STATELINE - Residents often lament the condition of bike paths on the California side of South Shore, but those trails are sweet luxury compared to the situation on the Nevada side.
"There is no money, and nothing has been done to give us bike trails at the lake in Douglas County," said Douglas County Parks and Recreation Commissioner Vicki Veris. "California has a lot of money and organizations that are up and running - they've completed nearly everything except connecting trails around Emerald Bay. Near Incline Village they've done a lot too, but Douglas County has not and we need to."
The only bike path in the lake portion of Douglas County is an unmarked trail linking Round Hill and Kingsbury Middle School. Plans to extend the trail - which have been in the works for five years - are finally coming to fruition, according to Parks and Recreation Director Scott Morgan.
"Next year, during the summer construction season, we're going to expand the trail in a joint project with the Nevada Department of Transportation," Morgan said. "We're going to build a Class I trail right down to Nevada Beach, via Elks Point Road."
The trail now goes from Round Hill through Kingsbury Middle School and ends two blocks short of Kahle Park. Morgan said the Parks and Recreation Department is seeking funding, and permission, to extend the trail all the way to Kahle Park.
"We'd really like to complete the link to Kahle sometime in the near future," Morgan said. "But we'd have to cross private property and negotiating that has been very difficult in the past."
For her part, Veris is a member of a group of concerned citizens and avid bicyclists interested in building a bike trail that would connect the Stateline area to Glenbrook, along Highway 50. She said the group hopes to convince the U.S. Forest Service and a number of local nonprofit organizations to join them.
"At this point we're trying to get the ball rolling, I don't like the idea that Douglas County is the last to finish connecting bike paths around the lake, but we are," said Veris, who is serving her last term as a parks and recreation commissioner. "We're a long, long way off, and I honestly have no idea where the money could come from."
Morgan said that ultimately Douglas County would like to join the effort to link all the lake-wide communities.
"Funding for that however is just mind-boggling," he said. "But we nevertheless want to work for that, even though we don't have the funding that the California side has."
The Nevada Beach link to the Round Hill-Kingsbury Middle School bike path will be funded through a NDOT and a Douglas County match, Morgan said, totaling in excess of $500,000.