Volunteers with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, TAMBA and Friends of Incline Trails work on the Incline Flume Trail. Jason Bean
One of the latest additions to Tahoe’s trail portfolio just got a big boost.
The Tahoe Fund recently announced it received a $130,000 grant which will go toward improvements on the Incline Flume Trail.
The trail has been in existence for years but was only recently designated an official trail by the Forest Service, which opens the door to improvements.
“This has been a favorite family trail for years, but improvements couldn’t be made until it was in the Forest Service trail system,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO.
Prior to the Forest Service designation a portion of the trail ran through private land owned by software company co-founder David Duffield.
In 2015 Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, donated 18.6 acres that included a section of trail and a historic flume bull wheel to the Nevada Land Trust.
The donation paved the way for the Forest Service to officially designate the route which made it eligible for improvements and maintenance.
“It has been a dream of many to see this trail opened up and restored,” said Sue Hughes, president of Friends of Incline Trails.
The $130,000 grant came via the Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Program, which provided the money, and Nevada State Parks, which administers the grants.
The money will help pay for improvements such as a retaining wall to prevent erosion and to install interpretive signs.
Volunteers from groups such as the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association and Friends of Incline Trails will provide labor.
The trail itself is only about seven miles long. But it provides an important connection between Mt. Rose Highway and Tunnel Creek Road, a non-motorized road that’s a popular access point to the Marlette Flume Trail, one of Nevada’s most popular and scenic trails.
Both Incline and Marlette are called flume trails because they’re laid out on routes that were once used by flumes loggers used during the Comstock era to move water and timber from the mountains to mills below.
The flumes were on smooth, gentle grades with mostly stable surfaces, which makes them good for beginner mountain bikers.
There’s still snow on significant portions of both flume trails. But once it’s gone riders will flock to them once again. And in the case of the Incline flume trail, they can expect to start seeing improvements.