Fresh tracks

Volunteers build new trails on Peavine


For a map of the Peavine Trail system, visit:
For more information on the Poedunks and upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit:
Poedunk trail crew members Kevin Joell, Greg Roller, Ruben Schaber and James Conway work on a section of the B-Lite Trail on Peavine Mountain.

Peavine Mountain, located just north of Reno, looks barren from a distance—but up close, a network of trails and dirt roads reveal evidence of a well-loved landscape. This spring, volunteers from a group called the Poedunks have been working to add one more trail to the mix, an 0.83 mile long segment called “B-Lite” that will allow hikers, bikers and other trail lovers to connect to Peavine’s extensive trail system from neighborhoods located along Las Brisas Boulevard.

Members of the Poedunks, a nonprofit trail building club, have been at work on Peavine Mountain since 2007. In that time, the group’s volunteers have constructed more than 30 miles of trail. Their name is rooted in local history. Poeville or Poe City—also informally called Poedunk—was a mining camp founded by John Poe in 1862, located on the slopes of Peavine. Residents were called “Poedunks.”

Although most of the members of the organization are mountain-bikers, the new trails are designed for multiple types of users.

“We’re assuming that the trail runners, the equestrians, the mountain bikers are going to be using this trail,” said Kevin Joell, Poedunks board member and volunteer trail-builder. “We try to anticipate how they’re going to be using it, and use that in the design.”

The B-Lite trail uses modern design techniques that follow the contours of the land, with grade reversals to allow water to flow off the trail, reducing erosion. The design also takes into account the needs of each type of user. Mountain bikers, for example, need wider turns and banked corners.

“They’re purpose-built trails,” Joell said. “This trail is going to last longer without maintenance than a trail of older design. And that’s the key—none of the land managers have money for maintenance. Most of the stuff that happens around here is volunteer-driven.”

The Poedunks’ work on Peavine occurs on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest land. This particular project has no funding, and has been constructed entirely by volunteer labor. Curtis Johnson, president of the Poedunks, credits much of what the group has accomplished on Peavine to a partnership with Forest Service recreation officer Daniel Morris.

“We have a great working relationship with the Forest Service to be able to work in here,” Johnson said. “They’re all legal trails, approved, which is no simple thing.”

In the past, some of the Poedunks’ Peavine trail projects have received grant funding from the Recreational Trails Program, administered by Nevada State Parks. Other funding comes from private donations, and proceeds from a bike race, the Battle Born Enduro. This year’s race, which will be held on Peavine Mountain on May 14, is a 25-mile endurance ride, and will include a section of the new B-Lite trail.

In the coming months, the Poedunks are changing their name to reflect new goals, and students from Spanish Springs High School are building them a new website.

“We’re going to become the ’Biggest Little Trails Stewardship.’ We’re kind of branching out and working beyond here on Peavine,” Johnson said.