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By Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer
Taking a horse ride, bike trip or hike from downtown Carson City up to and
around Lake Tahoe and into Sacramento may someday be a smooth and
continuous route connected by a single 200-mile trail.
Carson City is scheduled to be the first local government to officially
endorse a regional agreement to support the Capital to Capital Regional
Project officials will ask Carson's Parks and Recreation Commission tonight
for a recommendation to support the $30 million trail project to be
forwarded to the city's Board of Supervisors.
The idea is to increase public access to the Sierra Nevada and the north
fork of the American River, said John Ramirez, Placer County administrator
of parks and grounds.
The proposed regional link will offer transitions from oak forests to river
views, from high country to lake vistas, but it will only be available by
foot, horse or bike.
"We wanted a trail that the general public could hike to see these
spectacular areas," Ramirez said.
The existing trails are designed more for a "world-class athlete" and not
easily traveled by the average person, he said.
Some links of the proposed trail will:
-- Connect the American River Parkway Trail in Sacramento to the Pioneer
Express Trail through the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, to reach the
Auburn area of Placer County
-- Parallel the north fork of the American River
-- Skirt the Granite Chief Wilderness and pass through the more than 2,000
acres of recently acquired Shallenberger Ridge land near Donner Memorial
-- Continue through Martis Valley and connect to the Tahoe Rim Trial near
-- Build new trail from the Tahoe Rim Trail through Kings Canyon to Carson
Connecting Carson with the rest of the proposed system and the Tahoe Rim
Trail fits into existing recreation plans for Kings Canyon, said Steve
Kastens, director of parks and recreation for the city. Most of the trail
from the city to the connection to the Tahoe Rim Trail is already in place.
Kings Canyon Road was historically used to go to Lake Tahoe.
"It's pretty much of a natural for us," Kastens said. "We just have to do a
few things to make it a reality here in Carson."
Placer County Supervisor Rex Bloomfield proposed the project more than a
year ago, and the county has secured $1.5 million in grant funding from
Placer County will seek signatures of commitment on a memorandum of
understanding from Washoe, Placer and Sacramento counties and Carson City
then use the document to apply for federal and state funds for the project.
The trail is expected to be completed within 10 years, if Placer County can
get funding and cooperation from the public within a reasonable amount of
time, Ramirez said.
The first phase of the project, which may begin in two years, will include
Carson City's connection to the Tahoe Rim Trail through Kings Canyon at
Part of the plan will be to clear vegetation and level existing trails
along the path so horses, bicyclists and hikers can easily travel them,
Sacramento links have already been connected to Auburn, and the project has
gained letters of support from several local governments and agencies.
"There's been a lot of support; now we're after funding," Ramirez said.
If Carson parks and recreation commissioners recommend signing the
agreement with Placer for the project, it will be forwarded to the city's
Board of Supervisors for final approval.
IF YOU GO
What: Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission meeting
When: 5:30 p.m. today
Where: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.
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