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More space to play outside
by Joshua H. Silavent
Nov 13, 2011 | 1217 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin speaks Saturday during the unveiling of the newest trailhead in Spanish Springs.
Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin speaks Saturday during the unveiling of the newest trailhead in Spanish Springs.
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SPARKS — A new addition to the Washoe County trail system was unveiled Saturday in Spanish Springs, and will provide increased public access to non-motorized outdoor recreation.

The future Spanish Springs Trailhead will offer hiking, biking and equestrian access to over 330 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management open space along the west side of Spanish Springs Valley. Washoe County has entered into an agreement with the BLM to cooperatively plan and manage the land.

“This begins the process of looking for the funding and working with the public to plan a new and much needed outdoor recreational opportunity,” Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin said. “In partnership with the BLM, we are able to increase access to public lands while preserving scenic views that are an important part of why people chose to live in northern Nevada.”

Larkin and parks officials explored the area in the spring, hiking around for several hours in what Larkin jokingly called a “death march.”

But the real inspiration for protecting the land and opening it up to new recreation opportunities stems from the area’s unique history.

“It’s my hope that we can preserve some of that history with this open space,” Larkin said.

The trailhead is part of a larger project to connect the county’s trail system. Parks officials are hoping to one day create a rim trail around the Spanish Springs Valley and also connect trails in the area with others already established in the county.

Bob Harmon, parks department spokesman, said workshops would be held in the future to solicit public input on design concepts for the new trail. Additionally, parks officials will offer online surveys to gauge public interest.

“We need to make sure for the sake of people who live here that we preserve a wide swath of open space,” Harmon said.

Washoe County’s Department of Regional Parks and Open Space will manage the Spanish Springs Trailhead. The department’s mission is to provide exceptional parks and open space, and recreational opportunities while preserving natural, historical and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.washoecountyparks.com.

To access the new trailhead, take Pyramid Way north to Eagle Canyon Road and turn left. Follow Eagle Canyon past Spanish Springs High School and turn right on West Calle de la Plata into a residential subdivision, then left on Fuggles Drive and another left on Kinglet Drive. The trailhead begins in the gravel parking lot ahead.
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