Tahoe’s newest trail, sure to become one of the region’s most iconic, is now open thanks to nearly 4,000 volunteer trail building hours and generous contributions from Tahoe Fund donors including the Mathman family and a triple match from Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise guest donation program at Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood. The new 2.1-mile multi-use Lily Lake Trail has been completed by the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) and offers new access to Fallen Leaf Lake and Desolation Wilderness for non-motorized users including hikers and experienced mountain bikers. The trail partners gathered for an official opening on June 30th.
“The opening of the Lily Lake Trail has been a long time coming, and we are so grateful to all of our partners — including the Tahoe Fund, USFS and TRPA staff — as well as the crew leaders and volunteers who helped make it happen. It truly wouldn’t have been possible otherwise,” said Patrick Parsel, TAMBA Trails Director. “As we work toward our goal of building trail connections around the lake, the partnerships involved in this project demonstrate what can be accomplished when we work together.”
Designed to connect to the newly built trail system on Angora Ridge, the Lily Lake Trail offers stunning, unmatched views of Desolation Wilderness, Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. The trail was created to reduce traffic on narrow roads and offer new access to hikers and mountain bikers who want a car-free way to enjoy Fallen Leaf Lake, Glen Alpine Springs and Desolation Wilderness. The Lily Lake trail has an elevation change of 800 feet and features mosaic-like rock work, including aspects unique to the Tahoe trail repertoire — slickrock, boulder traverses, and an expansive view of Fallen Leaf Lake on the edge of a 75-foot cliff.
Construction started in 2018; however, due to the challenges of building through dense vegetation and unforgiving talus, professional engineering and building crews were required to complete the work. The USFS cut the top quarter-mile of trail through a scree field, and TAMBA crews and volunteers, led by crew leader Scott Brown, were responsible for the intricate, technical rock work that was required. Crews removed approximately nine tons of rock from the trail and moved roughly three tons of rock to make tread. The trail features some of the only slick rock riding in Tahoe to create a technical, physical ride with some of the best views around the lake.
“On behalf of the Tahoe Fund, we are thrilled to have been part of this project by bringing together partners who bridged the $75,000 funding gap required to build this gorgeous trail,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “The Lily Lake Trail is part of the larger vision the USFS and TAMBA have long held to create non-motorized regional connectivity, and it’s exciting that it’s now open for people to enjoy.”
“At Vail Resorts, we’re proud to partner with organizations like Tahoe Fund through the Vail Resorts EpicPromise community investment program,” said Deirdra Walsh, vice president and general manager of Northstar California Resort. “Their focus on sustainable recreation allows the region’s unparalleled trail systems to expand, and we can enjoy new adventures on the Lily Lake Trail for the days to come.”
Learn more about the Lily Lake trail and how to donate to the Tahoe Fund to support other projects in the Tahoe Basin at www.tahoefund.org.
About Tahoe Fund
The Tahoe Fund was founded in 2010 to work with the private community to support environmental improvement projects that restore lake clarity, enhance outdoor recreation, promote healthier forests, improve transportation and inspire greater stewardship of the region. Through the generous support of private donors, the Tahoe Fund has leveraged more than $3 million in private funds to secure more than $50 million in public funds for more than 60 environmental projects. The projects include new sections of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway, restoration of watersheds, removal of aquatic invasive species, forest health projects, public beach improvements, and stewardship programs. Learn more at www.tahoefund.org.
TAMBA builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Lake Tahoe region through volunteerism and stewardship. Driven by our guiding principles – Trust. Respect. Collaboration. Fun. Sustainability. – we advocate to preserve mountain biking access and educate all trail user groups on sustainable use. With the support of our geographically diverse member base, generous donors, local businesses, land managers and passionate volunteers, we are able to maintain over 100 miles of rideable trail each year. We continually strive to cultivate a vibrant biking culture and engaged community – Build. Ride. Respect. Support TAMBA or become a member online at tamba.org.
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