166 MILES: Tahoe Rim Trail section improved for hikers, bikers, environment | SierraSun.com

166 MILES: Tahoe Rim Trail section improved for hikers, bikers, environment

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunOtto Hub of Tahoe City rode the new section of the Tahoe Rim Trail Tuesday.

The Tahoe Rim Trail added another mile to its 165-mile circumference after completing a rerouted section of the trail from Tahoe City to Cindercone this summer.

The trail was rerouted to make a more environmentally friendly, and sustainable and scenic trail including better erosion control, water quality and protecting wildlife in the area, in particular the protected Northern Goshawk Jim Backhus, a Tahoe Rim Trail board member and senior crew leader said.

The trail, which used to be one of the least-used sections of the Rim Trail may become one of the more popular Backhus said.

“Once people get used to it they will find they like it more,” Backhus said.

Garrett Villanueva, a civil engineer for the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit who helped construct the trail agrees it is more scenic than before.

“It has amazing vistas of the lake and the upper Truckee River canyon,” Villanueva said.

The new route is 4.5-miles longer and has an 7-percent gradient making the trail more rideable for mountain bikers. The old route has been “decommissioned.”

It’s beautiful, relentless,” said Pete Taylor of Tahoe City who mountain biked on the trail Tuesday. “It’s going to get some traffic but it can handle it.”

The trail was constructed with the help of U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Conservation of Corps and Tahoe Rim Trail volunteers. The project was funded by SNPLMA, Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

Although the Tahoe Rim Trail Association started planning the trail in 2004, it began construction last fall with the majority of the trail work completed this summer.

“It was done so quickly,” Steve Andersen, TRTA president said at a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning. “It’s an exciting time. It shows what our volunteers and partners can do.”

The trail is open to hikers, bikers and horses. For more information go to http://www.tahoerimtrail.org

Emma Garrard can be reached at egarrard@sierrasun.com

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