Trails and Vistas | Becoming one with art, nature

Grant Barta

One of the region’s truly unique, can’t-miss events are the annual Trails and Vistas Art Hikes. The art hikes are an opportunity to enjoy art, music and dance while amidst nature. This year the hikes are on Sept. 9 and 10 at Galena Creek Regional Park.

On previous art hikes, I’ve marveled at the contrasts between the multicolors of a dancer’s robe, with the smooth granite and the deep blue of the sky. I’ve been enchanted by the sounds of musicians, accompanied by birds and whispering aspen leaves. I’ve seen a woman, dressed as a bird, sitting in a tree, singing about her love of the Earth. You never know what you will find around each boulder, but you know it will be interesting and thought provoking.

Trails & Vistas
Sept. 9 & 10 | Galena Creek State Park

Sept. 9
World Concert | Sand Harbor State Park

Historical Haunted Tour
Oct. 19 & 20 | Downtown Truckee

This year’s art hike is a 2-mile walk along a trail at Galena Creek in the Mount Rose Wilderness. Tour guides lead up to 22 people every 15 minutes throughout the morning. The hikes are themed: there are family hikes, mindfulness hikes and leisurely hikes. Participants purchase tickets online in advance.

Mount Rose Wilderness is on the outskirts of Reno, Nev., 25 minutes from Incline Village, Nev. The trail travels through the aspen groves and willows of the Sierra foothills, into the stately pines and veers close to the creek. Tours stop at 10 sites along the hike for 6 to 8 minutes while dancers and musicians perform or where art is displayed.

“It’s a time to unplug from technology and connect with humanity and the earth through the arts.” – Nancy Tieken Lopez

“It’s a time to unplug from technology and connect with humanity and the earth through the arts,” says Nancy Tieken Lopez, founder and executive director of Trails and Vistas.

While the event is relaxing and peaceful for those on the hike, for those organizing the event, it is a major task to assemble all of the performers, who entertain on the hikes and perform at a World Concert held on the evening of Sept. 9.

Watch a video of Trails & Vistas Art Hikes

If you want to get Tieken Lopez animated, ask her to tell you about this year’s performers.

“We are very excited about Tim Eriksen. He’s an amazing vocalist who plays fiddle and banjo. It’s very soulful, hard-core Americana,” she says. Eriksen has performed at the Kennedy Center and in Carnegie Hall.

Also on the lineup are The Nava Dance Collective with harpist Motoshi Kosako, Persian singer and setar player Fared Shafinury, American folk music with Angele Carrell, twin guitar melodies with Liza Carbé and JP Durand, Brazilian funk band SambaDá, Celtic fiddler Zoë Darrow and Earthgym movement practitioner Mick Dodge.

Scott Thompson

“The Barefoot Sensei,” is what Dodge has been called because he is often barefoot. “When you step out of shoes, you have to start paying attention. Your feet are landing in your habitat and you begin accepting that the earth is a teacher,” he says. “And you begin to ask, why are we creating so many surface areas where we can’t even walk?”

Dodge’s earth-centered lifestyle in the old-growth forests of Washington’s Olympic Mountains inspired National Geographic to produce a reality TV show called, “The Legend of Mick Dodge.”

According to Dodge, his goal is to help with what he sees as three problems of modern society: “We are a sedentary culture, a polarized culture and we are people who have become defeated.”

Jeff Engerbretson

While reconnecting along streambeds and through leafy forests on the art hike, participants will also encounter displays of art, singing bowls, InnerRhythms dancers, poetry readings and a presentation by members of the Washoe Tribe. It will be a chance to experience how nature and human-created arts can combine so seamlessly and beautifully.

Trails and Vistas is a nonprofit organization and volunteers are its lifeblood. It not only produces art hikes, but also works collaboratively with partners to create a thriving rural culture based on pride of place, art and increasing environmental awareness. Through “The Dreaming Tree” field trips, it has introduced more than 500 local third graders to music, dance, storytelling, environmental studies and art.

Trails and Vistas’ Historical Haunted Tour through downtown Truckee are just as anticipated and popular as the art hikes. This year, they will be on Oct. 19 and 20 and they serve as the organization’s major fundraiser — which also sells out every year.

For more information or tickets to the art hikes or the concert, visit To purchase tickets to the Haunted Tours, visit