Contributions from Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise guest donation program helped meet funding gap required to complete new multi-use trail accessing Fallen Leaf Lake and Desolation Wilderness
Thanks to a triple match from Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise guest donation program at Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood, completion of the Lily Lake Trail will be a reality in 2020. Earlier this year, the planned 2.1-mile multi-use trail designed to provide new access to Fallen Leaf Lake and Desolation Wilderness faced a $75,000 funding gap. The nonprofit Tahoe Fund mobilized its supporters, and within a few short months, secured funding commitments from Vail Resorts EpicPromise, the Mathman family and other contributors to ensure the trail can be completed next summer by the US Forest Service and Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association.
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“Our goal has always been to help environmental and sustainable recreation projects like this one achieve completion in the Tahoe Basin,” said Katy Simon Holland, Tahoe Fund board chair. “This effort truly demonstrated the incredible power of philanthropy – among our partners in both the public and private sectors – and the support our community has for projects that enhance sustainable recreation and access to our public lands.”
Once complete, the Lily Lake Trail, designed to connect to the newly built trail system on Angora Ridge, will feature stunning views of Desolation Wilderness, Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe, reduce traffic on narrow roads, and offer new access to hikers and mountain bikers who want a car-free way to enjoy Fallen Leaf Lake, Glen Alpine Springs, and Desolation Wilderness. The trail will be comprised of aspects unique to the Tahoe trail repertoire — slickrock, boulder traverses, and an expansive view of Fallen Leaf Lake on the edge of a 75-foot cliff.
“Those who visit our resorts are passionate about the outdoors,” said Tom Fortune, vice president, and general manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort. “It’s important to Vail Resorts that we provide opportunities for our guests to give back and support projects like this in the mountain communities where we operate. Lending support to aid in the completion of the Lily Lake Trail, a new trail I myself look forward to using, aligned perfectly with the intent of our guest donation program.”
Construction started in 2018; however, due to the challenges of building through dense vegetation and unforgiving talus, and the requirement of funding that has now been achieved to pay for professional engineering and building crews, completion isn’t expected until late 2020.
“Without the active support of the Tahoe Fund and Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise triple match, construction of the Lily Lake Trail simply wouldn’t be possible,” said Scott Brown, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association board member and crew leader. “It’s incredibly inspiring to know that when we put out the call for help, this community is willing to step up and make it happen.”