Tucked in behind a stand of Willows and Russian Olive trees in what looks to be just another farmer’s field at the corner of Crook and Wildes Road, the unsuspecting nature lover can enjoy a secret little oasis. “Great Basin wetlands gentle some unlikely places,” reads the brochure for the trail, welcoming visitors to the-mile-long hike.
The trail is actually located on NAS Fallon property and is maintained by various community and Navy organizations. Initial funding for the project was obtained through grant programs in the early 1990s, and the SeaBees completed the construction. The bridge was built long ago by a local Eagle Scout and maintenance is conducted whenever funds are available through the Public Works Department.
During the winter of 2019, Fed Fire conducted a training burn to remove vegetation debris piles and cattails in the pond area. In December of 2020, Public Works funds were utilized to replace the walking bridge and the gazebo.
In the early 1950s the Navy acquired lands within the Newlands Reclamation Project to provide protection for aviators and aircraft against dust and fire in the vicinity of the runways. This also keeps these lands in agricultural production through leases to local farmers.
Since 1993 the Navy has offered the Nature Trail to the public as a wetland nature trail, providing an opportunity to observe and study the plants and animals of the Carson Desert within the Great Basin.