Hike of the Month: Rancho San Rafael Park and Evans Canyon
For a great taste of northern Nevada history combined with a superb outdoor experience, visit Rancho San Rafael Park , off North Sierra Street less than 2 miles from downtown Reno. The Wilbur May Arboretum is worthy of an afternoon by itself, with an impressive array of over 4,000 plant species, including a special native garden and wetlands area. Then there’s the May Museum, with a permanent collection and special exhibitions (many kid-friendly). There are playgrounds, picnic areas with barbeques, ponds, and a dog park.
Finally, for a more vigorous experience, there is an extensive network of hiking and mountain biking trails which can be accessed via a tunnel which passes under McCarran Blvd. from the park and winds up at Evans Canyon in the lee of Peavine Mountain. Alternately, you could drive up Sierra Street to the Reno Sports Complex and start your hike from there. Park near the disc golf course (free and open to the public) and visit the Basque Monument, a moving ode to the area’s Basque sheepherders and families. It’s thrilling that by walking only a half hour north from the casino corridor (or a 5 minute, 25-cent ride on the Sierra Spirit bus), you can be in this wonderful slice of Nevada open space!
It’s no secret that Reno is attracting more and more attention in the national arts and culture scene. Exploring the Midtown District is one of my favorite activities, and should be on your agenda for any visit to Reno. I love to hang out at Center and Cheney, where an awesome group of new businesses has sprung up, including Noble Pie Parlor, Pinion Bottle Company, Midtown Eats, Death and Taxes, Bibo Freddo, and Mountain Music Parlor.
Renee and Don Louderback have a passion for teaching, presenting, and passing along America’s great heritage music. They renovated a 1906 historic house in Midtown at 735 S. Center St. and created Mountain Music Parlor, an inviting old-timey space where friends gather to share their love of music. The house was formerly the site of the famed Maytan Music store from 1959 until the 1980s and was severely damaged in a fire before the Louderbacks got their hands on it and restored it, toiling to repair and replace lath and plaster walls, old-fashioned tiles and fixtures. The Louderbacks specialize in teaching and performing grassroots music; they offer lessons on all sorts of traditional instruments, jam sessions, kids workshops, performances, and a folk music shoppe. This month’s featured performances include Edgar Loudermilk (bluegrass) on March 8 at 7:30, and Ciana (Celtic) March 9 at 7 pm.
After the concerts, hit up Bibo Coffee next door for some screamin’ gelato or espresso and baked goodies!
Other places to hear traditional music in Reno this month include the Bartley Ranch Come in from the Cold Family Entertainment Series. March features Suspect Terrane (bluegrass), Richard Elloyan (western music and cowboy poetry), Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, Sage Creek (bluegrass), and Reno Swing Set. I think the name says it all: we are hoping for some cold to come in from. Come on, Miracle March!
The Pioneer Center is hosting a free Italian Festival on March 10, with pizza, gelatto, music, and crafts and other hands-on activities for all ages.
There are all kinds of St. Patrick’s Day activities including the Leprechaun Race, Leprechaun Crawl and live entertainment at one of Reno’s many Irish pubs — or perhaps you may want to try out a new family-friendly St. Patty’s Day custom.
March 10 is the monthly “Hands ON!” 2nd Saturday event at the Nevada Museum of Art, with free admission, tours and activities for adults and kids.
We are excited about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, the Broadway Musical, coming to the Pioneer March 16-18.
Although we aren’t sports fans, it is worth noting that Reno now has not only its own professional baseball team (the Aces), but pro basketball (the Reno Bighorns, affiliated with the Sacramento Kings) and soccer (Reno 1868 FC, affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes), with games throughout the month.
— Amy Meeks