Newly-opened paved trail connects Truckee to Northstar

Event presenters included U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, Northstar Community Services District General Manager Mike Staudenmayer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Deputy District Commander Lt. Col. Dianna Lively, Vail Resorts Director of Mountain Planning Jerusha Hall and Placer County Department of Parks and Open Space Administrator Andy Fisher.
Courtesy Placer County

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A new paved pathway is now open in Truckee, connecting the town through Martis Valley to Northstar Drive.

Placer County officials on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of the Martis Valley Trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“I am ecstatic to see the trail’s completion and pleased that it goes through such a beautiful portion of the Martis Valley.” said Mike Staudenmayer, Northstar Community Services District general manager, in a news release. “There was a time when we feared the trail would run alongside Highway 267 and thankfully better minds prevailed. I look forward to watching generations to come enjoy the nature that surrounds this pathway.”

The paved trail is 4.6 miles and is open to pedestrians and cyclists. The trail cost roughly $3 million per mile, according to Placer County Parks Administrator Andy Fisher. The trail runs from the roundabout at Northstar Drive across Martis Valley and Schaffer Mill Road, and enters Truckee near Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital.

The project was made possible through collaboration between Placer County and Northstar Community Services District and includes partnerships with the United States Army Corp of Engineers, Truckee Donner Land Trust and Northstar California / Vail Resorts. United States Congressman Tom McClintock was also instrumental in gaining final approval for the project.

“The completion of this trail is bittersweet,” said McClintock during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “It’s a great feeling to participate in the grand opening of this section of trail after 18 years of effort on the part of so many, but we must do better in the future to streamline federal processes and cut through bureaucratic red tape. Eighteen years is way too long for the construction of a 4-mile trail.”

Washoe Tribe members were also consulted to understand their rich history and concerns with cultural preservation. With continuing input from the Tribe, the project incorporates protections of cultural resources and conveys the story of the Tribe’s rich history in the Martis Valley through interpretive kiosks on the trail.

The project will ultimately become part of the Resort Triangle Trail, which, when complete, will consist of 62 miles of trails connecting the communities of Kings Beach, Tahoe City, Olympic Valley, Truckee, Martis Valley and Northstar in a loop trail. The trail will be paved and separated from highways and roads to maximize the safety and experience of trail users. The next phase of work will involve a trail from the roundabout at Northstar Drive to The Village at Northstar. From there, sights will be set on linking Valley to Truckee and connecting trails from Dollar Point to North Tahoe Regional Park, according to Fisher.

“This day represents one more leap forward towards achieving the Resort Triangle trails network,” said District 5 Supervisor and Board Chair Cindy Gustafson. “Our vision for a 62-mile loop that connects all of the destinations in our region is a huge endeavor and the progress we make must be celebrated to encourage our next generation to champion the cause.”

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