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Truckee's Trail Hosts, Ambassadors, Volunteers & Guided Hikes - Summer 2023

Alex Silgalis
August 4, 2023
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Teams of Truckee Ambassadors, Hosts & Volunteers

It takes a collective commitment to stewardship and sustainability for Truckee to thrive as an authentic mountain town, from our pristine mountainscape to  historic downtown and the Truckee River. Many of the organizations that manage Truckee’s public lands have teams of ambassadors and volunteers who keep an eye on trail conditions and lead programs about the area’s natural and cultural history. They’ll teach you a bit about local history, flora and fauna, provide tips on where to go, how to leave no trace, trail etiquette, and introduce you to new trails. Enjoy these resources, offer them feedback and consider donating. Let's all support a Sustainable Truckee!

Five Organizations who Steward Truckee’s Special Places with Boots on the Ground

To ensure future generations can enjoy public lands in the Truckee-Tahoe region, it takes many organizations and groups each focused on certain benefits or needs. Unlike a national park, Truckee doesn’t have one singular land management agency. So it’s up to the collective to steward them. By working together on trail projects and stewardship messaging, Truckee organizations are able to amplify their impact and create lasting positive change on our landscape.

Truckee Donner Land Trust - Docent Led Hikes

Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) works with landowners, federal, state and local governments, and the public to protect vital open spaces and provide access so that everyone can enjoy nature. Since 1990, they’ve protected over 40,000 acres of lands by negotiating land acquisitions, easements, and land exchanges including places like Webber Lake.

Introduce yourself to the TDLT lands by seeing them with a guide who knows the area.  Throughout the summer, docents lead hikes into these protected lands so that people can find new trails, and learn more about the land and the Tahoe Donner Land Trust. You’ll come home with a better understanding of the area and the importance of conservation as well as land preservation.

August Hikes

Aug 19, 2023: Donner Summit Canyon


Aug 23, 2023: Frog Lake Cliff


Aug 30, 2023: Royal Gorge Point Mariah


September Hikes

September hikes will be announced in August.

Here's the latest list of docent-led hikes in the 2023 hiking season.

Group of people on a Truckee Donner Land Trust docent-led hike.
TDLT Docent-led hike. Photo credit: Herb Hwang

Donner Memorial State Park - Interpretive Volunteers

This park was formed in 1928 to honor and preserve the site and the cabins that gave shelter to the ill-fated Donner Party, as well all pioneers who walked through here via the Emigrant Trail. Today it honors Truckee-Tahoe’s natural and cultural history including the Washoe Tribe and Truckee’s Chinese history. Within its 3,200 acres, you’ll find a variety of year-round activities alongside the history from hiking trails to summer boating. 

To really appreciate the bounty, volunteers and rangers lead free interpretive tours in the park. Learn about the history that took place here on a 60 minute tour offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm during the summer and fall. Shove off on a fourteen-foot raft with a guide who will discuss wildlife diversity and the rich cultural history of the area. Donner Lake Paddling Tours are offered each Thursday from June 22 to November 16, 2023 at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm. Do your part to clean-up the state park as well as learn about the local wildlife via a Stewardship and Cleanup Hike.

August Hikes

Aug 4, 2023: Guided Hike & Cleanup


Aug 18, 2023: Guided Hike & Cleanup


September Hikes

Sep 1, 2023: Guided Hike & Cleanup


Here's the latest list of interpretive programs in 2023.

Person leading a Donner Memorial State Park evening program at an outdoor amphitheater.
Donner Memorial State Park evening program.
Woman talking to crowd at a Donner Memorial State Park interpretive program.
Donner Memorial State Park program.
People on blue raft at a Donner Memorial State Park guided paddle tour.
Donner Memorial State Park guided paddle tour on Donner Lake.
Group of people with trash collecting supplies outside of Donner Memorial State Park visitor center.
Donner Memorial State Park stewardship hike and cleanup.

Truckee Trails Foundation - Trail Ambassadors

At its roots, the Truckee Trails Foundation is a trails and bikeways advocacy group. Their focus is on ensuring that Truckee has a critical town-wide bicycling infrastructure. And, that the network is one that both visitors and the community can embrace and use year-round. Since its formation, they now manage over 180 miles of non-motorized trail in the Tahoe National Forest and continue to build more. 

If you spend time on one of the trails they manage, there’s a good chance you’ll run into a TTF Trail Ambassador. They roam the paved bike paths like the iconic Truckee River Legacy Trail and stroll the dirt trails such as the Five Lakes Trail to the south of Alpine Meadows. They even might be mountain biking the Sawtooth Trail System. 

You’ll easily identify a Trails Ambassador in a Truckee Trails Foundation and/or t-shirt that says “Ambassador” (pictured above). They help spread the message of what TTF does and assist trail users. This could include anything from bike repairs to directions. They’re also the eyes and ears of the organization helping note the trail conditions such as downed trees and being the lookout for fires.

Truckee Trails Foundation ambassador standing on the Truckee River Legacy Trail.
Truckee Trails Foundation ambassador on the Legacy Trail.
Truckee Trails Foundation ambassador on the Legacy Trail, overlooking the Truckee River.
Truckee Trails Foundation ambassador on the Legacy Trail, near the Glenshire trailhead.

Tahoe Donner Association - Trail Crew Hikes

To the northwest of the downtown Truckee district, you’ll find the Tahoe Donner neighborhood. More than just a homeowner’s association, it includes several recreational amenities that are open to the general public including a trail system. The Tahoe Donner Trail System encompasses over 60 miles of trails across 5,000 acres of epic Sierra Nevada terrain. 

Throughout the summer months a variety of homeowners, board members, and the Tahoe Donner Trail Crew host events from E-bike tours to wildflower strolls. Join a Stewardship Day if you wish to help maintain trails and implement best management practices for a resilient and healthy ecosystem. Stewardship Days happen every other Thursday from 4-7 pm.

August Hikes

Aug 6, 2023: E-Bike Tour + Lunch at Euer Valley


Aug 10, 2023: Stewardship Day: Teewinot Trail Connection


Aug 13, 2023: E-Bike Tour + Lunch at Euer Valley


Aug 24, 2023: Stewardship Day: Nature Loop Repair


September Hikes

Sep 2, 2023: Guided Euer Valley Tour


Here’s the latest list of events in the 2023 hiking season.

Truckee Dirt Union - Mountain Bike Hosts

Truckee Dirt Union was formed by a coalition of Truckee mountain bikers to create and enhance singletrack trails that are geared toward mountain bikers. Their goal is also to educate visitors and residents about access opportunities and where the best riding in Truckee is happening via outlets such as the Cyclepaths-sponsored Singletrack Report on Truckee’s own 101.5 KTKE-FM.

The Truckee Dirt Union (TDU) has four dedicated trail stewardship hosts working across the Donkey Town trail network to continually improve the trail riding conditions all season long. They continue to spread the stoke on mountain biking by providing guidance and encouragement for riders both new and seasoned. You’ll identify a TDU member on-trail wearing the black and gold TDU jersey or if you see the top-tube TDU sticker plate on a fellow rider’s bike. If you do cross paths, be sure to give them a shout out to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

Throughout the mountain biking season, TDU hosts monthly Volunteer Trail Force activations so you can learn about stewardship via hands-on trail building beside legendary local trail builders, community members, and riders. They currently have three more community Volunteer Trail Force dig days scheduled in 2023. For more information about their events or to sign-up, visit their website.

Volunteer pointing towards the trail at a TDU trail work day.
Truckee Dirt Union volunteers.
Person moving large rock along the trail at TDU's trail day.
Truckee Dirt Union volunteer at a Trail Force Dig Day.
TDU tent with speaker talking to a crowd at a trail work day.
Truckee Dirt Union Trail Force Dig Day

Leave No Trace & Take Care Of Truckee

We’re grateful that you’ve taken an interest in our community while you’ve made it your home for a day, a week, or a lifetime. It’s up to each one of us to be a responsible traveler and follow the principles of Leave No Trace so that Truckee remains beautiful and vibrant with a healthy mountain ecosystem. Thanks for taking care of this special place.

Alex Silgalis

Born and raised as a flat lander in Chicagoland, Alex spent his summers working to save up for a season pass to the local hill along with any trips out West or beyond he could squeeze in. It was during his travels, both as a kid & an adult, Alex discovered his inspiration for Local Freshies® . His idea was to create the No. 1 Web site providing the local scoop on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer alongside the love of his life and business partner, Jaime Pirozzi.

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