‘Pines to Mines’ Trail project open to public comment

Project designers are seeking public comment for “Pines to Mines” — a seven-year, 68-mile idea for a trail connecting Nevada City to Truckee — before the 30-day comment period expires Feb. 25.

Randi Shaffer, acting public affairs officer for the Tahoe National Forest, said trail makers will add 16 to 18 miles of new, native surface, single-track trail to 50 miles of existing trails within the national forest.

“We are a public land, so we thrive on public input,“ Shaffer said. ”We want the community to feel comfortable telling us how the land should be managed for potential uses — hiking, walking, equestrian, biking and running.

Shaffer said anyone who wants to use the trail or has a strong opinion about the project can comment through the national forest website or mail a letter to the office.

“As a forest, we are in the business of providing recreational activities to forest-goers” Shaffer said. “We’re never gonna say ‘no’ to new recreational opportunities for people.”

After the comment period concludes, “we’re going to review those comments, and put forth a revised plan,” Shaffer said. “That should be done late summer or early fall.”

The trail will stretch 80 miles, though it won’t all be under the the purview of the Tahoe National Forest.

“The 80-mile length is actually not far off in terms of the final proposed system connecting all the way to Truckee,” said Johnny Brokaw, the national forest’s environmental coordinator. “It’s just that the last segment — Trout Creek Canyon — is not in the TNF’s jurisdiction, thus is not included or mentioned in our proposed action as we would not be authorizing any designation for that section.”

Trout Creek Canyon represents the final connection between the Donner Lake Rim Trail and the town of Truckee proper.


The Nevada County Board of Supervisors in August unanimously approved $100,000 to fund the Pines to Mines Trail’s environmental assessment, a major move forward for this non-motorized trail.

Brokaw said the money was given to the Truckee Trails Foundation in November after the nonprofit won the bit to conduct the trail’s related studies.

The foundation will be using the services of Dudek, Brokaw said, an environmental consulting firm subcontracted to complete the required survey and analysis work.

According to a press release, the foundation in collaboration with partners has already completed 30% of the design on the 22-mile, unconstructed section of the proposed Pines to Mines Trail.

The project is a joint effort with trail advocates in western Nevada County, including the Bicyclists of Nevada County, Bear Yuba Land Trust, and Gold Country Trails Council.

Public input is especially appreciated because the national forest does not collect data on its visitors, Shaffer said, who is eager to promote all dimensions of co-stewardship with the land.

“Public lands are accessible to all,“ Shaffer said. ”We just ask that everyone does so responsibly, and follow the principles of ‘leave no trace’ and ‘pack it in, pack it out.’“

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun and The Union, a sister publication of the Sun. She can be reached at


John Brokaw

Tahoe National Forest All Units

631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA, 95959

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User