Facilitation  ::  Deer Run
A river, a railroad, and a heritage delicately preserved. One of Nevada’s special places unearths a lesson in continuity.

The world around us tells a story. It tells us not only where we come from, but where we are headed. 

The Carson River corridor embraces a history rich in ecological and cultural activity. From migrating herds of mule deer, to the bird and fish habitats that keep the area abounding with wildlife, this special place exemplifies perpetual life and vitality. A cornerstone of Nevada’s history is alive here as well. The legendary Virginia and Truckee Railroad, originally constructed in 1869 between Carson City and Virginia City, traveled along this stretch of the Carson River Canyon, where mine owners established ore processing mills to take advantage of the available hydropower and proximity to the Comstock mines. 

Nevada Land Trust partnered with Carson City, the State of Nevada Question One Program, the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway, and landowner John Serpa to acquire and permanently protect 419 acres, or 3.5 miles of river frontage along the Carson River corridor. The transaction included a 22-acre easement reserved for the future reconstruction of the V&T Railway and its operations.

The protection of the 3.5 miles of river corridor known as Deer Run will enhance water quality, attenuate floodwater and decrease stream bank erosion, while protecting wetlands that support cottonwoods, willows, and other riparian vegetation critical for birds and fish, as well as excellent winter range for mule deer. 

Teeming with magnificent natural beauty and abundant recreational opportunities, Deer Run enhances public access to the 13.7-mile-long Carson River Aquatic Trail extending from Carson River Park to the Santa Maria Ranch area in Lyon County. An extensive land-based trail system linking with the Empire Ranch Trail, Riverview Park, Silver Saddle Ranch, and Ambrose Natural Area along the east side of Eagle Valley, is the ultimate vision for Deer Run. 

As the journey of life and the story of Deer Run continue to unfold, we hold dear this place full of promise for future generations—where rivers will meander, where railcars will forge ahead, and where progress will be measured by restoration rather than urbanization.

Funding for the acquisition was provided through the Nevada Division of State Lands Conservation and Resource Protection Grant Program, and Carson City’s Question 18 Quality of Life Initiative. The final value of the land, $3.1 million, was determined by an appraiser appointed by the Carson City Board of Supervisors.  

Project Stats

Conservation Values:
Historic, Recreation, Scenic, Water Quality, Wildlife
Public Access:
419 acres
3.5 miles of river frontage