Sunridge mountain biker Kary Grabow set out south on the new Clear Creek Trail on a Thursday evening last week.
“I used to ride the old Jeep trails through here,” he said as he took a sip of water.
The new trail officially opened on July 7 after Carson Valley Trails Association spent the first six months of 2022 blazing eight miles between the Jacks Valley Road Trailhead and James Lee Park in Indian Hills.
With the completion of the latest leg of the trail, bicyclists, hikers and equestrians can travel the average 5-percent grade 21.7 miles from Spooner Summit to the park, an altitude difference of 2,565 feet.
“It is a very fun trail,” Grabow said. “If you do the complete outer loop, you get a full view of the Carson Valley and Jacks Valley. It has some twisty challenges without being intimidating to new riders. As someone who lives in the neighborhood, it is nice being able to ride from your house without needing to drive to a trailhead.”
Approved by the U.S. Forest Service in November 2021, at one point during the winter, volunteers were building a mile of trail a week.
“The Jacks Valley Trail Project includes building two trails that will expand opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding in the vicinity of the Jacks Valley area,” said Carson District Ranger Matt Zumstein of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest last year. “This is just the first step building onto a trail system that will continue to improve community connectivity, reduce barriers to access, and support environmental and social sustainability of recreation for the Jacks Valley area.”
Last month, the association hosted a mountain biking event that focused on the trail.
“This newly constructed trail covers terrain that is perfect for beginners,” organizers said.
With the completion of the Clear Creek Trail, the association has now finished 63 miles of trail all around Carson Valley.
A celebration of the trails will be at the James Lee Park trailhead on Oct. 15.
Most of the north half of the trail connected Jacks Valley Road to Spooner Summit by 2017.
The Trails Association does all of its work through volunteers.