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Dog-friendly, Snow-Free Winter Trails to Walk or Run in Truckee

Siobhan Kenney
January 27, 2021
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We’re all itching to get outdoors after being cooped up inside during winter storm days. Lucky for us, Truckee has 21 miles of paved trails that get plowed and stay clear of snow. Here are three that are perfect for a run on a crisp winter day, a long walk with your furry friend, or enjoying fresh mountain air with the whole family (stroller friendly!) - Trout Creek Trail, Martis Dam Road, and Legacy Trail. Track the snow plows live and see when they clear the trails using Truckee 511.

Dog-friendly, snow-Free winter trails in Truckee.

Tap the button below for a printable map of all 21 miles of snow-free winter trails in Truckee.

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Trout Creek Trail

3 miles roundtrip

Nestled between downtown Truckee and Tahoe Donner, the Trout Creek Trail is a peaceful reprieve from the busy surrounding neighborhoods. There is ample parking if you start in Tahoe Donner, but starting from the other end is advantageous if you want to take advantage of the close proximity to historic downtown. The main trailhead in Tahoe Donner is located just off of Northwoods Blvd., past the Coyote Moon Golf Course. Even though the trail is just a stone’s throw from Truckee’s main thoroughfare, it feels tucked away.

Sunny, snow-free Trout Creek Trail.

You can also access the Trout Creek Trail from the Pioneer Commerce Center, although you will have to walk on snow for a short distance on the Pioneer Bike Path, which is not plowed, before connecting to the Trout Creek Trail. While you’re there, you can get your breakfast fix from Full Belly Deli, have a cup of locally roasted coffee from Pacific Crest Coffee Company, or detox with organic cold-pressed juice from The Mill.

A view of an open section of the Trout Creek Trail in Truckee.

This winter trail is a great way to get to downtown Truckee, especially during busy weekends when parking is an issue. It spits you out on Bridge Street which is a block away from the hub of downtown Truckee on Donner Pass Road. Across the street, you’ll find Alibi Ale Works - Truckee Public House, a locals choice for craft beer and nachos, or take a short walk down Jibboom Street to warm up with a delicious hot drink at Coffeebar (like their lavender latte, my favorite!) 

Map and Directions

📍Trout Creek Trail

Martis Dam Road

5 miles roundtrip

The Martis Dam Road feels like a local’s secret at times. It’s off the beaten track, far from downtown and any major neighborhoods. The trail is open and expansive, especially where the road ends at the dam, and usually gets a lot more sunshine than the other spots. 

Wide view of the Martis Dam Road, a snow free winter trail in Truckee.

Because the Martis Dam Road is much wider than the Legacy Trail or Trout Creek Trail, it's a stress-free option if you have bulky strollers or a dog pack in tow. Make sure to take a minute to enjoy the 360-degree views of Martis Valley to the north, the crest of the Sierras to the west, and Northstar to the south.

The Martis Creek Road cutting through the forest in Truckee with snow on the banks.

I like to make a short detour down Martis Creek Road (on the left about 1.6 miles from the winter gate) to watch planes fly by as they make their descent into the Truckee airport. Their flight path takes them directly overhead towards a runway on the other side of the ridge. If you're out with little ones, the airport comings and goings provide endless entertainment!

A small plane overhead against a blue sky coming into the Truckee Airport near the Martis Dam Road.

After your walk, check out Red Truck in the Truckee Tahoe Airport. Their cafe serves up delicious local and sustainably sourced eats, and is just around the corner from Martis Dam Road!

Map and Directions

📍Martis Dam Road Trail

Legacy Trail

9.5 miles roundtrip

The Legacy Trail is a standby for Truckee locals. The 10 mile out and back paved path is a great spot to stretch your legs for a much longer walk or run in winter. There are a few places to pick up the trail - the Truckee Regional Park, the pedestrian bridge at the end of East River Street in downtown Truckee, and Glenshire Drive, just before the entrance to the Glenshire neighborhood.

A view of the Truckee River from the pedestrian bridge on the Legacy Trail.

This winter trail is mostly flat, twisting and turning through the forest as it meanders alongside the Truckee River. It’s a beautiful trail, especially in winter when the banks and river rocks are covered in snow. The scenery is hard to beat and near the end of the trail it opens up with great views of Martis Valley. 

A sign at the trail junction of the Legacy Trail in Truckee. Snow in the background.

If you start at the Regional Park, you can cover the entire 10 mile roundtrip distance to Glenshire and back. This is a great place to start if you want to pack your day full of fun outdoor activities: start with a walk on the Legacy Trail and end with ice skating at the Regional Park’s outdoor ice rink.

The pedestrian bridge at the end of East River Street is another popular place to pick up the Legacy trail. There’s plenty of parking here and it cuts off significant distance if you want to run all the way to Glenshire. 

Map and Directions

📍Legacy Trail

Winter Trail Etiquette

Enjoy our winter trails and Recreate Responsibly! Here are a few basic “rules of the road:” 

  • Be COVID Safe. Wear a face covering, give others 6 feet of distance, and stay off the trail if you are feeling sick.
  • Heel Buster! Manage your dog on the trail and follow any leash laws.
  • Pack it Out. Take your trash with you, pick up after your dog, and try to leave the trail better than you found it. 
  • Share the Trail. These plowed winter trails are popular among runners, dog walkers, bikers, and stroller pushers. Be courteous of others and make space for passerby's. 

Get directions to the Trout Creek Trail, Legacy Trail, and Martis Dam Road.

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