Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poedunk Trail, west of Keystone Canyon Trail

Poedunk Trail traversing a typical Washoe County winter landscape with a half & half pattern—a northeast-facing, snowy slope next to a south-facing, snowfree hillside

The Poedunk Trail runs roughly parallel to the Keystone Canyon Trail. Connected via the Rancho Connector Trail (RCT), Fisticuffs Trail and Total Recall Trail, those two hiking and mountain biking trails form the major north-south axis of the current Peavine Trails network, which is projected to further grow westward onto the upper Peavine Mountain hills.

The Poedunk Trail, a single-track trail, is also open to horseback riding. This trail is named after the Poedunks (, a trail club affiliated with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). According to the Poedunk website, the Reno-based Poedunks build and maintain non-motorized trails on Peavine in partnership with Washoe County Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Reno and other Peavine user groups. Let's congratulate them for what they have achieved so far!

All year round, you will come across mountain, snow or mud bicyclists on Peavine trails. I am also frequently meeting hikers and runners, but have never seen anyone horse riding within this open-space neighborhood northwest of Reno.

To get to the south-side “Poedunk Trailhead,” you may either start from the East Keystone Trailhead (see “Getting to the Keystone Canyon Trailhead” in my previous post “Keystone Canyon Trail”) or from the Middle Keystone Access area, just north of the Leadership Parkway. From East Keystone, follow the RCT northwestward, from Middle Keystone, follow the RCT northward: the Poedunk Trailhead is the RCT/Poedunk Trail junction at Trail Marker 34. Go north-northwest on Poedunk Trail. Very soon, you are going to arrive at what looks like a five-trail junction, marked by Trail Marker 35. The steep, dirt-road incline to your left is a non-recommended short-cut to the Halo Trail's Stonehendge section. The two trails to the right are inofficial connections with the Keystone Canyon Trail.

Bullet craters in mapped Peavine landscape
Continuing north on Poedunk Trail for about one mile, you will get to its junction with the Fisticuffs Trail at Marker 36. Further uphill, you will find a vista bench with views of the Truckee Meadows, Huffaker Hills and horizonal Virgina Range. Nearby on this saddle is Marker 37, from where the Snow Terraces Trail winds uphill to the Snow Terraces and Halo Trail. Continuing downhill on Poedunk Trail for about half a mile, you will come to its intersection with dirt road 21535—at Trail Marker 38, next to a former staging area, which was used as a target shooting platform. Now, this is a declared “Congested Area” and the discharge of firearms is prohibited. But bullet holes in the displayed map of prohibited and restricted areas in the Peavine foothills indicate some recent discharge. One bullet almost punched through the “You Are Here” point. From here, Poedunk Trail winds further downhill, passes a small pine grove and continues alongside a creek until it ends at its junction with the Total Recall Trail—at Trail Marker 39.

The east-side branch of Total Recall Trail connects with Keystone Canyon Trail. If you are ready for a larger loop, climb northwest on Total Recall Trail to Trail Marker 49, from where you can return to marker 37 via many switchbacks along Halo Trail and then Snow Terrace Trail. 

Poedunk Trail near its junction with Total Recall Trail
Poedunk Trail near its junction with Total Recall Trail

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