Group asks volunteers to hit old, dusty trail |

Group asks volunteers to hit old, dusty trail

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunJohn Svahn of the Truckee Trails Foundation points out what volunteers will be doing to the Glenshire-to-Martis-Valley trail during Truckee Trails Day Saturday.

Slipping and stumbling up a steep section of the eroding trail, it’s easy for a hiker to see why this year’s Truckee Trails Day organizers want to deploy volunteers with hand tools to improve the Glenshire to Martis Valley Trail.

Sponsored by the Truckee Trails Foundation, the fourth annual Truckee Trails Day will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday (Sept. 15). The foundation is seeking volunteers of all ability levels to contribute to one of the region’s great resources ” and they will even treat the volunteer trail builders afterward to a barbecue lunch.

“Initially we thought about a multi-trail project, but when we went out with Jacqui Zink near the Martis Dam, we knew we had to focus on that,” said Leigh Fitzpatrick, outgoing executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation.

John Svahn, who will replace Fitzpatrick as the group’s executive director, said the main issue to be addressed on the trail is a steep grade that follows the fall line, the course water would flow, making for increased erosion.

“It’s up to a 28 percent grade, which is steeper than what is considered sustainable,” Svahn said. “Five to 8 percent ” even anything over 10 percent ” should be shorter and covered with rock to secure the soil.”

In addition to fixing the grade, volunteers will reinforce sections of the trail with stepped platforms to keep cross-slope erosion in check, with a goal of widening the trail to 24 to 30 inches.

Work will involve anything from trimming brush away from the trail to creating a new trail that follows a more sustainable grade, and Svahn said anybody can help, so long as they have a good pair of shoes, sunscreen, gloves and eye protection.

Fitzpatrick said the foundation is looking to recruit about 60 volunteers Saturday.

“We need a lot of bodies; last year we had about 65, and we hope to have the same number again,” Fitzpatrick said.

Last year’s Trails Day project, the Stockrest Springs Trail connecting Olympic Heights to Truckee, is waiting for cleanup work on the U.S. Forest Service property that will house the town’s corporation yard in the future, Fitzpatrick said.

“That trail will offer pretty neat views and fun terrain for mountain bikers in Glenshire for an urban trail,” Fitzpatrick said.

He also said a series of trails in East West Partners’ developments is coming along, connecting areas in Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood.

Planning for the Truckee River Legacy Trail continues to move forward, with some issues with different property owners still to be worked out, Fitzpatrick said.

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