SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A recreation hub south of Lake Tahoe is slowly losing its charm. However, an improvement project over three decades in the making is finally hitting the trails running.
Tahoe's hidden gem is only getting better. "This area hasn't had a comprehensive trail management plan in decades, if at all," said Jacob Quinn.
South Lake Tahoe's Fallen Leaf Lake is a haven for hikers, bikers and overall outdoor lovers. The U.S. Forest Service first thought about revitalizing the lake in the 1980's. Starting Monday, the idea becomes a reality.
"What we have out there right now is, it's a bit of a disorganized mess of some user-created trails, some maintained and authorized trails," said Quinn.
One can hike up to 35 miles of trails around the lake, and The U.S. Forest Service will improve most of them in the next year. The agency has $400,000 in federal legacy funds for this trail and travel management plan.
Trails Engineer Jacob Quinn said an analysis of the area took four years to put together. "The resources in the area that might need protection, the considerations of the public and the homeowners and really put together a great plan that fits all those and balances them."
Trail access will improve while sediment runoff will decrease. A paved trail is also being built, so bikers and drivers have seperate ways of getting around.
Some Fallen Leaf residents did not want to be on camera, but said there is a need for the updates. They said some trails are dangerous for biking, while others dead end at private property.
"There's some home owners who have had cabins in their family for over one hundred years," said Quinn. "Fallen Leaf Lake is spectacular, it's right at the toe of the Mt. Tallac, it's just a beautiful area with a variety of recreation opportunities."
The U.S. Forest Service is looking for more federal funding to build bridges across the lake and improve more trails. The lake is expected to see improvements for the next 3-5 years.