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Smittle Creek Trail
This 2.6 mile trail provides a fairly easy hike along Lake Berryessa's shoreline from Smittle Creek Park to Coyote Knolls in Oak Shores Park. Just offshore can be seen Big Island and Small Island. Spring is the best time, winter is good too. Summer is the time to bring a swimsuit for a dip in a quiet cove. Dogs are allowed on leash.
To reach the southern trailhead, enter Oak Shores Park, turn left and follow signs to the northern-most parking lot at Coyote Knolls. The trailhead is by the bulletin board which has a map of the trail.
The northern trailhead begins at the southern end of the Smittle Creek parking lot, located about a mile north of the Oak Shores entrance. Take the steps down the hill to the bulletin board which has a map of the trail and is the trailhead. The trail starts to the south of the bulletin board (to the right if you are facing the board).
Although not formally part of the Smittle Creek Trail, another short trail begins at the northern end of the parking lot. Follow the trail to the restroom where the trail continues to the left. This loop trail offers great views up and across the lake. There is also access to the Smittle Creek Trail from the second gated access road off the Knoxville-Berryessa Road south of the Smittle Creek parking lot.
As you wind along the shore, look for the Bald Eagle nest high in a tree on Big Island. This is an active breeding nest and Bald Eagles are frequently seen along the trail.
*Length/Degree of Difficulty: 2.6 miles one way, easy to moderate shoreline hike, modest elevation gains along the way.
*Trail Condition: well marked and maintained with a good trailbed.
For more information, visit the Bureau of Reclamation Visitor's Center which is about a mile south of the Oak Shores entrance. There you may obtain a more detailed map showing restrooms along the trail. This trail map is also available at the trailheads and as a PDF file suitable for printing. The Visitor's Center is open year round Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 4PM.
The Smittle Creek Trail at Lake Berryessa in the Spring