Trail will go from Silver Saddle Ranch to Governors Field
Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space plans to build three miles of new trails along the Carson River and Prison Hill.
“When it’s complete you’ll be able to walk from Silver Saddle Ranch to Roop Street’s Governors Field on 100 percent off-street path,” said Ann Bollinger, Open Space administrator.
Making it possible is the largest project grant the department has ever received — a $1.84 million Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA) grant from the Bureau of Land Management.
The Carson River Trail System Phase 2 consists of one trail connecting Riverview Park and running south along the Carson River to Lloyd’s Bridge at Carson River Road with plans to run the path under the bridge for safe passage.
From there, hikers can pick up existing trails at Silver Saddle Ranch that will lead to another new trail running north from the ranch buildings up the west side of Carson River Road to the Prison Hill 5th Street trail head.
Another grant from State of Nevada, Division of State Lands for $200,000 is being used to improve the trailhead, said Bollinger, by adding a gravel base, restroom, picnic table and parking stall.
From there the trail connects to a path that leads to Governors Field.
“From Silver Saddle, the trail along Prison Hill is the most direct route to 5th Street, Linear Park Trail and Governors Field, an approximate distance of 3.5 miles. Additionally, from Silver Saddle Ranch, folks can travel a longer route along the river to Riverview Park which connects to the Mexican Ditch Trail, Linear Park Trail and Governors Field,” said Bollinger. “All of these trails will directly connect and link to approximately 12 miles of wide, family-friendly trails. For those looking for more challenge, the new trails also link to steeper, single-track trails on Prison Hill.”
Construction on the new trails should start in 2019, she said, delayed some by work on flood damage the city is completing first.
“The flood helped with (planning) the trail,” said Bollinger. “I came down here and took photos of the high ground and said I know where the trail should be.”
The riverbank trail needs more environmental study, at the urging of the Open Space Advisory Committee, to determine any impact to wildlife such as deer and coyote.
The trails have yet be designed but will likely be 10-12 foot paths constructed of compacted, decomposed granite, said Bollinger.
Also to be determined is whether dogs will be allowed at all or if leashed, especially along the river path.
“On Prison Hill that’s not so much of a problem,” said Bollinger.
Bollinger said in a year the department will likely apply for another SNPLMA grant to do work at Silver Saddle Ranch which may include adding a welcoming center in either a new structure or by converting one of the existing structures there.
And there are plans for additional trails later. One trail running just north of Carson River Road would connect the riverbank and Prison Hill trails by circumventing Silver Saddle Ranch, and another trail would cut across the ranch and connect up with the road trail.
“We’re excited about the connectivity,” said Chas Macquarie, a project manager with Lumos & Associates and a vice president with Muscle Powered. “Trail systems get used a lot more if they’re connected.”