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By Tim Hauserman
For the last 40 plus years, The West Shore bike trail has traveled from Tahoe City nine miles to the southern edge of Sugar Pine Point State Park. But just a mile past Sugar Pine is Meeks Bay, a place of translucent green and blue water and soft, white sand. In fact, I would rank Meeks Bay as one of the best beaches along the shore of Lake Tahoe. To get there by bike, however, required risking your life by venturing out onto a busy, narrow section of road for that last mile. Now, however, a dramatically beautiful section of bike trail from Sugar Pine to Meeks Bay has opened, and it will instantly become extremely popular.
On May 11th, I set out from my house up the street from Sunnyside Lodge and rode south along the bike trail. All the snow has melted off the pavement, but there is still quite a bit of water melting onto the trail and sections of the route are dirty and gravely, but I’m sure the Tahoe City Public Utility District sweepers will be out soon to clean it up.
In just a few miles, I reached a trail highlight where the trail is right next to the lake in Hurricane Bay and through the USFS Kaspian Campground. The trail also crosses bustling Ward and Blackwood creeks. Then the trail follows an old road behind Homewood before heading through a residential neighborhood.
After winding along the highway through Tahoma, the trail heads into Sugar Pine Point State Park, a pleasant jaunt through a thick forest of conifers. Next, the trail drops down to a crossing of General Creek, then crosses Highway 89, before heading to the southern edge of the state park.
Now is when you get treated to the new stuff! The fresh trail rolls along between Highway 89 and the lake, then takes three sharp switchbacks with views of Lake Tahoe, before a fun little roll brings you right to the beach at the Meeks Bay Resort.
Staying at Sunnyside? Jump right on the bike trail at the lodge, and head about nine miles south to Meeks Bay. There you can hang out on the beach and return in time for dinner. Enjoy.