2020,  AllTrails,  California,  City Girl Hikes,  Hiking,  Musings,  St. Helena

City Girl Hikes: Conn Peak & Shoreline Trail – St. Helena, CA

Sometimes you make a hiking friend on a solo hike.

Lake Hennessey

I set out for my second solo hike, relying on the parking attendants’ directions on where to start the trail. You enter Moore Creek Park, pass one residential home, and then find the parking lot. About a quarter of a way into the first trail I chose, I ran into a girl coming toward me. I asked her if I was headed the right way and she told me ‘no,’ but she was also looking for the same trailhead.

Moore Creek Park

So, we essentially became friends from then on. HAHA! Neither of us was trying out hike the other, to add space between us, so we just started chatting and hiking together. My new hiking friend, Katie, is a very avid hiker and enjoys solo and friend hikes too. Together, we found the correct trail head (pictured below), don’t start at the end of the parking lot, that is wrong. Find the trail head near the residence:

Trailhead for Shoreline Trail

She could only hike for a couple miles, because she was meeting a friend in Napa. She was really sweet and we exchanged numbers to go hiking again, even though we both verbally expressed it was kinda weird for us to do this. We both happily did…and I’m proud to report we’ve hiked since our first meeting and it’s been fun!

I continued along the Shoreline Trail, which was not very exciting. Lots of rocks and not too technical at all. This is a popular bird-watching trail with lots of signs with different species, indicating which area they inhabit on Lake Hennessy. This trail essentially leads you to another parking lot, which is where I took a switchback which leads you to the Conn Peak Trail, I could not take doing the same trail back to my car.

The Shoreline trail had a few families/people walking, but not many. It got really desolate on the Conn Peak Trail. I’d soon learn why. It was not shaded and there were some steep climbs and a very steep descend at the very end. I did run into a few people, one of which I verified I was on the right track to my car, to which she said yes and empathetically wished me luck.

And of course, I left my Garmin at home for this hike, but I did set my Strava account to capture the hike.

This was probably one of my least favorite hikes during COVID-19. However, there were a couple of silver linings from this adventure. I met Katie, who would become a hiking friend and I also strengthened my confidence in hiking solo. Most of this was done solo, which gave me a lot of time to think about all the things. As I’m becoming more comfortable in my solitude, hiking has definitely helped this growth.

If you decide to do this hike, please be sure you bring lots of water, sunblock, and a fun attitude. Views don’t go much beyond the lake, but it is still interesting when you get a glimpse of the birds in their habitat.

Sometimes the pace of nature is just what I need…

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