Monday, October 21, 2013

River Fork Ranch's West Fork Trail, Douglas County, Nevada

West Fork Carson River between Genoa and Muller Lane

Carson Valley's River Fork Ranch east of Genoa features two trails: the 0.7-mile-long East Brockliss Loop and the two-mile long (one way) West Fork Trail, both part of the Genoa Trail System. The West Fork Trail—open to foot and bicycle travel—follows the West Fork Carson River from the Nature Conservancy's Whit Hall Interpretive Center at Genoa Lane to Muller Lane further south.

The level trail leads through streamside habitat and ranch land. The river and patchwork of wetlands sustain residential and visiting birds such as marsh wrens, egrets, herons, hawks and eagles, just to name a few. The western pond turtle and the northern leopard frog also are calling the Carson River floodplains their home; as illustrated on a Nature Conservancy panel.

Along the trail you will find benches such as the one with the inscription In Loving Memory of William T. Downey “Signed and sealed to nature. Be it so.” A nice place to relax and to scan the mountain range with Freel, Jobs, Silver and Highland Peak. While you are bird watching, you may be watched b cows—happy cows of Nevada privileged to live on a preserve.

Getting to the West Fork Trail access points
A map of the Genoa Trail System, showing both access points, can be viewed or downloaded via the Maps menu of the Explore Reno-Tahoe Portal. Or see the section Getting to the River Fork Ranch in my previous East Brockliss Loop post, describing how to get to the north access point next to the interpretive center.
Getting to the south access point: from Genoa's Mormon Station State Park, drive south on Foothill Road for about three miles, turn left onto Muller Lane and find the trailhead gate after one mile on the left side of the road.

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