My Turn: State of the trails |

My Turn: State of the trails

Allison PedleySpecial to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Skis and snowshoes have replaced hiking boots, running shoes and bicycles, making it a good time to reflect on the growing network of trails in and around Truckee. Trails built in Truckee are directed by the Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, an ambitious proposition of nearly 130 miles of paved and earthen trails designed to connect every neighborhood in Truckee with each other, with downtown, and the open spaces beyond. It is a plan that envisions more residents getting out of their automobiles to commute to town, to school, or to their friendandamp;#8217;s house by muscle power andamp;#8212; on foot, wheels or skis. It is an equal-opportunity plan available to all. When complete, it will greatly enhance the safety of non-motorized travel. When complete, this system will be a tremendous community asset promising endless low-cost recreation, improved community health, increased air quality, and greater physical and social community connectivity. It is a plan that the Truckee Trails Foundation is dedicated to helping complete.The crown jewel of this system is the Truckee River Legacy Trail. This grand vision was conceived by the Rotary Club of Truckee as a way to provide greater recreational opportunities along the river, while encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy the river as our townandamp;#8217;s most defining natural feature. When finished, the trail will lead from Glenshire to Donner Lake, serving as the andamp;#8220;backboneandamp;#8221; to the entire system. In 2010, the town of Truckee completed another quarter mile of the Legacy Trail, giving us 2.75 miles so far. Last summer, the trail saw dog walkers, joggers, parents with strollers, riders on scooters, training wheels and wheelchairs andamp;#8211; everyone enjoying the trail in their own way.As with most trail construction, the Legacy Trail has required tremendous community input and funding. The initial phase of the trail was built by volunteers and donations from 28 local businesses and organizations. Subsequent phases were supported by funds from the Nevada County Transportation Commission, State Bond Funds, town of Truckee General Funds, a California State Parks grant, and most recently, federal stimulus funds and local grants from the Oandamp;#8217;Dette Mortgage Group Lending A Hand Grant, Truckee River Legacy Foundation and Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. A half-mile connector trail on Brockway Road is also on our list of important projects. Currently, those preferring non-motorized transportation along this stretch must walk or ride along a dangerous shoulder with cars speeding by. An off-road trail here will improve the safety of users, and also encourage more people to walk or ride into town. Like the Legacy Trail, the Brockway Road Trail has required a cooperative effort, including Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation and Truckee Trails Foundation. Given this trailandamp;#8217;s proximity to thousands of Truckee residents, businesses, additional trails and the Regional Park, we anticipate that trail usage will be substantial. Also among our priority trails is the proposed Tahoe Donner-to-Downtown andamp;#8220;Mougle Trail.andamp;#8221; This trail would start where Basel Place meets Mougle Road, head to Old Euer Valley Road and on into downtown Truckee. The trail would result in a far safer way for residents to use alternative transportation into town, avoiding the steep drop down (and up) Northwoods Drive. Early phases of preconstruction studies have been funded by Tahoe Donner and are under way to help make this trail a reality.For those who also enjoy our areaandamp;#8217;s dirt trails, there is no shortage here either. Truckee Donner Land Trust projects, including the Donner Lake Rim Trail and the Waddle Ranch Trail are two of our areaandamp;#8217;s most recent, outstanding additions. With help from the Land Trust, our season-long dirt trail maintenance program, Good Dirty Fun, is promising to provide regular maintenance to all our areaandamp;#8217;s earthen trails. With the Truckee River Watershed Council also doing work on local trails to prevent impacts to local streams and the Truckee River, we are together helping ensure that our dirt trails are not loved to death.Overall, thanks to a tremendous community effort, I say with confidence that the state of our areaandamp;#8217;s existing trails is superb. With persistent collaboration and energy, our trails will continue to grow and improve.The Truckee Trails Foundation would love to hear from you. Let us know if you have input on new potential trails, existing trails in need of repair, or any other trails issues on your mind, contact Allison Pedley at Pedley is executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation.

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