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No better time to hit a trail

Laura Petersen
Submitted to The Union
Richard Thomas of Sierra Club and Justin Harford of FREED will lead an all access Family Hike on the Hirschman Trail during Celebration of Trails. Scopes will be set up at the pond for turtle viewing. Folks who want to continue beyond the pond can do so.
Submitted by Laura Petersen |

Trails are important to the folks living in Nevada County.

Many people move to Nevada County for the wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities found in the Sierra Nevada foothills, often stitched together by a network of nature trails. On trails, people meet friends and make new ones. Trails are a cost effective way to improve property values, attract destination tourism dollars and benefit the health and wellbeing of trail users, young and old.

These and many more attributes of trails were spelled out Tuesday morning during a meeting of Nevada County Board of Supervisors. After hearing an overview of local trails presentation by Bear Yuba Land Trust and an outpouring of support voiced by trail users, the board unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming tomorrow, Saturday, as Celebration of Trails Day.

“Trails in Nevada County not only reveal the history of our region, they serve as a means for enjoying the Sierra environment and intimately experiencing the outdoors, and represent an important recreational resource, creating opportunities to hike, run, bike, ski and ride a horse. Trails in Nevada County improve the quality of life and health of those who live here, are enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and attract tourists and other visitors, thus enhancing the economy,” read the proclamation written by District 5 Nevada County Supervisor Richard Anderson.

Earlier this month, Anderson called a meeting of more than 20 influential trail and recreation groups from Eastern and Western Nevada County to discuss the possibility of improving multi-use trail connectivity between Truckee and Nevada City.

In conjunction with the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, this Saturday’s Nevada County Celebration of Trails is the one day of the year area trail enthusiasts and outdoor recreation groups come together for the biggest showcase of local community trails.

The day will start with a lineup of morning outings: A beginner, moderate and intermediate trek; a family bike ride and a run on local trails. After hitting the trail, participants will follow up with a family-friendly trails day festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tahoe National Forest headquarters, 631 Coyote St. in Nevada City – a one-stop resource to find gear, maps, learn about flora and fauna, and more. At 1 p.m. Supervisor Anderson will talk about the importance of trails, joining speakers: BYLT Trails Coordinator Shaun Clarke, Ellen Lampham of Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC) and a representative from Tahoe National Forest.

Morning outings include: An eight-mile hike along the South Yuba River with Trails Author Hank Meals; a cultural and botanical walk on the Tribute Trail with Shelly Covert of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and Ori Chafe of Sierra Streams; a family all accessible ramble on the Hirschman’s Trail to see the pond’s turtles with Justin Harford of FREED and Richard Thomas of Sierra Club; a six-mile family mountain bike ride and clinic with Ellen Lampham of Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC); and a Scotts Flat Lake Run with cross country coaches Sara Freitas and Angie Marino.

During the afternoon trail festivals, more than 20 outdoor booths will offer activities including: Food from Musa Musa, live music by Ragged but Right, a visit from Smokey Bear, bicycle repairs with Seven Hills Bicycle Recycle Project, hiking equipment, back country basics, Fender Blender lemonade, live rescued birds from Wildlife Rehab and Release, a bicycle helmet giveaway, face painting and more. This is a free event and an opportunity to get familiar with all the local trails and trail groups in the region.

Three Forks will provide all the micro-brews during the Celebration of Trails Day festival. Everyone who participates in trail activities in the morning will get a voucher for a free drink in the afternoon.

Event partners include: Inn Town Campground, Tahoe National Forest, SYRCL, Gold Country Trails Council, Sierra Club, The Sierra Fund, Friends of Spenceville, BONC, YBONC, IMBA, Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Forest Trails Alliance, Pacific Crest Trails Association, Trkac Running Store, Mountain Recreation, Wildlife Rehab and Release, Seven Hills Bicycle Recycle Project, South Yuba River Park Association, Empire Mine State Historic Park.

Learn more at: http://www.bylt.org

Laura Petersen is the Outreach Coordinator for Bear Yuba Land Trust.

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