Have more fun on the spruced-up north shore

Harriot Manley

Good-bye geese, hello beachgoers. Over time, 4 1/2-acre CommonsBeach in Tahoe City had degraded into little more than a forlornway station for Canada geese. Now, granite staircases lead downfrom State 28 to the revamped park, which includes a restoredbeachfront, a small meadow, and the town's original 1940s two-celljailhouse (allegedly no one actually stayed there). The park isn'tthe only improvement in town. From Commons Beach, take MackinawRoad south to the Lakeside Trail bike route near Fanny Bridge andthe junction of State 89. Just across the bridge is a new picnicarea fronting the Gatekeeper's Museum. From here, the path links toone heading south about 10 miles along State 89 to Edwin L. Z'bergSugar Pine Point State Park. Or follow a path along State 89 northbeside the Truckee River about 4 miles to River Ranch Lodge &Restaurant; relax on the patio and watch rafters tip over.

Lake links

Commons Beach (free programs Tue, Thu; www.tahoecitypud.com);Gatekeeper's Museum (11-5 Wed-Sun; $3; 530/583-1762); River RanchLodge & Restaurant ($$$; 530/583-4264)

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