Looking back from the Alston's uphill areas back into the heart of Napa Valley
Alston Park sits on 157 acres on the west side of Napa Valley near the mouth of the Redwood Creek valley. Its gently sloping hills consist of grassy knolls with brush and oak clusters sprinkled about. There's little or no shade to be had, but that also affords opportunities for views into Napa Valley without having to suffer too much elevation gain.
The trails encircle the park along its oblong perimeter with some additional paths crisscrossing into the interior of the park. The surface is packed dirt with some smaller rocks thrown in. Hiking boots are not required. A couple of trail sections are steep, but mostly the terrain is gently rolling. Since the terrain is mostly grassland it's rather difficult to get lost in the park.
The ubiquity of dog owners is a plus for those looking to socialize with Fido. About one third of the park is designated off-leash with the remainder requiring dogs be on leash. It seems enforcement is rather lax as off-leash dogs can actually be found throughout the park.
The off-leash dog area is popular with people and canines alike.
The open terrain is greatly favored by raptors, who can perch on one of the sparse trees and scan the grassland for small rodents or snakes for prey. Look for the silent hunters on top of power poles or top branches of trees.
Napa wine is world famous and vineyards are everywhere. This includes the boundaries of the park along most of its length. The Alston trails are not exactly traversing through rows of vines, but it's about as close as you'll get without venturing into a vineyard itself.
Not only are dogs and bikes allowed in the park but horses as well. But the most interesting usage possible in the park may be the balloon landings that are allowed according to the park's official brochure.