Sierra Nevada - Kings Beach - North Tahoe Regional Park Bike Path
Touring * Slalom *
From North Lake Boulevard in Kings Beach, take the Truckee exit going north on State Highway 267. Drive .7 miles to Pinedrop Lane and turn left. Proceed less than a quarter mile and you'll see the trail's beginning on the right side of the road. Park on the gravel shoulder across the street. (Official parking is at the west end of the trail, accessed by following the North Tahoe Regional Park signs from Highway 89 at National Avenue in Tahoe Vista, but there's a short downhill hike across rubble to get to the trail.) Map: Recreation Map of Lake Tahoe, Tom Harrison Cartography, 2 Falmouth Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901-4465; (415) 456-7940.
The unpretentious bike path running through North Tahoe Regional Park is a nature skater's dream come true. It's rare to find such untouched scenery on skates; in fact, this paved path winds through the kind of pine-forest scenery that normally only hikers or backpackers get to appreciate. The pavement on the trail next to Pinedrop Lane is old and beaten, and its cracks, sharp curves, and sudden dips are a challenge even to experienced skaters. Since cars pass infrequently, it is safe to start out on the much better pavement of Pinedrop Lane. Climb the hill on the street next to the trail heading west. A Bike Trail marker sign is positioned within sight of the street where the trail leaves the roadside to enter the forest. This is where you leave the street to take the path. Now the pavement is smooth and surprisingly clean as the trail makes a delightful tour through the loose growth of pine trees. There is no sight or sound of urban development here, just the trail and the forest, which continues on both sides for nearly a mile. Lest you think this pretty scenery will prove too tame, two surprise dips and curves add an element of thrill, reminding you that yes, indeed, you are in the mountains. After the second wild dip, the last quarter mile once again becomes docile enough for beginners, passing a sunny meadow dotted with smaller trees. Look to the south to catch brief glimpses of the great lake and the mountain ridges behind it. The path ends in a pile of rubble at the base of the parking lot serving the ball park at North Tahoe Regional Park. This trail is short enough that you might want to skate it two or three times until you learn when to exercise tight control and when to just let em roll. If you do that, make sure to watch out for others on the trail, and try to maintain some respect for the quiet of the forest as you surrender to the urge to yell, "Yeehaw!"
Aug 1, 1995
Aug 1, 1995