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April 18, 2014

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Brand-new trail loop proving to be popular

Trail run

What: Cut and Run 5K Run, Bike, Walk and Stroll

When: 8 a.m. Oct. 17 train leaves Southern Nevada Railway, 600 Yucca St., Boulder City, to take racers to start point at Railroad Pass Casino. 9 a.m. ceremony at Railroad Pass, with race start afterward.

Where: Racers park and take the Southern Nevada Railway at 600 Yucca St. Race ends there.

Cost: $20

Info: 293-2034, www.rivermountainstrail.com

The latest portion of the River Mountain Loop Trail, which connects Henderson and Boulder City at Railroad Pass, has not even been dedicated yet, and already it is drawing about 100 users a day, according to a Boulder City official.

"I'm seeing people make the ride from Henderson to Boulder every day now," said Gary Zupanic, the engineering technician who has overseen the Boulder City portion of the trail.

When the 34.5-mile trail is completed next year, bicyclists, hikers and other non-motorized users will be able to travel from Boulder City through Henderson past Lake Las Vegas, around the edge of Lake Mead and back to Boulder City without inhaling the exhaust of cars and trucks in the next lane over. The trail also has links to Boulder Beach and Hoover Dam, and Henderson has been working on other trail systems around its border to link into the River Mountain Loop.

This section, which connects Railroad Pass to the Nevada State Veterans Home, links up with another portion that will take bicyclists to Bootleg Canyon, Zupanic said. The final section, which will connect the canyon with a hiking and biking trail along U.S. 93 and out to Lake Mead, is scheduled to be done by year's end, he said.

The section to Railroad Pass, which was completed in early September, will be dedicated Oct. 17 during a Cut and Run 5K run and walk organized by the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce. Race organizers are encouraging bicyclists, runners, walkers and even people with baby strollers to try out the trail during the event. Prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers, and refreshments will be served.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Southern Nevada Railway Museum, 600 Yucca St. Participants will board the train to Railroad Pass for the ceremony, then ride, run or walk the 5 kilometers back to the depot. Those who don't want to use human power can take the train back. The $20 donation per person will benefit the Boulder City Chamber High School Scholarship Fund.

Maps of the entire trail will be available at the event, John Holman, chairman of the River Mountain Loop Trails Partnership, said.

The only significant gap remaining in the loop, Holman said, is the portion from Lake Las Vegas through the Three Kids Mine area to Lake Mead, and that is expected to be completed next year. A ceremony to mark the completion of the entire trail is already set for Oct. 9, 2010, at Railroad Pass, where the trail begins and ends, he said.

Holman said he knows of several people who use the trail to commute between Henderson and Boulder City on their bicycles.

"The linkage is beautiful, and it's one of the prettiest views available for biking, too," he said.

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