By Tim Hauserman
Visitors to Lake Tahoe most frequently seek out a few star parks: Emerald Bay to see the Vikingsholm, Sand Harbor for it’s spectacular beach and Shakespeare shows, and DL Bliss State Park for it’s crystal clear waters and Rubicon Trail which brings hikers along the lake shore for three miles to Emerald Bay. If you want to escape the crowds, however, there are a few small parks where you can find a bit of Tahoe nature off the usual tourist radar. Two of these are Kilner Park and Ward Creek State Park which sit next to each other on the West Shore.
Kilner Park is a seven acre park on the edge of the Pineland subdivision, three miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89. There are two tennis courts, and four pickleball courts, a basketball half court, and sand volleyball area. There is a large playground, restrooms, water and bike trails. The park sits amongst a grove of pine and fir trees making it a great place to find some shade on a sunny day.
Kilner Park sits adjacent to the west shore bike trail and just 100 yards from the edge of Ward Creek and the Ward Creek State Park, which provides access to Ward Creek. Ward Creek State Park has a small network of trails that are excellent for mountain biking and walking. You can ride past humongous cedar and pines, eventually meeting the challenging Stanford Rock Trail, or take the gentle ride through a meadow next to the Rideout Community Center.