It was worth the wait. Even though it’s only been opened since June 2019, the Tahoe East Shore Trail is a stunning 3 mile walking/bike path that has acquired the deserved reputation of being one of America’s most beautiful bike paths.
The new path begins in Incline Village. It then climbs, drops, and winds its way to Sand Harbor Nevada State Park. The trail has plenty of viewpoints, lots of paths for Lake access, and places just to sit and enjoy a day full of sunshine. But the best part of the trail is that there is more to come.
An 8 mile extension from Sand Harbor to Spooner Lake is being planned. The US Forest Service has defined the proposed action. A few of the project’s goals are:
– improve highway safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists
– Expand and add off-highway parking
– Tie into the Tahoe Basin’s bicycle network
– Protect the quality and character of the existing outdoor recreation resources
– Minimize impact to Tahoe’s natural features
– Provide accessible, sustainable connections to the shoreline and trails
– Restore 7 miles of user-created routes to their natural states
– Construction of a permanent vessel inspection station at Highways 28 & 50
A few miles of a shared-use path seems like a simple project, however, the steepness of the terrain, existing utilities, and environmental concerns could well rule out any fast completion.
Retaining walls, slope stabilization, safety railings are only a few of the obstacles planners will have to take into consideration. The Forest Service report wisely and repeatedly points out the need to protect the quality and character of the existing resources while providing excellent user experiences.
If the first 3 miles of the East Shore Trail is the example that will be followed, it’s assured that the Spooner Lake segment will be spectacular.
Just imagine getting on your bike one super summer day, and being able to pedal all the way to Spooner Lake – safely. Nothin’ better!