A long-awaited trail that connects Tahoe City to Sparks in Nevada finally opened to the public on Saturday.
The milestone comes following the completion of a complicated trail section in the Truckee River Canyon. This area, between Truckee and Reno, is steep and rugged with barely enough room for Interstate 80, railroad tracks and a few communities that cling to the canyon walls.
Now, there's also a completed foot and bicycle trail, which one volunteer group has envisioned for the past 16 years.
Many people told proponents that connecting the trail would be "totally impossible” and to “forget it," according to trail volunteer and supporter Fred Ilfeld of Squaw Valley.
He says the finished pathway is “an amazing thing."
"It goes from one environ — the forest — down to the desert. That's remarkable that you can do that in a day,” Ilfeld said.
Janet Phillips, founder and president of the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail, first came up with the idea to create the trail back in 2002, and formed the group to do it in 2003.
It's been her dream to have a continuous trail from Tahoe all the way to Pyramid Lake, but it's the completion of this latest crucial stretch that's a major milestone.
"There's been trail in Truckee and there's been trail in Reno, and there was nothing in the canyon in between," Phillips said.
Taking a bike along the newly completed stretch is visually stunning as it skirts the canyon above white water rapids known as "jaws." The 60 miles of path features dirt stretches and even a set of stairs at one point.
The focus now turns to the stretch from Sparks to Pyramid Lake, which involves negotiations with private landowners. Much of that trail is already complete, especially the stretch through the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation and roughly 10 miles of trail east from Mustang, Nevada.
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