U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has signed off on the latest round of Nevada conservation projects including a $2.3 million makeover of one of the most popular trailheads in Carson City.
Carson City Trails Coordinator Gregg Berggren said the federal funding, which stems from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, will be used to renovate the Riverview Park Trailhead.
“This project will renovate one of Carson City’s oldest trailheads, located at 603 Marsh Road, which is at the east end of 5th Street adjacent to Riverview Park and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Park,” Berggren said. “This is one of the most popular locations for access to over 14 miles of multiuse trails within Riverview Park and the Carson River area. The existing parking lot, facilities, and infrastructure at this location are old, unattractive, high-maintenance and in need of replacement.”
The federal grant requires no local match. While the release of funds could take months, Berggren said construction could begin in 2025.
“This project will demo the existing facilities and create a completely new trailhead that is energy efficient, low maintenance, reduces the amount of required irrigation, uses attractive fencing, is accessible to everyone and is thoughtfully designed to complement the neighborhood within which it is located,” he said.
Graphic from Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space graphic showing a conceptual design for improvements at Riverview Park Trailhead.
According to Berggren, improvements would include a paved parking area; low impact development (LID) drainage features to handle runoff; a concrete pedestrian walkway that provides access to facilities and is ADA compliant; a new heated and insulated restroom with flush toilets and LED safety lighting; a shade structure that would double as a platform for ranger and naturalist programs and events; new fencing with a trail entrance amenable to adaptive bicycles and wheelchairs; native landscaping and preservation of two historic ranch structures.
“The historic structures at the Riverview Park entrance are part of the historic Pierini Ranch, established in 1919,” said Berggren. “One of the structures is a brick oven, used by the Pierini family to bake their bread, pies, meats and even a whole lamb on Easter. The other structure is a milk house where the family made cheese, ricotta, cream and skim milk.”
The renovation project will also make the Korean War Veterans Memorial more accessible.
“The Korean War Veterans Memorial will not be replaced, but modifications will be made to enhance safety and access for persons with disabilities,” Berggren said. “We will work with the Korean War Veterans group as we design these modifications.”
In a March 16 press release, the Department of Interior announced $417 million in SNPLMA funding for 47 projects in Nevada and the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. According to the release, SNPLMA has generated more than $4 billion for recreation and restoration projects since enactment, with portions of revenue going toward education in Nevada and the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
“Since 1998, public land sales in the Las Vegas Valley have funded projects that benefit communities and improve the overall quality of life for residents and visitors,” said Haaland.
Berggren pointed to other Carson City projects SNPLMA funds have supported, including recent grants for water rights at Buzzy’s Ranch and a new trail on the west side of Prison Hill.
“One of the things that’s kind of cool about it is this funding does not come from tax dollars but the revenue from sale of BLM land, so Carson City is getting these projects done without expending tax dollars,” he said.
Berggren said the Carson River trail system is advanced enough that future construction on the Riverview entrance shouldn’t prevent people from enjoying the many routes and loops.
“We now have enough trailheads in the Carson River area that while construction is going on, we can redirect people to other places.”
Carson River Park, Morgan Mill, 5th Street Trailhead, Silver Saddle Ranch and Empire Ranch Trailhead are other places residents can enter the trail system.
For information, visit https://www.carson.org/government/departments-g-z/parks-recreation-open-space/parks-and-places/trails/carson-river-prison-hill-area/.
Map of the Carson River and Prison Hill trail system in Carson City courtesy of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department.