Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
4.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
106 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop is a magnificent trail in the Napa Valley that offers several outdoor pursuits. The revered mountain biking route has recently become a favorite hiking trail—offering wonderful views of Hennessey Lake and the surrounding Vaca Mountains.

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Route Description for Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop

Indulge in the natural beauty of Napa County along the Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop. The whole family can enjoy this lovely nature trail in several different ways! Boasting the perfect excuse to get outside and reconnect with nature, this route exhibits a diversity of flora and fauna. If you are lucky, you may even get a sight of Sam the Eagle, a bald eagle that likes to perch on a grey pine and survey the lakefront. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you wander and if time permits, and you have the equipment, kayak, or paddleboard around the lovely reservoir.

Embark on your adventure along the Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop from the Shoreline Trailhead. Setting out from here, follow the shoreline trail southwest to an intersection, take a left, and you will be diverted onto the Alta Hennessey Trail. The section of the hike will intensely climb up through the grassy meadowlands and beneath the sparse shade of coast live oak to another junction. At this point, you will want to keep right, connecting with the Sam the Eagle Trail. Admire the panoramic view of Lake Hennessey and the encompassing Vaca Mountains from here.

The Sam, the Eagle Trail, will guide adventurers down a gradual grade, heading southeast. Admire the beauty of the live oaks, the wildflowers that adorn the undergrowth. Following the navigation of the winding terrain, you will once again confront a juncture. Here the path will plateau as you trace the shoreline of the shimmering reservoir. Enjoy the scene of fellow adventurers enjoying the waters as you make your way along the grassy shoreline. Maintain along this route, and you will ultimately be delivered back to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

Lake Hennessey

Lake Hennessey is the largest local reservoir in Napa County, CA. The shimmering lake is a popular boating, fishing and hiking destination, but swimming is prohibited. Explore the shoreline of the 1.2mi2 basin bound by the Vaca Mountains and visit the Conn Creek Dam that formed the scenic lake.

Insider Hints for Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop

  • Dogs are allowed on this route if they remain on-leash
  • Bring your kayak and enjoy the beautiful scenery from another perspective
  • Be mindful of ticks and poison oak—long pants are recommended
  • The route is shared with bikers, so be vigilant of passers-by
  • After rainfall the trail is often muddy
  • You will likely run into some cows along the Sam the Eagle Trail

Getting to the Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop Trailhead

The Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop is accessed via the Shoreline Trailhead off Conn Valley Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop Elevation Graph

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Sam the Eagle and Shoreline Loop Reviews

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