Group blazing a trail from lake to lake
August 5, 2008
A new path paralleling the Truckee River is slowly connecting Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake ” giving cyclists a way to move freely up and down stream.
The Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway will span 116 miles and descend over 2,000 feet from the Tahoe Basin, through Truckee and on to Pyramid Lake, connecting existing roads and trails along the way. While work is progressing smoothly in Nevada, climbing California’s challenging Truckee River Canyon has proven a greater challenge for trail advocates.
“We’ve picked the low-hanging fruit. Most of the recent progress has been out east. We’re about finished with the Pyramid section,” said Janet Phillips, president of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway. “It will be difficult between Verdi and Glenshire; it’s all private and we haven’t gotten permission yet.”
Because of the challenging terrain and restrictive private property through the canyon, Phillips said she is looking for locals to help take up the cause.
“We’re looking for enthusiasts from Truckee that could possibly help shape the opinions of private property owners,” she said. “Just sitting down and having a cup of coffee with a property owner would be helpful.”
With the challenges of ownership in California, Phillips said she has also opened up talks with Caltrans and the Truckee Meadows Water Authority to see if she can work within the Interstate 80 and old water flume’s right of ways.
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“I really hope we can start at least one section in 2009. The whole thing will be a five- or 10-year effort,” Phillips said.
Beyond Glenshire heading to Tahoe, Phillips said she is thankful that Truckee and Placer County already have their respective trail-building efforts along the Truckee River.
Placer County is working on a Truckee River Corridor Access Plan, which would continue the paved trail already connecting Tahoe City and Squaw Valley all the way out to Truckee, spanning roughly 10 miles.
Perhaps one of Truckee’s most eagerly anticipated trails will be the Truckee River Legacy Trail ” more specifically the section that will connect Glenshire to town.
That trail will also serve as a leg of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway through Truckee, Phillips said.
Town of Truckee Assistant Engineer Becky Bucar said environmental studies are underway and design options are being finalized for the Legacy Trail section.
“It will be a year or two before we’re building the trail,” Bucar said. “We have some money from the General Fund and the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, but there is still a big chunk that is still un-funded and we’ll have to go after grants.”
The total cost of the leg is budgeted at around $4 million, Bucar said.