Another COVID-19 Casualty as Forest Service Cancels Taylor Creek Visitor Center Programs

South Lake Tahow, CA…After much discussion and deliberation, the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has made the difficult decision to cancel planned interpretive programs and visitor services at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center through the end of October, including second- and third-grade conservation education field trips. In addition, we have made the decision to cancel the Fall Fish Festival this year, an event that typically draws up to 12,000 visitors over the weekend.

“The safety of our visitors and employees remains our highest priority,” said Acting Forest Supervisor, Danelle D. Harrison. “Increased forest visitation has tested our obligation to promote safe and responsible recreation practices, including social distancing and avoiding group gatherings.”

Other changes at the visitor center include a watershed restoration project that began on July 29 to improve access and safety of the Rainbow Trail. Over the years, flooding due to expanded beaver activity on the trail has been a concern for Taylor Creek visitors and staff.

“This trail improvement project will address those concerns,” said Public Services Staff Officer, Daniel Cressy. “The project is designed to reduce impacts to the heavily visited and beloved Rainbow Trail, while protecting wildlife in the area to ensure the trail remains viable for the enjoyment of visitors in the years to come.”

Crews will reroute approximately 600 feet of the existing trail out of sensitive wetland areas and extend a section of the elevated boardwalk. Sections of the trail may temporarily close during construction, but the majority of the trail is expected to remain open, including the viewing platforms located on Taylor Creek. Visitors should observe all posted trail closure signs and should remain flexible when planning a visit.

Work on the Rainbow Trail is expected to continue through September 2020.

In keeping with the spirit of responsible recreation, visitors are asked to responsibly share trails, plan ahead and pack out trash.