Dropping through the pine forest on South Shore’s Lower Corral Trail, two new sights come into view.
To the right, a series of swooping berm turns urge mountain bike riders to test their ability to get horizontal.
To the left, a sequence of tabletop jumps give riders plenty of options to get vertical.
About 30 new features debuted at the popular South Shore trail in the middle of June following efforts by hundreds of volunteers, the U.S. Forest Service, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Hilride Progression Development Group.
The parking lot at the bottom of the trail was nearly full Monday evening, with dozens of people lapping the new features. Plenty of smiles graced dirty faces and at least one exclamation of “sick” could be heard through the trees.
“It’s got a little bit of something for everybody,” said Garrett Villanueva, an assistant forest engineer with the Forest Service who worked on the project.
The approximately half dozen new tabletop jumps can all be rolled over but can also be jumped in rhythm, allowing for mountain bike riders with a variety of skill levels to use the jumps. The berm turns are plenty of fun even if a rider isn’t experimenting with g-forces. Both options, which each branch from the main Lower Corral Trail, feed into another series of hipped turns before shooting riders out toward the trail’s main parking lot.
The recent trail work has received national attention, with mentions in Bike Magazine and the Huffington Post. Additional features could be built on the Lower Corral as soon as next summer.
“I would like to see us charge next summer and move onto other stuff,” Villanueva said.
Although trails with features like those on Corral will be the exception rather than the norm in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Forest Service is also looking at the possibility of adding features, as well as erosion control measures, to the Stinger Trail on Kingsbury Grade and the Tyrolean Downhill in Incline Village, Villanueva said.
“Corral Trail is one of the most accessible and popular mountain bike trails in Tahoe for locals and visitors. The trail is suitable for everyone from beginners to expert riders. The trailhead also serves as a hub of the mountain bike community, close to the largest population center in Tahoe.”
Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association