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Blazing new trails

Efforts are under way to allow hikers, cyclists and equestrians to travel off-road from Lake Tahoe to Reno, the Truckee Meadows and Lake Pyramid.The Reno to Rim Trail, still in its early planning stages, will connect Reno to the Tahoe Rim Trail, while the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway is already under construction and will trace the Truckee River from one end to the other. Together the two routes will create alternative transportation and recreation routes between Reno and the Truckee-Tahoe area.

The Reno to Rim Trail will cover about 14 to 18 miles between the Reno area and the existing 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail that loops around the lake.We are just now starting to look at routes to connect Reno to the Mount Rose area, said Associate Director Erin Casey of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. We are still in the very early stages looking at potential routes.A volunteer group began planning the trail Wednesday by flagging potential paths, she said.Once tentative routes are mapped, the U.S. Forest Service will then consider them for environmental and archeological impacts, Casey said.Work could begin anywhere from next year to three years from now, Casey said. And construction could take four to five years, or it could take longer.Because of the wilderness areas the proposed path will likely pass through, the trail wouldnt be open to mountain bikers, but would be accessible to hikers and equestrians, Casey said.Along with support from Rim Trail volunteers and the Forest Service, an outdoor recreation group called Sierra Front has also been working to fund the trail, collecting money from Mount Rose season pass contributions.For more information, go to http://www.sierrafront.org.

The Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway will span 116 miles along the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, connecting existing roads and trails along the way.The route will descend over 2,000 feet from the Tahoe Basin to Lake Pyramid, crossing through public and private land in two states, five counties, the Washoe Indian reservation, and three federal agencies, according to http://www.tpbikeway.org.President Janet Phillips of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway said much of the California portion of the trail will present challenges, but hopes to complete a section from Floriston to Farad next year, and from Floriston to Glenshire not long after that.Connecting Glenshire to Floriston will mean working is some really difficult canyon terrain, Phillips said. But we hope to complete that section within the next five years.Phillips said building the bikeway hinges on cooperation and support from the different government entities she has to deal with, and much of the timing will depend on that cooperation.When I started, I thought this would be a five-year project. Now I think its a 20-year project, Phillips said.See http://www.tpbikeway.org for more.


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