Sierra Nevada - South Lake Tahoe - College Bike Path
Touring * Slalom *
From U.S. 50 in South Lake Tahoe, take Al Tahoe Boulevard heading southeast. Turn right at the entrance to Lake Tahoe Community College and follow the signs to park in the lots on the south side of the campus. Map: Recreation Map of Lake Tahoe, Tom Harrison Cartography, 2 Falmouth Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901-4465; (415) 456-7940.
If you're willing to turn your back on the namesake attraction in these parts, the best east-facing scene in South Lake Tahoe is the spectacular view of snowcapped Freel Peak framed by a pine forest that's rooted in a bed of bright lavender lupines. Al Tahoe Boulevard's roadside bike path connects the bike lanes on Pioneer Trail with nearby South Lake Tahoe Community College, a campus situated in such beautiful natural scenery that there's absolutely no need for man-made landscaping. A series of smooth asphalt trails serves pedestrians and wheeled folks on the campus grounds. As an added attraction, in-line hockey enthusiasts meet every Sunday afternoon at a parking lot that was seemingly designed for their favorite summer sport. You can see hockey lines painted on the blacktop, and the faint, tell-tale arcing streaks left by in-line wheels on the pavement. Follow the path at the northern border of the parking lots, or skate on the smoothly paved street past the modest administration buildings (not an area worth exploring, as the tiled concrete has big cracks) and back out to Al Tahoe Boulevard. Turn right onto the dedicated bike path that leads east, and follow next to the zigzagging wooden fence. From here on there's forest on your right and lots of trees in the neighborhoods across the street on your left. On the Al Tahoe bike path, you'll skate across some pretty wide (but not raised) cracks in the otherwise-good asphalt. Keep your skates perpendicular to the cracks and you'll roll right over without even noticing them. A couple of fairly long, not-too-steep hills adds to the fun. At the top of the best hill, you can stop and rest on the fence across from the landscaped Marjory Anne Johnson Springmeyer Conservancy sign. The last quarter mile is flanked by trees, with filtered sunlight dappling the carpet of lavender lupines below. The path ends at the street called Pioneer Trail. On the way back, turn left onto the first college entrance trail, a quarter mile east of the one you started out on. That path takes you across the eastern edge of the campus through the pine forest, before returning you to the parking lot area.
Aug 1, 1995
Aug 1, 1995