Community Linkage


Capital to Tahoe Trail

The Capital to Tahoe Trail is a world class trail that provides an important and exciting connection for hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers, and equestrians to the Tahoe Rim Trail National Scenic Trail, and by extension, to the Pacific Crest Trail. From the steps of the Nevada State Capitol Building in Carson City, a hiker will now be able to quickly reach a single-track trail that could take them on an incredible journey of 1,152 miles to Mexico or 1,606 miles to Canada! Just a few months old, this trail, with its flowing turns and sweeping views of mountains and valleys, has already established itself as a regional favorite.

The Capital to Tahoe Trail was originally envisioned by some hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts in 1989 as a much-desired non-motorized single-track trail connection from Carson City to the Lake Tahoe region. Muscle Powered was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization that advocates for a walkable, bikeable Carson City. Spurred by the same local enthusiasts who dreamed of a Capital to Tahoe Trail, in 2012 Muscle Powered added trail building to our mission. That same year we partnered with the Carson City Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department (CCPROS) by establishing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that enables our legion of volunteers to help design, build, and maintain single-track trails within our community.

Our incredible partnership with CCPROS has been invaluable in many ways and has led to the hiring of a Trails Coordinator by CCPROS in 2017, the addition of a single-track trail plan to Carson City’s Unified Pathways Master Plan (UPMP) in 2018, establishment of new partnerships with other agencies, and the creation of over 20 miles of new single-track trails throughout our community. Muscle Powered and CCPROS have worked together so well that our partnership was recognized at the 2023 International Trails Summit for “Trail Promotion and Education.”

Our first big project where Muscle Powered was able to showcase our ability to work collaboratively with agencies and landowners to complete sustainable trail projects was the nationally recognized Ash to Kings Trail in 2015. This trail was the recipient of a 2016 Recreational Trails Program Achievement Award in the Community Linkage category. Invigorated by the success of the Ash-to-Kings Trail, and others, we continued to pursue creation of a Capital to Tahoe Trail. Completed this year, the 9.8-mile Capital to Tahoe Trail connects Carson City with Lake Tahoe via a total of 16 miles of purpose built, non-motorized single- track trails, all completed by Muscle Powered. Creation of this trail required the collaboration of Muscle Powered, Carson City, the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Nevada Division of State Parks (NDSP), and a private landowner. Carson City established an easement with the private landowner, our local Culture and Tourism Authority, Visit Carson City, funded the cultural and environmental studies required by NEPA, and CCPROS helped provide match for the RTP grant.

On July 8, 2023, at the Grand Opening Celebration for the Capital to Tahoe Trail, Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell stated, “It takes a community to build trails, and this new trail is a demonstration of how local, state, and federal agencies can work together with non-profit organizations, private landowners, and committed individuals to accomplish a dream that benefits our community, and our entire region”. Our local brewery even created a “Cap to Tahoe” pale ale specifically for the grand opening!

More winners of this award

2021: Prison Hill Recreation Area

2020: Gwinnett Countywide Trails Master Plan

2019: Ramanessin Brook Greenway Trails

2018: Drake Harbor Recreation Area - Missouri

2017: Black River Falls Motorized Access Trail - Wisconsin

2016: Ash to Kings Trail - Nevada

2015: Val Riess Park Multi-Use Trail - Louisiana