Tahoe Rim Trail gets national recognition | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Rim Trail gets national recognition

courtesy imageCyclists make their way through a meadow on a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

After just 25 years of guiding people around the crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Rim Trail has reached elite status, according to two national media outlets.

The rim trail was named one of this summer’s Top Ten Outdoor Adventures by ABC’s Good Morning America and National Geographic Adventure magazine a week and a half ago.

The two media joined forces to create weekly highlights of this summer’s must-sees and must-dos. The Tahoe Rim Trail was profiled with nationally and internationally renowned recreation areas such as the Grand Canyon, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and Utah’s Zion National Park, among others.

The recognition comes, fittingly, on the rim trail’s 25th anniversary.

An ABC staffer phoned the Tahoe Rim Trail Association the week the feature aired requesting pictures and film of the trail.

“I got a phone call on Monday morning saying we’d been picked for the Top Ten Outdoor Adventures, then watched the show as they mentioned us,” said Mark Kimbrough, executive director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. “We now compete with nationally known recreation areas. We’re very surprised and pleased with this. It’s exciting to be matched with a trail like the Appalachian.”

The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile loop running through the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. It is open to hikers, horses and mountain bikers. An estimated 3,000 people use the trail each week in its peak summer and autumn seasons.

The trail is also considered one of the nation’s most successful volunteer trail projects, as upwards of 10,000 volunteers built the trail with the U.S. Forest Service. The project was completed in September of 2001.

“[The trail] is all about the volunteers,” said Kimbrough. “[The publicity] is a great reward for thousands of volunteers who made this great trail.”

Kimbrough said the Tahoe Rim Trail Association works hard to ensure quality

experiences for all of its adventurers. To be a nationally recognized trail, he said, assistance beyond the Forest Service is necessary.

Not-for-profit associations help build, promote, and maintain these recreation areas while providing education, volunteer programs, guided hikes, and general trail maintenance.

Like the nonprofits associated with the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association aims to be the support team that backs the success of a nationally recognized trail.

Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders favor the Tahoe Rim Trail because of its diverse geography. Granite riddled with lakes and streams in the heart of the Desolation Wilderness give way to great vistas and open areas in Nevada along the trail.

“The trail is so unique in that you can hike it on a two-week vacation. You can be surrounded by nature, but then there are several accommodations,” said

Kimbrough. “Then you’re in Tahoe City eating pizza and swimming in the lake.”

The recognition, while sure to bring in adventurers from all over the country, is also something that locals can be proud of, said Kimbrough.

“And locals should be just as excited to know [the trail] is in their backyard. They can go out and enjoy now nationally recognized recreation,” he said.

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