Run Truckee River Legacy Trail

The Truckee River Legacy Trail currently offers 2.6 miles of paved bike path alongside the Truckee River. This scenic and sunny route is part of the ultimate plan to build an off-street connection between Donner Lake and Glenshire. (Click here for the Town of Truckee’s Trails and Bikeways Master Plan.)

Trailhead parking near the pedestrian bridge is a nice spot for throwing rocks in the river

While the path is not plowed for winter use, much of it receives full sun. It melts out fast in the spring and is runnable late into the fall. For light snowfall early or late in the season, the Truckee River Legacy Trail is a good spot to try this footprint running exercise.

The path is used for a number of local running events, including Girls on the Run events and the Truckee Running Festival. Both courses start and finish at Riverview Sports Park.

Best for:

  • Running on a not-too-hilly paved path
  • Pavement run without traffic
  • Going for a run while the family plays at the park or river

But watch out for:

  • Loose (sometimes wet) dogs
  • Not plowed in the winter

Getting there

There are three primary access points for the path: Truckee Regional Park at the west end, Riverview Sports Park near the east end, and the pedestrian bridge trailhead in between. The easiest access for a short, flat-ish run is via the pedestrian bridge. Restrooms and water are available at either park.

Truckee Regional Park: Truckee Regional Park is located at the intersection of Brockway Rd. and Palisades Dr. To get there from Downtown Truckee, head south/southeast on Brockway Rd. Continue up Brockway Rd to the first traffic light. Go straight through the light, but immediately take the next left into the park. The paved path starts near the street; go west on the path back toward Downtown and through the disc golf course.

Riverview Sports Park: Riverview Sports Park is located at 12200 Joerger Dr. From Downtown Truckee, head south/southeast on Brockway Rd. Continue up Broackway Rd through one traffic light and straight through one roundabout. At the next light, continue straight onto Soaring Way. Immediately turn left onto Joerger Dr. The park is on your left. [UPDATED 7/17/2012:] The paved path now starts at the restrooms and proceeds through the park in a downhill (north/northeast) direction, where it leaves the park at the northeast corner of the lower field.

Pedestrian Bridge: Leave Downtown Truckee headed south/southeast on Brockway Rd. Turn left on East River St. immediately after crossing the railroad tracks. Continue east for 3/4 mile to the end of the street. Paved trailhead parking is on the right. There are no restrooms. There is access for kids to play at the Truckee River here – my daughter calls it “Pebble Beach.”

Kids enjoy the novelty of this unique play structure at Riverview Sports Park

Routes

Pedestrian Bridge Out-and-Back

3.6 miles total out-and-back

For a flatter run (really, there are no flat runs in Truckee), start at the pedestrian bridge and head east (turn left) after crossing the bridge. This avoids the steepest part of the trail on the west end that goes up into Truckee Regional Park. Run out and back as far as you like, or to the end for a round-trip total of 3.6 miles. Ignore the two path forks that head uphill away from the river.

Click here for an interactive map and GPS data for the Truckee River Legacy Trail: Bridge Out-and-Back route.

Park-to-Park

2 miles each way / 4 miles out-and-back

Kids have a soccer game at Riverview Sports Park? Or maybe you are picking up fresh fruit at the Farmer’s Market at Truckee Regional Park? Run from park-to-park. From either park you will descend to the river before hitting the flatter part of the path. The descent from Truckee Regional Park is significant but not terribly steep.

Click here for an interactive map and GPS data for the Truckee River Legacy Trail: Park-to-Park route.

End-to-End

2.6 miles each way / 5.2 miles out-and-back

To run the entire Legacy Trail from end-to-end, start at Truckee Regional Park and continue 2.6 miles to the end, the “Ice Dam Overlook”. Stay on the primary path by ignoring any forks up the hill away from the river.

Click here for an interactive map and GPS data for the Truckee River Legacy Trail: End-to-End route.

Route Variations

Downtown Connections

From Downtown Truckee you can run .75 miles on East River Street (a quiet residential road) to access the pedestrian bridge trailhead. You can also connect in Downtown Truckee to bike paths in other directions. Continue North on Brockway Rd. / Bridge St. until it goes under Interstate 80, where you will find a path to the Community Recreation Center and beyond. Or, run west through town on Donner Pass Rd. (I suggest you use the sidewalk). Continue west to the small round-about where you will find a path (not all paved) up “Hippie Hill” to the Sierra College Campus.

Girls on the Run Courses

As I mentioned above, the Truckee River Legacy Trail is home to the Girls on the Run – Sierras events.

Click here for an interactive map and GPS data for the Girls on the Run 5k course (June 2012).

Click here for an interactive map and GPS data for the Girls on the Run 10k course (June 2011).

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