 850 acres of rich biodiversity and striking beauty. Now, thanks to a new trail license agreement between PUC and the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District, PUC’s forest is now open for those who wish to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding through PUC’s coastal redwoods, Douglas firs, ponderosa pines, oaks, bay laurels, and madrones. They may even see a rare Napa False Indigo or hear the calls of the threatened Northern Spotted Owl.”

The Napa Valley Register’s reporting on the agreement focused on the fascinating trail names in the PUC forest: “People who want to hike The Chute, Slackline, Dragon, Angwish Hill, Sand Climb, Jamie’s Cryin’ Trail, Whoop-De-Doo, Gully Lane and other trails through a forest high above Napa Valley, your chance is coming.”

“While the license will not change the essential character and unequalled ecological value of PUC’s forest, it does represent a major milestone in both the history and future of the PUC forest,” continues the PUC release. “Last year PUC took a major step toward permanently preserving its unique open space heritage by placing a conservation easement over much of its forest lands. This trail license can be seen as the next logical step, providing a framework for allowing public use of the trail system that already exists in the forest.” (For Spectrum’s coverage of the conservation easement, click here.)

“Pacific Union College has long been a valued part of the Napa community,” says Brent Brandol, president of the Board of Directors of the Napa Open Space District. “We are thrilled to partner with them in supporting the preservation, public use, and enjoyment of the college’s magnificent forested lands.”

Nancy Lecourt is Professor of English and Academic Dean Emerita at Pacific Union College. She is retired and living in Angwin, California.

Main photo by Bob Paulson. In-line image courtesy of PUC.

We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9857
3 Likes

PUC was a beautiful place to live and go to school. It is good that they are sharing with the public so that more people can appreciated the richness of the land.

2 Likes

Hopefully any legal and security issues that might arise from people using the trail are in some method deferred from PUC.

I am sure they have attorneys to work all of that out. :grinning:

Since your days at PUC much has taken place in terms of the publics use of the trails. For a while now locals treated that land as if it was their own anyway. Horses, hiking, biking and growing of certain herbs has become well known.

1 Like

The community has been enjoying recreating in PUC’s forest for some time, and PUC is excited to formalize this community recreation on its land.

2 Likes

Indeed, this extension of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is part of PUC’s trail license agreement with the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Spaces District. Recreation on PUC’s trail network is covered under the NCRPOSD’s liablity insurance.

Indeed, this extension of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is part of PUC’s trail license agreement with the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Spaces District. Recreation on PUC’s trail network is covered under the NCRPOSD’s liablity insurance.

1 Like

Oh, I am sure…the issue with that much land is that it cannot be adequately “policed” by PUC so there is bound to be “outsiders” on the land. I know from many, many, years ago that those “herbals” were being grown in PUC forest lands. :grin:

1 Like

Not to mention Kim some herbs were grown in dorm rooms. Those naughty children.

2 Likes

Very creative herbal cultivation. :laughing:

3 Likes

So what was the “missing link” Lecourt was referring to?
Lecourt was there when I was there as a student way back in the early 80’s, as well as Norman and Winona Wendth, very good instructors.
I did lots of running in the hills behind PUC, thanks to Dave Nieman’s requirement I became an avid runner for years afterward. Very beautiful back there. Got engaged to be married at inspiration point.

1 Like

PUC has a wonderful local community that isn’t tied to our mission as a private Seventh Day Adventist Educational Institution, and their main connection to PUC is through our forest. We are very exited about how this development will deepen our tie to the local community and grow new relationships for PUC into the future. The new PUC Forest Managment Department, with help from our friends at the school and in the community, as well from our new Partners at the Napa Open Spaces District, the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Land Trust of Napa County (and more…) will be working to keep an eye on what is going on in the forest.

1 Like

The ridge trail only has 365 miles complete of its 550 mile objective, so PUC is helping to provide another link in the chain.

Thanks for the clarification. The term “missing link” threw off my connection of comprehension.:link:

I am sure you are talking about lemon grass, right? :wink:

3 Likes

Sure…along with rosemary and thyme. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

3 Likes

… Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. I may have had to much parsley that some how sprouted in my apartment but like Mr. Bill I never inhaled therefore I don’t have the guilt. It seems like those lyrics were also a song from the late 60’s.

1 Like

:laughing: Yep! Simon and Garfunkel-

1 Like

See I knew there was a song with those lyrics or was it scripture?

1 Like