Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, St. Helena: Hours, Address, Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
4.5
Historic Sites • State Parks • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 AM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 AM
About
Built in 1846, this water-powered mill served Napa Valley's farmers who brought their wheat grain and dried corn to the mill to be ground into flour and meal. Bale Grist Mill has one of the largest waterwheels in the country and still mills grain the old-fashioned way! Visitors can take home organic wheat flour, cornmeal or polenta. Come enjoy what was once a vital part of rural life!
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Tours and Tickets

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4.5
85 reviews
Excellent
57
Very good
23
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Tony K
Moreno Valley, CA636 contributions
California’s only working Grist mill !
Jun 2021 • Couples
This was our 2nd time here but I just love the old workings of something/machinery with so much history behind it. The man giving the tour was really knowledgeable about its workings & history. It simply amazes me what they built and made work in 1846 or so. It only takes about a hour for outside talk and inside showing how it works etc. Even when weather might be warm there are lots of trees all around the buildings & mill.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christy F
Napa, CA25 contributions
Historic site in the Napa Valley
Jan 2020
A lovely attraction for those interested in how things were done, back in the 'old days'. The historic Mill has had some restorative work to keep it operational, but everything is as it was since its establishment in 1846. The giant water-powered wooden wheel turns the grindstone on the inside of the mill, just as it did back in the day - and there are live milling demonstrations on most weekends. A group of volunteers give tours and have samples of meals and treats made with the actual ground flours! You can purchase an assortment of these milled flours in mini burlap sacks, along with other nifty items in the gift shop/info display area.
If you like to camp or hike, there's an easy 1-mile trail that leads to Bothe State Park, which is open year-round. Along the way is the historic Pioneer Cemetery and the White Church - the first church built in the Napa Valley. For a nice outing, drive into the Bothe Park and go all the way down to the very end of the pavement where there's parking. This begins the trail to the Mill and is a lovely way to arrive at the Bale Mill.
Alternatively, you can park behind the Mill property and wind your way down to the site which is a paved pathway at a slight incline. (You may get a little winded on the way back.) For the easiest way of all, (only while heading south on Hwy 29), merely pull over in the shoulder, in front of the Mill and the paved walkway is immediately at the gate. There's space for at least 5 or 6 cars. But PLEASE don't park on the opposite side and try to run across the road! It's far too dangerous.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

trotter88
Menlo Park, CA37 contributions
beautiful place to walk and learn
Oct 2019
I have been here 3 times to hear the lecture on flour milling in the working mill. Solid historical and technical talk. The millstone turns and makes flour. The smells are worth the trip I love this area of California oak forest. The talks are only on the weekends this time of year.
Written October 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Curious316528
Anacortes, WA30 contributions
A TRUE STORY OF a wannabe RELUCTANT MESSIAH
Oct 2019 • Solo
I have been to the bale grist mi ,it's VERY nice to go to it's right next to ,DARIO castle and home, DARIO has given money to THIS place,lots of time over the years AND gos to bale grist mi for party's AND to keep THIS mi from going under THANKS VERY MUCH for that HELP MR SATTUI, BARRY HENSLEY.
Written October 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jessica L
10 contributions
Very cool history, buy a "souvenir" bag of flour!
Sep 2019
$5 for Adult tour, learn some history and watch them mill flour. Great story about how they cannot sell their flour, but you can make a donation and take home a bag.
Written September 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerri L
Johnston, IA1,740 contributions
History and flour grinding
Aug 2019 • Couples
We stopped while in the Bothe Napa State Park hiking as it is right there. There is an additional fee after paying the state park fee to take the mill tour $5/person. We decided it would be fun and paid the fee then started the tour with samples of breads and cookies made with flours and grains milked there. The recipes were also made available. The tour had much history about Dr Grist and his second wife which got long for the younger kids in the group. It was a hot day and the guide Dave was having trouble with the heat so we moved inside and he got water, but he kept going. We also got the explanation of the milk workings and saw wheat ground into flour. It was a fun tour and you could leave at any time or stay as long as you wanted... very informal. Flour and ground grains from the mill are available for purchase at s very cheap price.
Written August 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bobold
95 contributions
So fun and a break from wine
Jul 2019 • Friends
We had such a nice tour of bale grist mill. It's a fascinating and rich history of the napa valley. Our tour guide Chip was very thorough while being fun and giving us lots to think about on napa. Take a break and stop off an see this gem. It's such great history
They also sell freshly milled grains
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hicks3456
St. Augustine, FL338 contributions
Leave your dog at home
May 2019 • Couples
Park does not allow dogs on wooded trail. Come on - what is wrong with this group and Napa Valley as a whole. I can bring my dog into restaurant to eat with me but cannot take on trail. This place bites. Parking also is too little and too far away.
Written May 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eileen P
San Juan, Puerto Rico213 contributions
Great
Oct 2018 • Friends
The Bale Grist Mill is a great place to learn the evolution of grain milling. The tour guide mesmerized the group with the information shared from 2000 yrs to date as well as demonstrating the mill operation with engineering mechanical details on calibrating the variables of the mill. Worth every minute spent at Bale Mill.
Written October 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robby G C
Toronto, Canada78,235 contributions
All about the mill
Jul 2018 • Couples
The highlight was the Bale Grist Hill. It is huge! A 36 foot water wheel.

We had a guide and he told us a lot of history. It was interesting.

Dr Edward Turnet Bale was not really a doctor. He worked on boats with sailors. He had to amputate sailors sometimes.He didn't have a degree.

He made the will with a grant. It was the center of social activity in Canistoga.

Farmers came with their grain to the mill.

He married a Mexican. It was still Mexico in that time.

The mill is huge: 36 foot water wheel.

I enjoyed all the real stories. Inside the Visitor Center there was even more information about the history of this place.

This is really worthwhile!
Written October 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park is open:
  • Sat - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 AM