The Nature Loop in Tahoe Donner (Truckee) is less than 2 miles of trail through the heart of the neighborhood, connecting the Northwoods Clubhouse and the Trout Creek Recreation Center. The trail provides a connection between the two private Tahoe Donner amenities, the Northwoods Clubhouse (water slide pool, playground and tennis center) and the Trout Creek Recreation Center (pool, spa, gym, playground, golf driving range).
The nature loop location was the site of a saw mill in the 1800s, and is now home to many busy beavers on Trout Creek. Its single track trail surface varies from perfectly smooth to rocky, muddy and root-laden in places, so it is better suited for a nature hike with the family, as the name implies. However, it is still a very useful running trail for accessing and connecting road and trail running routes in Tahoe Donner.
- Connecting trails in the Tahoe Donner trail system
- Avoiding Northwoods Blvd.
- Observing beaver dam activity and Fall colors
But watch out for:
- Can be wet and muddy late into summer
- Moderate pedestrian and dog traffic
- Many roots and rocks
Ideally you will access this trail from the front door of your home or lodging in Tahoe Donner. Refer to this Tahoe Donner street map and the Tahoe Donner trail map. Access to the trail is available via the Northwoods Clubhouse, the Trout Creek Recreation Center, and also a trailhead located on Baden Rd. The Northwoods Clubhouse is located at the three-way intersection where Northwoods Blvd. intersects itself. Parking is just north of the intersection. Parking and trail access is also available at Trout Creek Recreation Center, 1 mile further north on Northwoods Blvd. Restrooms and facilities are available to Tahoe Donner members (homeowners) and guests at each location.
Leaving on foot from your home or lodging in Tahoe Donner, you can also access the trail from the Baden Rd. trailhead, which is located just off the top end of Zermatt Dr.
The Nature Loop is really two trails on either side of Trout Creek. The slightly shorter north trail (.7 miles) follows Northwoods Blvd., while the south trail (.9 miles) passes mostly behind Zermatt Dr. The south trail is generally more pleasant, as it suffers less road noise and you enjoy nice views of the creek and beaver dams. The south side is outfitted with some elevated boardwalks to keep your feet clear of the beaver’s flooded homes, whereas the north side sometimes has muddy spots well into summer. The disadvantage to the south side is that it is a bit steeper and the snow is slower to melt out in the spring.
The Baden Rd. trailhead drops steeply down onto the south side of the loop. When you reach the main trail, go left to access Trout Creek Recreation center or go right for Northwoods Clubhouse via the elevated boardwalk and beaver dams.
Use the nature loop to connect to other trails in the Tahoe Donner trail system (click here for a Tahoe Donner trail map) and also to avoid running on Northwoods Blvd. (click here for a Tahoe Donner street map).