The West Shore Tahoe Trail – biking and walking access from Cascade to Meeks through Emerald Bay
The State Route 89 corridor is one of the most visited and popular destinations within the Lake Tahoe region. Traffic congestion and year-round visitor demand exceeds current infrastructure during peak times. After the recent completion of the SR 89 Corridor Management Plan, the creation of a multi-use trail along the lake’s southwest shoreline was identified as a high priority need. A feasibility study to examine the constructability of this segment of the West Shore Tahoe Trail, dubbed the Cascade to Meeks trail, has now begun. The public is encouraged to be a part of it.
The trail feasibility study will take place in 2021-2022. During this time there will be opportunities for the public and key stakeholders to provide input on the project’s vision and goals, trail segments and access points. Once complete, the entire West Shore Trail will help reduce traffic congestion, and enable multi-use access to some of Lake Tahoe’s most treasured locations including Emerald Bay, Meeks Bay, and Baldwin Beach along with access to multiple trailheads.
The State Route 89 Corridor Management plan was completed in 2020 after a 2-year process that engaged key stakeholders, land managers and the public. The plan outlines a vision and a set of goals that address everything from traffic congestion to public access to environmental protections along State Route 89. The need to create a walking and biking trail from the area of Cascade Lake to Meeks Bay, through Emerald Bay, was identified as a top priority in the Corridor Management Plan. As Lake Tahoe continues to experience increased visitation, transportation solutions are important investments in sustainable recreation and communities.
The Cascade to Meeks Trail Feasibility Study, is the first project that has come as a direct result of the Corridor Management Plan. Once complete, the study will identify the preferred routes for the trail, access points, and a cost/feasibility analysis.
The lead agency for this effort is the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Steering committee members include: California State Department of Parks & Recreation, Caltrans, El Dorado County, and US Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Many other key stakeholders such as local organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals are invited and encouraged to participate in the planning process.
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