Wanting to escape Sparks for the day, I picked out Minden/Gardnerville for our drive destination last Saturday. The plan was to have a picnic at Genoa (Mormon Station State Park) and antiquing in Minden/Gardnerville. Heading south on 395 we always turn off at Jack’s Valley Road for the scenic route to Genoa. We got there a little too early for lunch so we headed into town for the antique shops…that’s when I spied a trail head! I asked if we could stop there for a walk and eat our lunch there.
It ended up being The Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch land! Had no clue it was there.
“In 2000, the Conservancy secured the long-term protection of key wetland, meadow and riparian habitats along a two-mile section of the Carson River by purchasing the River Fork Ranch.
Located at the confluence of the east and west forks of the Carson River near Genoa, NV, River Fork Ranch is both a nature preserve and a working cattle operation. The ranch’s 805-acre patchwork of pastures, meadows and wetlands have supported cattle for more than a century and are one of the only known nesting sites for sandhill cranes in the Carson Valley.”
We parked at the ranch house/Whit Hall Interpretive Center and started walking south along the West Fork trail then back-tracked to the East Brockliss loop trail to head back to the car. Would love to go back once the snow melt-off starts! We only saw a few ducks, meadowlarks, and some sparrows while there…I imagine once April/May rolls around it will be teeming with birds! I especially would love to see the sandhill cranes.
Just a few pictures of the area…