The Nature Trail

EASY 1 reviews
#10 of 10 trails in

The Nature Trail is a 0.5 mile loop trail located near Truckee, CA that features a lake. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

0.5 miles 6 feet Loop

kid friendly


nature trips




wild flowers


This short trail will take you along a nearby stream and will point out several trees and other plants native to the area, and you will see the site of where the Murphy Cabin once stood, where a small memorial plaque sits today. Donner Memorial State Park, around Donner Lake, is the site of where the historic Donner Party stayed and struggled through the horrible winter of 1846-1847. The Party of about 90 people (half adults, half children) had set out for the west in search of land and a better life. They received a tip from a man named Hastings who promised he could cut off over 300 miles of their route by going through a pass near here. The party met up with Hastings later in the year than expected and he refused to take them because he was already leading a large party. The Donner Party decided to go ahead on their own and soon found themselves in the middle of the earliest and worst winter in many years. Some families went ahead attempting to cross the pass while others stayed near the lake building cabins to wait out the winter. Eventually after depleting all starvation rations, people began to perish and the surviving members had no choice but to sustain themselves on their loved ones remains. When the winter had ended, only half of the original party had survived.

5 years ago

This is a nice, short walk at Donner. There was nothing too spectacular about it, but the creek was pretty nice. There was an interpretive guide for the trail which explained the various plants and animals in this area.

I would have preferred the hike around Donner Lake but we didn't have much daylight left.