The Martin Slough rests in the valley between the Sierra Nevada in the west and the Pinenut Mountain Range in the east. A slough is a place of deep mud or a side channel of a river. This slough originated historically as an irrigation water system branching off from the Carson River, flowing through Gardnerville and Minden, and returning to the East Fork of the Carson River. Originally, the water was used by local ranchers for agriculture and cattle.
Due to the significant growth in urban development, the Martin Slough now operates as a wetlands filter to balance nutrients in this urban habitat. In 1995, the towns of Minden and Gardnerville joined with the Douglas County School District, local agencies, and local citizens to improve the water quality of the Martin Slough.
Wetland ponds were created here at Gilman Avenue to decrease the flow of the slough and help the wetlands act as a filter for storm water, sediments, and urban runoff. This filtering process improves the surface soil and increases the water quality of the slough for aquatic life, waterfowl nesting, and urban wildlife.
Eye-opening wildlife education experience and hands-on aquatic education benefit the Gardnerville community and local schools districts and other visitors. Families and school groups can learn about birds, wildlife and the importance of water quality of the slough and ponds amidst urban sprawl.
Gardnerville is accessible by Highway 395. Once in the town follow Gilman road. The Martin Slough Trail head is located at the entrance to the Chichester Estates.
Open year round from sunrise to sunset.