Spooner provides a nice, easy hike

Nice to get back on the trail after a layoff due to trauma-inspired arthritis. Thanks to Silver State Physical Therapy things are working again.

With a Bay area guest on hand it was wise to try an easy hike, and the trail around Lake Spooner is just that.

You can start at the parking area at the junction off Highways 50 and 28. There's a trailhead there with a box for the $1 fee. Obviously, a 2.1-mile hike isn't going to be demanding, but it's a well-maintained trail and perfect for visiting flatlanders. Lots of information boards along the way, with redtail hawks and osprey in the air.

The dam that created the lake is stones and dirt, and the spillway outlet is controlled by a giant valve.

If you want to do the hike officially, you can go on to the Spooner Lake Park, but there's a parking fee. On the other hand, there's a shop there for bikers and hikers, with guidance to the famed flume bike trail.


Celebrate one of the season's most popular activities and head to Northstar-at-Tahoe for the resort's unique self-guided nature hikes. As the Village Express and Vista Express chairlifts whisk guests to the trailhead, hikers will find themselves in the midst of Tahoe's most spectacular sights and sounds in no time.

Northstar offers a one-and-a-half mile (round trip) trail that starts just off the top of the Village Express chairlift. This trail, perfect for families and nature enthusiasts, winds itself through the forest heading east to Sawmill Lake. Along the trail, guests can use the self-guided nature hike brochure to read about the 17 designated plant and wildlife areas. There are many different species of trees and wildflowers along the trail, as well as possible wildlife sightings.

The cost for lift-accessed hiking at Northstar is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Lifts run Sunday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Northstar's nature hikes offer the perfect escape from the monotony of everyday life with plenty of secluded trails to explore, far from the hustle and bustle of town. For a cardio workout, guests can begin at the top of Vista Express and hike back down to the Northstar Village or for a leisurely stroll, they can explore mid-mountain and take the lift back down to the Village while enjoying a bird's eye view of the Martis Valley below.


Downhill mountain bikers looking for an adrenalin rush need look no further. Northstar's Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series can cure the need for speed, with a fast-paced course and one more chances for victory on Sept. 25.

Mountain bikers of all levels are invited to enter this series. Classes are divided into men's, women's and junior divisions and beginner through open classes. The race fee is $25 ($35 for open class) and discounted lift tickets are available for $20.

Racers can register the day of the race from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Northstar's Bike Shop, located in the upper level of the Village. Lifts open at 9:30 a.m. for riders to practice and the race begins at 11 a.m. Bike rentals and full protective gear are available and helmets are required to race.

Awards will be given to the top three racers in each division following each race and cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in the men's and women's open classes. The series winners will be announced following the race on Sept. 25. Northstar mountain bike season passes and a Giant cruiser bike are just a few of the great prizes that will be raffled off at each event, along with other gear from series sponsors such as Fox Racing Shox.

For further information on Northstar's Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series, call 1-800-GO-NORTH or log onto www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com. Northstar-at-Tahoe is located on Highway 267, just six miles away from the stunning shores of Lake Tahoe.


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