End of trail in sight on Tahoe Rim
One hundred forty-six down and 4 to go.
Miles, that is, of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
As the snow quickly melts, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is recruiting sponsors for 7 miles and volunteers to help with the trail’s completion.
The association has collected $715,000 from 143 sponsors from as far away as Idaho and Los Angeles.
Lynda McDowell, executive director of the trail association, said most of the $5,000 mile stretches have been sponsored by individuals or families.
Trail sponsors get an engraved plaque placed at the two trailheads where the sponsor’s mile is accessed.
“Some plaques say ‘In memory of …’ or ‘In honor of … ,’ ” McDowell said. “This is a great way to remember those people in nature.”
South Lake Tahoe resident Del Laine and her sister purchased a mile of the trail known as the “Meyers mile” in 1989 to honor their parents.
“It reflects the area where our family has had property since 1934,” Laine said. “It’s a place where we spent our youth.”
Laine said family members walk and maintain their mile regularly.
“It not only speaks to honor those who have gone before but it is something the family can enjoy during their tenure. It has a sense of permanence and enjoyment,” she said. ” The Tahoe Rim Trail is not only a unique trail to enjoy but offers views that only Lake Tahoe can provide.”
McDowell hopes to have 1,000 volunteers to finish the last rocky miles of the trail, which runs along the ridges and mountaintops around Lake Tahoe.
An endowment is being started this year in order to fund upkeep of the trail, which McDowell estimates at about $250,000 a year.
The association is saving one special mile, titled the Million Dollar Mile, for a generous sponsor to seed the endowment fund with a $1 million donation. The Million Dollar Mile is the highest point of the trail at 10,333 feet.
Money raised from the Adopt-a-Mile trail sponsorship program will fund the remaining 4 miles between Mt. Rose and Brockway Summit.
McDowell hopes the trail will be finished by Sept. 21, the first day of a three-day celebration featuring keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“It’s going to be great,” McDowell said. “It’s going to be national. We’re really pulling out all the stops.”
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