The Virginia and Truckee Railroad (V & T) is about to begin the 2017 operating season.

Regularly scheduled steam train round trips between the Carson City Eastgate Depot and Virginia City will start running on Saturday, May 27, 2017 and continue on Saturdays and Sundays until October 15, 2017. Trains depart Carson City at 10 a.m. There is a layover of a couple of hours in Virginia City, giving you time for lunch and some exploration of the historic Comstock. You’ll re-board the train and head back to the Eastgate Depot at 3 p.m. There will also be Friday trips in July and the first two weekends in August.

V & T train rides are a popular activity and the excursions frequently sell out. To ensure a seat on the date you would like, it is highly recommended that you buy tickets in advance.

Steam locomotive engineers on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad

Engineers keep the steam locomotives running on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Photo © Stan White

There is a shorter (and less expensive) V & T excursion train that runs several daily round trips between Virginia City and Gold Hill. This 35 minute ride includes historic narration from the conductor. No reservations are required and its 2017 schedule is daily from May 27 through October 31.

Refer to my “All aboard the Virginia & Truckee Railroad” article for information about tickets and times. For more information, call (877) 724-5007 or (775) 291-0208.

For a fun dining out experience, try one of the regularly scheduled food truck events in the Reno area during the warmer months.

These food truck gatherings are in the evening (dinner time) and give you a chance to choose from among a huge variety of quality eats. Think good food, not the roach coach stuff of yore. Depending on which event you attend and which trucks are in attendance, you might be able to get pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, various Oriental dishes, BBQ, burgers, ice cream, drinks (both soft and adult), and the list goes on.

Besides food and drink, food truck roundups have other attractions. For example, Reno Street Food in Idlewild Park is next to the big playground for the kids and not far from the station for the Idlewild Park train ride.

You will also see food trucks set up to serve hungry people at numerous other events and activities throughout the year. To learn more about the scheduled summer and fall events, refer to “Food Trucks and Food Truck Events in Reno and Sparks.”

Spring days are an invitation to get outside and enjoy a hike in the Reno area. We have a wide variety of hiking and walking trails, though the ones up higher in the Sierra likely aren’t open just yet due to our extra snowy winter. My “Reno Area Hiking and Walking Trails” article is a good place to start when looking for a suitable trail.

Here are some of the hikes I have done and can recommend. Be sure to choose something within your abilities, particularly if assistance (should you need it) is not readily available.

  • Huffaker Hills Trailhead right in Reno.
  • Washoe Lake State Park just a few miles south of town in Washoe Valley.
  • Deadman’s Creek Trail is in Washoe Lake State park and offers wildflowers plus great views of the lake and Sierra Nevada.
  • Sparks Marina Park offers a paved walking path round Helms Lake.
  • Bartley Ranch Regional Park is an oasis in the urban jungle, with local history on display and places to take a pleasant walk.
  • Tom Cooke Trail in west Reno is part of an urban trail system maintained by the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
  • Tahoe Meadows Trails are easy for families with kids and some sections are accessible to those with disabilities. Right now, however, it’s more likely you’ll need snow play gear.

Attention dog owners – It’s the law to keep dogs on leash at all times in designated congested areas of Washoe County and in Nevada State Parks. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly.” Other users of public trails do not want to be approached and/or threatened by unleashed dogs. They don’t enjoy piles of dog poop all over the place, either. Be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop.