Truckee Tahoe Airport approves Kings Beach trail upgrade
A trail in Kings Beach is scheduled for an upgrade after the Truckee Tahoe Airport board approved an $85,000 funding partnership on Wednesday, July 26, to transform an existing off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail into a multi-feature trail for use by mountain bikes, motorbikes, hikers, and equestrians.
The work on the trail, which is located off Beaver Street, will be designed to help reduce erosion and sediment from entering into Griff Creek, which empties into Lake Tahoe.
The U.S. Forest Service will handle construction of the trail with volunteer help being provided by the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA), according to a statement from the Tahoe Fund, with The North Tahoe Public Utility District and the Tahoe Fund also partnering in the project.
“The district is dedicated to enhancing our local community,” Truckee Tahoe Airport General Manager Kevin Smith said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with these organizations to bring an environmental benefit and a wonderful new recreational opportunity to our constituents in the Basin.”
A similar project was finished in South Lake Tahoe in 2015 with the Lower Corral Trail being redesigned to include dozens of features, like jumps and berms, for mountain bikes and motorbikes.
“The Corral Trail in South Lake Tahoe is not only reducing sediment into Lake Tahoe, it is now one of the most popular multi-use trails in the Basin,” said Jacob Quinn, US Forest Service Trail Engineer. “By creating a highly designed multi-feature trail with more than 100 features, we are also hoping this will reduce the number of illegal trails we have seen in the area.”
The Forest Service has been redesigning OHV trails in the Tahoe Basin for the past two decades, according to Forest Engineer Mike Gabor, to help reduce erosion and sediment flow into Lake Tahoe, but has recently taken a more accelerated approach to the projects.
“In Tahoe the trails have been such a popular public amenity, and we’ve been able to work in part with various groups that we’re now in this place where folks are bringing projects to us with funding,” said Gabor. “It’s a remarkable time in history for the trails in Tahoe because there is so much support.”
Money donated to the Kings Beach trail will go toward labor and equipment costs as the trail is redesigned to include jumps, rollers and berms; while at the same time, work will be done to reduce erosion on the trail, and sediment from entering the lake by rerouting small sections that may be too close to the stream or sensitive vegetation. Reverse grades will also be installed to help control runoff, which have proven to be very successful in reducing sediment flow into streams and the lake in past projects.
“We used to do a lot more measuring of that, but we had such high statistical improvement that we don’t monitor it anymore,” Gabor said. “The best management practices (BMP) have proven so successful in reducing and mitigating erosion that our current work follows past practices.”
“When we go in and do the work we will be improving the water quality and reducing the amount of erosion that’s occurring and getting into the lake.”
The Forest Service and TAMBA will be holding a trail design workshop in September to seek ideas from the community for the trail’s reconstruction.
“We have put together a really effective partnership with our amazing volunteers working hand-in-hand with the Forest Service trail crew,” TAMBA President Ben Fish said in a statement. “With this much needed funding from the airport and 500 volunteer hours from TAMBA, we are going to create a unique and fun experience for the North Shore.”