Donner Rim Trail work days set for summer |

Donner Rim Trail work days set for summer

Trail building along the 22-mile multi-use Donner Lake Rim Trail is under way for the Summer 2000 season.

The June 24 kick-off work day was sponsored by Quality Enterprises – Vegetation and Timberland Contractor.

Quality Enterprises’s chainsaw-bearing crew, led by Darin Bue, put in 16 hours of volunteer time clearing a section of white thorn and brush in upper Negro Canyon.

A cadre of other volunteers, including members of the Marin County WOMBATS (a women’s mountain biking group), followed with trail-building crew leaders who cut and built trail tread along a switchback. The switchback further connects the Tahoe Donner Association’s trail system to the Donner Lake Rim Trail, ultimately connecting with the Pacific Crest Trail at Summit Lake on Donner Summit.

“The Donner Lake Rim Trail will provide 22 miles of loop access around Donner Lake,” said Kris Norris of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. “The trail will be used by equestrian riders, hikers and mountain bikers. There will be access from many trailheads to the Pacific Crest Trail and eventually to the 72-mile Legacy Trail in Tahoe City.”

Volunteer trail building will continue July 15 and 16 and Aug. 5 and 6 and 19 and 20, and individual volunteers are still needed to provide manpower for these work parties. SnowTech is sponsoring the Aug. 5 and 6 work party weekend, dubbed “Tahoe Donner Trail Days,” in an attempt to encourage Tahoe Donner homeowners to support the volunteer effort. SnowTech is providing manpower and machinery for the Aug. 5 and 6 work parties.

Norris explained that to complete the Rim Trail, the Truckee Donner Land Trust has scheduled work days for volunteers. She said that the State Parks also support the trail building, and Karl Knapp, the trail specialist for California State Parks Sierra District, supplies a liason for each work weekend who finishes up the professional trail building that volunteers can’t do. The Truckee Donner Land Trust also pays inmate crews from Nevada to do the tedious work, Norris said.

In addition to the individual volunteer effort, the Rim Trail will be worked on this summer by Service Elderhostelers, Sierra Club members sponsored by Claire Tappan Lodge and a group of volunteers from FATRACKS, an Auburn-based mountain biking club. Teachers from Prosser Creek Charter School are joining the effort on Aug. 5.

“We also rely on support from our local businesses,” said Norris. “Quality Enterprises and SnowTech have been really supportive, and Mountain Hardware, Safeway and WT Graphics have helped out a lot too.”

Planning and building the Donner Lake Rim Trail is an all-volunteer effort coordinated by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, whose mission is to preserve and protect open recreational, scenic and historic space in the Truckee/North Tahoe area.

With the crucial support of area businesses such as Quality Enterprises and SnowTech and the commitment of volunteer crew leaders Hal Parker, Ralph Hendrix, Buddy Hunt, Judy Mayorga, Craig Close, and Bill Oudegeest, this summer’s building season will meet the goal of 1,000 volunteer hours.

Norris said that the trail building will ultimately require 10,000 to 20,000 hours of volunteer time, but this summer, Truckee Donner Land Trust is aiming for 1,000 hours. With 10 miles built already and about 12 miles left to go, Norris estimates that trail building will have 5 to 10 more years before it is completed.

For more information, or to volunteer yourself or your organization, call the Truckee Donner Land Trust 530-582-4711 or email

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