Bit by bit, a trail is taking shape at Lake Tahoe that will eventually connect Tahoe City, Kings Beach and Truckee.
The Northstar Community Services District recently received $250,000 in hotel tax money to begin the next phase, about 2 miles of the Martis Valley Trail. The Martis Valley Trail is part of a planned 62-mile trail network that Peter Kraatz, assistant director for Placer County’s public works and facilities department, calls the “resort triangle.”
Of the 62 miles, half has been completed. The remaining half includes the Martis Valley Trail along the northeastern leg of the resort triangle, in addition to a few unfinished gaps along the north shore of Lake Tahoe and Truckee River.
The Martis Valley segment of the trail will cover about 8 miles of trail which will ultimately connect Northstar Village, Truckee and Lake Tahoe. These 8 miles have been divided into four 2-mile segments. Transient occupancy tax funding will deliver the first 2 miles of the trail from the north end of Martis Valley to the south end.
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The purpose of the trail is mainly recreation, but can also accommodate bicycle commuters, Kraatz said.
“A trail system like this will give people another option to either commute to work or to do something between those two communities without using their car,” he said.
There is already an informal dirt path that the paved trail will follow. Right now, traveling between Truckee and Tahoe requires bicycles to take the highway. The paved trail will be 10 feet wide, so hikers and bicyclists can all share the path between communities.
Transient occupancy tax is charged to travelers in the United States when they rent accommodations in a hotel, inn, tourist house, motel, or any other temporary lodgings for fewer than 30 days. One million dollars in TOT taxes already have been allocated for the construction of the trail, and the Placer County Parks Division has contributed $2.5 million.
The rest of the funding has not been secured, said Kraatz. “We still need another $8.5 million to complete the whole 8 miles. That funding will probably come from additional TOT and federal and state grants that we will apply for over time that are specific to recreation facilities.”
The next milestone for the trail is for the 2-mile segment to be completed in 2018. Hikers and commuters can expect the trail to be finished in 2022.