In 2019, thirteen partners and the Tahoe community celebrated the opening of the Tahoe East Shore Trail, a three-mile-long, universally accessible path that provides dazzling vistas of Lake Tahoe and unparalleled access to the shoreline. More than 600 generous Tahoe Fund donors helped secure a $12.5 million federal grant to bring this project to life.
Now, four years later, work is underway to expand the trail all the way to Spooner Summit. The Tahoe Transportation District, US Forest Service and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) are leading these efforts, with permitting and other critical support from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The Tahoe Fund has committed $2 million in philanthropic funds to the project.
The expansion will include 8 more miles of path and new and expanded parking lots that will remove hundreds of cars dangerously parked on the side of the road. As with the first 3 miles, it will also include major erosion control components to keep harmful sediment from polluting the Lake. The trail will follow the path of the highway and will remain on the lake side.
The construction will likely be ongoing for the next 5-7 years (pending funding) and will begin with the parking lots. The goal is to remove the current shoulder parking and replace it with safe off-highway parking and transit.
Chimney Beach – Construction is already underway at the Chimney Beach parking area where the US Forest Service will be expanding the existing 21 spots to 130 total spots and making environmental improvements. The parking lot is closed for the season.
North Trailhead – Design efforts are scheduled to begin later this year for 30+ new spots at the Northern Trailhead in Incline Village and 6-8 spots at Rocky Point. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.
Secret Harbor – Design is underway to expand the current Secret Harbor parking lot to include 120 spots. Construction is likely to occur in 2025.
Spooner Summit – Design is underway for a brand new parking lot across the street from Spooner Lake State Park with 250 new spots. This lot will also include a permanent AIS Boat Inspection Station. NDOT will lead this construction effort, beginning in 2024.
From there, construction will begin on the new segments of trail. Due to design and funding constraints, the trail will most likely be built in the following order:
- Thunderbird Cove to the new Secret Harbor parking lot
- Sand Harbor to Thunderbird Cove
- Secret Harbor to Spooner
When this work is finished, the trail will connect all the way from Incline Village to Spooner Summit, making the entire East Shore much easier–and safer–to explore.
The Tahoe Fund will once again have donor vistas and benches available along this next section of the trail. Once design is complete on the Secret Harbor parking area, we will finalize vista and bench locations. If you are interested in reserving one, please email Karolina Hedman at email@example.com to be placed on the reservation list.