GCTC IN THE NEWS
Published May 19, 2016
Many years ago, when Jaede Miloslavich was visiting Nevada County, she found home.
It was the trails that did it. After hiking and riding horses, Miloslavich was hooked. Soon after, she moved to the area brimming with outdoor recreation opportunities.
“I worked in the high tech industry and when things got crazy I would leave the office, walk down a trail and feel everything slow down. Trails were truly heaven to me, so much so that after I retired, I devoted most of my time to trails... riding, hiking, advocacy, building, maintaining, and supporting,” said Miloslavich, a member of the equestrian group, Gold Country Trails Council (GCTC).
On Saturday, June 4, GCTC joins more than a dozen other groups and businesses — trail advocacy organizations, recreation outfitters, state and federal land managers, conservation groups and more — for Nevada County Celebration of Trails day.
Billed as the biggest showcase of local community trails of the year, Bear Yuba Land Trust is once again organizing the event that brings together everything outdoor recreationists want to know about trail related topics — a one stop resource for gear, maps, information on flora and fauna, and more.
The free event starts at 8:30 a.m. with a lineup of morning outings on local trails followed by a family-friendly trails day festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 4 at Tahoe National Forest headquarters, 631 Coyote St.in Nevada City.
Leading up to Trails Day, there are several ways to show support for trails. People who want to purchase a foot of trail for $10 can stop by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce or Land Trust office.
Later that week — on Wednesday, May 25 — Nevada City City Council will sign a proclamation in support of trails. Grass Valley is working on a similar proclamation.
Walkability advocate Ray Bryars says he is thankful that he lives so close to the Cascade Canal where he and his family can enjoy the healthy benefits of exercise and greeting neighbors. He is encouraged by the bloom of interest in trails in recent years and would like to see more.
“Although there is a “trails awakening” in Nevada County and we are making good progress towards creating a healthier community, we are still way behind many similar U.S. communities. I’m encouraged by the leadership that Supervisor Anderson is taking with the “Pines to Mines” trail and would like to see our city councils undertake similar action to initiate connecting Nevada City to Grass Valley and maybe local shopping centers to residential areas,” said Bryars.
Published January 20, 2016
GOLD COUNTRY TRAILS COUNCIL INVITES NEW MEMBERS
The Gold Country Trails Council is a nonprofit organization formed in 1981 to develop, maintain and protect non-motorized recreational trails in the Sierra Foothills area for public use and enjoyment. Today, it is the Sierra’s largest community of active equestrians who have a long history of successes, including the establishment and maintenance of the 25-mile Pioneer Trail above Nevada City, Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp, Skillman Horse Camp, and many miles of recreational trails in the Tahoe National Forest.
Many events are planned each year including work days, horse camp outs, day rides, barbecues, the big ice cream social and the Annual Benefit Poker Ride that draws entries from all over northern California and western Nevada. General meetings are at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month, and include fascinating speakers and presentations. New members and guests are welcome. For complete information and full calendar of events, visit
PUBLISHED JULY 31, 2015
Teri Personeni can’t think of a better place to start a ride than Loney Meadow, at 6,000-feet elevation in the heart of the Grouse Ridge non- motorized area of the Tahoe National Forest.
Wildflowers abound in early summer, a wide variety of birds flock to the meadow used historically as a dairy and there are aspen groves and mountain views and high elevation stillness and solitude.
“So many people love it. It’s my favorite place to ride in the whole world. The first time I went there was probably 30 years ago. I just felt something in my heart,” said Personeni, who has been riding horses for 45 years.
Personeni, a member of Gold Country Trails Council, will lead volunteer crews for a “Loney Meadow Camp, Work and Ride” Aug. 14-16.
Formed in 1981 by a group of Nevada County citizens, GCTC provides construction and maintenance of group equestrian campgrounds and trails in the Sierra Nevada foothills. They are also a resource for maps and trail educational materials.
“So many people love it. It’s my favorite place to ride in the whole world. The first time I went there was probably 30 years ago. I just felt something in my heart.”Teri Personeni
The group “adopted” Loney Meadow several years ago, in partnership with Tahoe National Forest. About 20 people return year after year with chainsaws and loppers to remove downed trees and low-hanging branches from the trail.
With limited federal funding and staff, the forest service relies on community volunteers like GCTC to maintain trails. Citizen volunteers from GCTC have constructed over 30 miles of trails within the Tahoe National Forest.
Most of the public trails are located in the Highway 20 scenic corridor east of Nevada City. Council members have provided over 3,500 volunteer hours to trail and campground efforts.
“If we’re going to ride it, we can maintain it,” said Personeni. Without this regular presence, the trails that many enjoy would look much different, she added.
“The trails would get overgrown and people would complain,” said Personeni.
From Loney Meadow, volunteers will scout surrounding areas such as: Bullpen Lake, Lower and Upper Rock Lake and the trail below Bowman Mountain.
“It’s kind of a treat for the members,” said Personeni who always carries a set of long-handled and short-handled loppers with her when she rides. Besides the four hours of trail maintenance scheduled on Saturday, she looks forward to the camping, trail rides and potluck.
“We really like each other. It’s nice to spend time not working,” she said.
Jaede Miloslavich plans to spend five days camping out for the event. Riding since she was 3, she’s been a member of the club for 12 years, since first moving to Nevada County.
“The minute you move here you can join the group and it’s instant community,” she said.
Miloslavich and others from GCTC are working with Nevada County Supervisor Richard Anderson and other local trail groups to identify missing linkages of trail that would connect Truckee with Nevada City.
“I think GCTC will be there to close the gaps. There is broad support for more community trails in Nevada County and that is awesome,” said Miloslavich. GCTC’s first project during the founding years was the Pioneer Trail. From 1981 to 2014, GCTC worked on the project in partnership with Caltrans, Tahoe National Forest, Boy Scouts of America, California Youth Authority, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
The trail extends five miles east of Nevada City by the 5 Mile House nearly to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Like many trail and conservation groups, in recent years, GCTC was noticeably “aging out,” and a campaign to reach younger families has paid off. Membership of the nonprofit organization has grown to 300.
“It’s an all-ages group. We’ve had more younger members this year than in the last five years,” said Miloslavich.
In addition to trails, the group has built two group horse camps — Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp near Truckee, and Skillman Horse Camp, located on Highway 20 above Nevada City.
Both horse camps provide individual truck and trailer parking spaces, hitching posts, corrals, fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms and water for stock.
The group’s event calendar is full with rides, trail workdays, socials and an annual eight-mile Poker Ride, one of the best attended in Northern California.
Miloslavich is happy with the number and quality of all-access trails suited for horses in the High Country. What she would like to see more of is trails in the southern reaches of the county — such as within the Bear River corridor and the Emigrant Trail between Highway 49 and Dog Bar Road.
“We need trails where we live,” she said. 
These and many more attributes of trails were spelled out Tuesday morning during a meeting of Nevada County Board of Supervisors. After hearing an overview of local trails presentation by Bear Yuba Land Trust and an outpouring of support voiced by trail users, the board unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming tomorrow, Saturday, as Celebration of Trails Day.
“Trails in Nevada County not only reveal the history of our region, they serve as a means for enjoying the Sierra environment and intimately experiencing the outdoors, and represent an important recreational resource, creating opportunities to hike, run, bike, ski and ride a horse. Trails in Nevada County improve the quality of life and health of those who live here, are enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and attract tourists and other visitors, thus enhancing the economy,” read the proclamation written by District 5 Nevada County Supervisor Richard Anderson.
Earlier this month, Anderson called a meeting of more than 20 influential trail and recreation groups from Eastern and Western Nevada County to discuss the possibility of improving multi-use trail connectivity between Truckee and Nevada City.
In conjunction with the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, this Saturday’s Nevada County Celebration of Trails is the one day of the year area trail enthusiasts and outdoor recreation groups come together for the biggest showcase of local community trails.
The day will start with a lineup of morning outings: A beginner, moderate and intermediate trek; a family bike ride and a run on local trails. After hitting the trail, participants will follow up with a family-friendly trails day festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tahoe National Forest headquarters, 631 Coyote St. in Nevada City - a one-stop resource to find gear, maps, learn about flora and fauna, and more. At 1 p.m. Supervisor Anderson will talk about the importance of trails, joining speakers: BYLT Trails Coordinator Shaun Clarke, Ellen Lampham of Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC) and a representative from Tahoe National Forest.
Morning outings include: An eight-mile hike along the South Yuba River with Trails Author Hank Meals; a cultural and botanical walk on the Tribute Trail with Shelly Covert of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and Ori Chafe of Sierra Streams; a family all accessible ramble on the Hirschman’s Trail to see the pond’s turtles with Justin Harford of FREED and Richard Thomas of Sierra Club; a six-mile family mountain bike ride and clinic with Ellen Lampham of Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC); and a Scotts Flat Lake Run with cross country coaches Sara Freitas and Angie Marino.
During the afternoon trail festivals, more than 20 outdoor booths will offer activities including: Food from Musa Musa, live music by Ragged but Right, a visit from Smokey Bear, bicycle repairs with Seven Hills Bicycle Recycle Project, hiking equipment, back country basics, Fender Blender lemonade, live rescued birds from Wildlife Rehab and Release, a bicycle helmet giveaway, face painting and more. This is a free event and an opportunity to get familiar with all the local trails and trail groups in the region.
Three Forks will provide all the micro-brews during the Celebration of Trails Day festival. Everyone who participates in trail activities in the morning will get a voucher for a free drink in the afternoon.
Event partners include: Inn Town Campground, Tahoe National Forest, SYRCL, Gold Country Trails Council, Sierra Club, The Sierra Fund, Friends of Spenceville, BONC, YBONC, IMBA, Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Forest Trails Alliance, Pacific Crest Trails Association, Trkac Running Store, Mountain Recreation, Wildlife Rehab and Release, Seven Hills Bicycle Recycle Project, South Yuba River Park Association, Empire Mine State Historic Park.
Learn more at: www.bylt.org