Truckee Trails Foundation, Truckee Ranger District bring new trails to town

With the growing popularity of trails in our region among all user groups and ability levels, the Truckee Trails Foundation and United States Forest Service – Truckee Ranger District teamed up to create new trail options in the Sawtooth Ridge area this summer.

“Upon completion of the Big Jack East vegetation management project, we had an excellent opportunity to make improvements and additions to trails in the area,” Truckee Trails Foundation Executive Director Allison Pedley explained. One such project involved an overhaul to the existing “Happy Face” trail – an out and back trail up Bald Mountain frequented by mountain bikers and motorcyclists that had become severely eroded. Truckee Trails Foundation built a new four-mile loop taking a more sustainable approach to the top of Bald Mountain, where users are rewarded with views of Martis Valley.

For additional adventure, Truckee Trails Foundation’s trail crew also built a 0.6-mile, downhill (one direction), flowy jump trail that is open to intermediate and advanced mountain bikers. Officially named the “Wood Splitter Jump Trail,” this new offering is loaded with features including berms, table top jumps, hip jumps, tree gaps and rock drops.

“This trail shares part of the Happy Face uphill route, making it easy to incorporate a jump lap within a longer ride on Sawtooth or Happy Face trails,” Truckee Trails Foundation Stewardship Director Fil Grgic said. Wood Splitter Jump Trail is also open to Class 1 e-bikes.

Because Truckee Trails Foundation prides itself in meeting the needs of all types of users, a 1.4-mile trail designed with wheelchair, stroller, and strider bike uses in mind, was also recently completed by the crew. Located at the Sawtooth trailhead, the “Ridgeline Nature Loop” meanders through open forested areas, large boulders and sage scrub to a scenic overlook offering views of the Donner summit, Castle Peak, and even Carpenter Ridge. The trail was constructed out of compacted gravel and natural road-base materials, featuring passing zones and rest areas along the route. “Over 350 tons of aggregate base material was moved and compacted to create the trail surface,” Truckee Trails Foundation Program Manager Leslie Loveland explained. “The work was tedious but we are so happy with the result.”

If the weather holds, Grgic and Loveland will be working on an additional one-mile trail that will parallel the 06 road to the west, from the lower Sawtooth Trailhead to the middle Sawtooth Trailhead. This new non-motorized path to be named “Gentle Jeffrey” will essentially offer pedestrians a new option that allows them to avoid the dust of vehicle traffic on the 06. In 2020, Truckee Trails Foundation’s crew built a motorized trail – “Timber Cruise” — on the opposite side of the 06.

Additional work in this area is slated for 2022, including a potential mountain bike skills loop for beginners, and enhanced, sustainable hiking and mountain biking connections to local neighborhoods.

This Sawtooth trail work was made possible with generous contributions from Placer County, the National Forest Foundation, Visit Truckee Tahoe, and the Lahontan Community Foundation Fund held at the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation. Truckee Trails Foundation’s crew also conducted maintenance on 86 miles of trail in the Truckee Ranger District this season, graciously funded by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, Martis Camp Foundation, and Richard and Theresa Crocker Foundation.

“Truckee Trails Foundation’s Board of Directors is truly grateful for the support of our funding partners and for their belief in our mission,” Truckee Trails Foundation President Chris Parker said. “Our trail crew worked hard this summer and we think it shows.”

Source: Truckee Trails Foundation

Truckee Trails Foundation’s new Ridgeline Nature Loop.
Photo by Leslie Loveland

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