Tahoe lives for summer.

Sure, you could argue the same for really any season in the area; there are benefits to all. But, summer. The freedom school-aged kids feel about summer break lives on in all of us — the warm weather will always mean freedom of some sort.

Looking for a new spin on summer celebration? We’re happy to point to the nearest trail out any of our back doors, ever-encouraging others to get out into nature, but this year we have something better: building one of those trails.

It’s GTL Tahoe-style: Grit. Trails. Landscape.

Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) is one of multiple organizations pulling in volunteers to both build and maintain the trails around Tahoe, adding 5 miles of multi-use trail each year.

Scott Brown, trails director at TAMBA, explained there are trail building opportunities for all skill levels — even “somebody who gets off his couch and wants to go build some trail.”

“We’re able to tailor what that individual wants to do with the tasks at hand,” he said. “Move pine needles, or we can have people moving 2-ton rocks. Whatever they’re interested in, we can probably find them a task.”

A few looming opportunities (and not just through TAMBA) for you to get off your couch and go build trails:

Stanford Rock, TAMBA: Volunteers are needed throughout the summer and into next year to expand upon 2 miles of TAMBA-created trails. This trail, adjacent to Ward Creek south of Tahoe City, will extend in three directions: toward the Tahoe Rim Trail, to Stanford Rock itself, and down to Lake Tahoe. Interested parties should contact Sandor Lengyel at sdlengyel@yahoo.com.

Lily Lake Trail, TAMBA: This trail will eventually run 2 miles, connecting the Glen Alpine and Angora Lakes parking areas down in Fallen Leaf. This project isn’t for the faint of heart, and volunteers should expect working adjacent to steep slopes. Interested parties should contact Scott Brown at scott@tamba.org.

Mt. Baldy, Tahoe Rim Trail: Join TRT to fix trail erosion above Kings Beach off Highway 267. Those interested should meet at the entrance to Martis Peak Road, then plan to caravan to the Martis trailhead. Come mentally and physically prepared, as workers will hike 7 miles round trip. TRT has multiple days throughout the summer for Mt. Baldy reparation. To join a crew, simply show up for one of the days on the events calendar at tahoerimtrail.org/events-calendar/.

Truckee Trails:
Spend a day giving energy to your favorite trails with the Truckee Ranger District and the Truckee Trails Foundation. Help build the new Big Chief Trail on various days throughout the summer. The trail connects the Sawtooth with the Watson Lake and Tahoe Rim trails. Free lunch and a T-shirt are provided. Info: truckeetrails.org

For TAMBA gigs, tools are provided, but those willing and able should come wearing long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes, a helmet (bike helmet is okay), eye protection, and gloves — though the last three items TAMBA often has on hand.