Notable trail-building projects in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe are being designed to meet the growing demand for sustainable activities and recreation while providing strong community identity and much-appreciated economic growth. As young and active communities often do, local trail associations and visitors alike are showing off their stewardship and trail-building prowess with miles of new trail every year.
Here are a few notable projects that will see progress this summer:
A warm, community-wide group hug is owed to all the folks at Truckee Donner Land Trust for protecting yet another large parcel from private development and for the enjoyment of future generations. This historic area boasts non-motorized trails that travel to adjacent USFS and State Park lands along old trade routes, through stands of Aspen, and along clear creeks, ponds and beaver habitat. Only a short hike in, a few visitors are already enjoying the amazing view of Donner Lake from the Kathy Kessler Memorial picnic table, located at the end of a signed route near the southeast end of the property. For the summer of 2012, map kiosks and trail markers are planned at the future parking area along the bottom of Old Highway 40. Thanks to funds provided by the Town of Truckee, a new parking area will be paved and maintained throughout the year, providing year-round legal parking for winter activities such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and even the occasional laps on the Lake Run.
Some of the area's newest trails have been constructed within Waddle Ranch, the nearly 1,500-acre Martis Valley property owned by the Truckee Donner Land Trust. A new loop of single-track overlooking Martis Creek Lake is now complete and can be enjoyed by parking at the end of Martis Creek road and following Matt, Erika and Megan's Trail (see new kiosk and trail signs for access). New for 2013, TDLT will open a trail called Katy's Walk, a single-track redesigned through upland areas to sensitively navigate native flora and fauna along Lake Ella (dry lake).
When completed, the Donner Rim Trail will be the little brother to the neighboring Tahoe Rim Trail. The current trail runs from Tahoe Donner to Summit Lake and connects to the famous Hole in the Ground trail on Donner Summit, which can also access Sugar Bowl Resort and beyond. The Truckee Donner Land Trust is currently planning two new sections that will connect from Tahoe Donner Association to Donner Memorial State Park, and then Donner State Park to Donner Summit. The finished trail will be approximately 23 miles long.
The largest project the Tahoe Rim Trail Association has taken on since the Tahoe Rim Trail's completion is a roughly 13-mile connection from the trail near Mount Rose to Reno. The Rim to Reno project will be built by volunteers and will connect with the Thomas Creek trail network at the southwest end of Reno.
We always appreciate new trail-builders. Gooddirtyfun is a volunteer trail maintenance crew that came about by partner efforts of The Truckee Donner Land Trust and Truckee Trails Foundation, designed to maintain area trails within Waddle Ranch Preserve, the Donner Lake Rim Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Volunteer trail maintenance days are Wednesday evenings and select Saturdays. If you would like to participate, contact Land Trust Stewardship Director John Svahn firstname.lastname@example.org, or the executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation, Allison Pedley, at www.truckeetrails.org.
— Team rider Forrest Huisman is the author of this week’s Marc Pro-Strava Racing column. Marc Pro-Strava Racing is a Truckee-based cycling team focused on racing and local bike advocacy. For more info visit http://marcpro-strava.com.