Photo of Rattlesnake Creek, a tributary to the Eel River, Mendocino National Forest, California by Marcia Wright via Wikipedia

One of the advantages of living in Upper Lake is the beautiful outdoors with stunning landscapes, fresh clean air and nature waiting to be explored. And while some think getting fit means countless squats at the gym, it could also look like a hiking adventure along one of California’s legendary trails. With over 600,000 acres of public land and over 100 miles of hiking trails, Lake County is an ideal location for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Whether you want to venture out on a moderate-paced walk or want more of a trekker’s challenge, look no further than your backyard.

Wright Peak Summit Trail

Mount Konocti County Park, opened in 2011, is Lake County’s largest park, covering an area of 1,520 acres at the top of Mount Konocti. As the county property is also intertwined with federally owned Bureau of Land Management lands there’s a combined total of 2,341 acres of public open space. If you go, you’ll have opportunity to take in panoramic lake views, volcanic peaks, ancient maul oaks, apple and walnut orchards and a historic cabin site.

This particular park is special and sacred to us the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake and other local tribes as our native ancestors inhabited this area since time immemorial. Archaeologists have also found evidence that Pomo and Wappo began inhabiting the area more than 11,000 years ago.

Vine Trail

Just like it sounds, Vine Trail is a vine region along the southwestern shores of Clear Lake at the base of Mount Konocti. Here, you’ll find picturesque rows of cabernet sauvignon grape vines adorned up the hill. As the Red Hills soils are volcanic in origin, you’ll find a deep red color with mineral enriched soil that’s well-drained, a model topography for growing superior wine grapes.

While here, you can take in the vineyard-dotted hills, a panoramic lake view, distant mountain vistas, wineries and tasting rooms, Red Hills Appellation, wetlands, tule reeds or have lunch at one of the picturesque picnic spots. What could be better than a little wine tasting, a beautiful trail and the breathtaking views this area has to offer?

Safety and Respect

No matter what trail you select, be sure to prepare ahead for safety. Plan which trail you’ll take, dress appropriately, bring water, cell phone, sun protection and a first aid kit. Watch for signs of poisonous oak, trail closures, or private property. Respect the grounds and wildlife; leave them as you found them and observe from a distance. Remember to preserve the past for future generations: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.

Healthy living means consciously deciding to care for yourself. You are worth it so unplug, lace up your shoes, and get your hike on!

For more information on all the great trail options in Lake County, visit the Konocti Regional Trails website.