Coldstream Canyon, Donner Lake offer fine running trails | SierraSun.com
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Coldstream Canyon, Donner Lake offer fine running trails

When I first moved to Truckee in 1998, Coldstream Canyon and the trails at Donner Lake were my daily training grounds. Iand#8217;ve since found other trails but find myself going back to those hallowed grounds often.

The area has many perks, plenty of parking, restrooms, a lake, a river, ponds, hills, technical trails, you name it. Really, if you want you can connect to the Pacific Crest Trail right at Tinkers Knob.

I use the area for a bunch of different workouts, mile repeats, intervals, hill repeats and tempo runs, to name a few. I thought Iand#8217;d share a bit on those specifics.



Mile repeats donand#8217;t really sound too fun, but they can be. From the Donner Lake damn to China Cove is about 1 mile. The terrain is flat and itand#8217;s relatively easy to run quickly. The trail disappears a couple times when you pass through popular picnic areas, but it returns. Mile repeats are a good way to do a few miles and not go too far from the car. And itand#8217;s a good trail to bring your dog (leashes are required in the state park).

For hill workouts youand#8217;ll need to make your way into Coldstream Canyon and find the JP Trail. The trail is awesome, but for this workout youand#8217;ll only run a very short section of it. The hill climb is just over a half-mile. Use the fire road at the top as your finish point. It is great hill workout. It offers steep pitches, short, flat recovery zones and gradual climbing. I like three to five repeats when doing this workout.



A great tempo run incorporates running the length of the lake, along the wooded trail, the Coldstream climb and loop, and finishing back at the 76 station. That workout is about 9 miles.

These are only small tastes of some fun workouts Iand#8217;ve created for myself at Donner Lake. My best piece of advice is to go for several exploratory runs through the area. There are many little trails that can easily be linked up and are a lot of fun to run. Best of all, youand#8217;re not running on the road around the lake.

Later Iand#8217;ll tell you how to incorporate many of these trails in to a killer interval workout that is incredibly fun to do.

and#8212; Peter Fain is a local trail runner who competes regularly in regional trail races and snowshoe runs in the winter. He may be contacted at runondirt@gmail.com.


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