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Upper Tyrolian Trail officially opens above Incline Village

Patrick Parsel, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association trails director, breaks through a ribbon, signifying the opening of the Upper Tyrolian Trail.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasun.com

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Lake Tahoe’s newest singletrack mountain bike trail officially opened Tuesday.

Sitting above Incline Village, the Upper Tyrolian Trail features jumps, berms, areas for progression, and natural features.

“This project is an example of the great work that’s been going on around Tahoe,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to improve the trail system around the lake to make things more connected and along the way we have found that there are a lot of roads that are eroded that people are using as trails.”



In partnership with the US Forest Service and Sensus R.A.D. Trails, a trail building nonprofit by local freeride mountain bike legend Cam Zink, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association converted old logging roads into nearly two miles of sustainable singletrack trail, connecting Tahoe Meadows off Mount Rose Highway to the existing Tyrolian Downhill Trail.

“All the old recreation trails here were just logging roads and obviously those weren’t purpose built with recreation in mind or with sustainability (in mind),” said Patrick Parsel, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association trails director. “There was no drainage on the roads. They melted at odd times of the year. They always had standing water or big ruts.”



Old logging roads have been converted into nearly two miles of sustainable singletrack trail that connects Tahoe Meadows off Mount Rose Highway to the existing Tyrolian Downhill Trail.
Courtesy Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association

Parsel said some sections of the old road would remain covered in snow until July. Decommissioning of the old logging roads included scarifying compacted areas, naturalizing the soil surface with pine duff, and incorporating erosion control features to reduce sediment runoff into creeks that flow into Lake Tahoe.

Work on the project took 400 volunteer hours and roughly four months to complete, and was made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Tahoe Fund. In terms of design, Parsel said, Zink and his trail building team from Sensus R.A.D Trails were essentially given a blank slate.

“It’s something where a professional rider would have a great time and a kid just learning could have a great time,” said Parsel. “To interlink it all together was really the objective, and we’re really happy with how it came out. It’s one of the more progressive things we’ve seen in partnership with the forest service to have these kinds of features out here.”

The first part of the Upper Tyrolian Trail is designed to be flowy, and incorporates natural features. After 0.75 miles, the trail transitions to one with professionally designed and built rollovers, tabletops, step-ups, step-downs and triple-option jumps that provide a unique and challenging experience for riders to practice and build their skills. Additionally, different routes with different size jumps are included in order to allow beginning riders to progress to the larger features.

Though the trail has technically been open to riders for several months now, TAMBA has waited to install signs and make an official announcement. Instead, the association waited to gather opinions from riders using the trail in order to make minor tweaks and changes before Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.

Volunteers spent roughly 400 hours and four months constructing the Upper Tyrolian Trail.
Courtesy Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association

“We could have the best designs but we needed to see the use patterns to understand what it is people want to do,” said Parsel.

The trail should also reduce traffic on the Tahoe Rim Trail, which in the area between Tahoe Meadows and Tunnel Creek Road only allows bikes during even-numbered calendar days.

“We’re thinking if we build something super awesome here for bikes to do that there will be less bikes that end up on the rim trail,” concluded Berry.

Learn more about the Upper Tyrolian Trail project and other projects supported by the Tahoe Fund at http://www.tahoefund.org.


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