Dog-friendly, Snow-Free Winter Trails to Walk or Run in Truckee
Itching to get outdoors after winter storm days? Check out the 22 miles of scenic paved paths that are plowed and clear of snow during the winter months! Here are three of our favorites that are perfect for winter running, walking with your furry friend, or enjoying fresh mountain air with the whole family (stroller-friendly!) - Trout Creek Trail, Martis Dam Road, and Legacy Trail.
Not sure if the trails have been plowed yet? Use Truckee 511, a live map showing snow plow progress, to see if and when the trail is cleared.
Trout Creek Trail
- Distance: 3 miles roundtrip
- Google Map Directions: Trout Creek Trail
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.
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.
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!)
Martis Dam Road
- Distance: 5 miles roundtrip
- Google Map Directions: Martis Dam Road Trail
Martis Dam Road feels like a Truckee 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.
Because Martis Dam Road is much wider than 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.
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!
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!
- Distance: 9.5 miles roundtrip
- Google Map Directions: Truckee River Legacy Trail
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 River 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.
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.
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.