There's An Underwater Trail In Northern California That Takes You To The Sunken Ships Of Lake Tahoe
Splitting the California-Nevada border with its brilliant turquoise waters, Lake Tahoe’s majestic scenery attracts visitors from all over the world year-round. This breathtaking alpine lake is no secret. However, few of the lake’s out-of-town visitors realize what amazing history lurks beneath the lake’s waters. If you have scuba diving experience, you can even see this history up-close on the Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail. This underwater trail is one of the first of its kind in California and the fact that it’s open to the public is pretty remarkable! Take a look:
The Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail opened to the public in October 2018. Taking you to some of the historic shipwrecks and sites at the bottom of Lake Tahoe, this underwater trail is truly an awesome opportunity for divers.
Located in the lake's Emerald Bay, the trail is California's very first maritime heritage underwater trail. No, you won't need your hiking boots for this trail. Instead, you'll want to get out your scuba diving gear—if you have it.
Scuba and snorkel diving visitors can follow this underwater "trail" to several historic features at the bottom of the lake in Emerald Bay State Park. These features include historic recreational watercraft and barges that haven't seen the unfiltered light of day in decades.
Emerald Bay may look perfectly tranquil from above the water's surface, but below is a fascinating glimpse of the past. The bay has acted as a popular recreational destination since the 1860s, and as a result, it is the final resting place of countless wrecked boats, launches, and barges from the early 20th century.
The sight of these long-abandoned shipwrecks may seem grim, but don't worry. In all likelihood, many of these boats were purposely scuttled—that means "sunk" for non-boating folks—once they were no longer useful for their owners.
The trail will also take you to the historic Barge Dive Site, located on the southeastern shore of the bay. The site consists of two barges built from Ponderosa pine timbers. They were owned by lumber companies and used both to haul cordwood and ferry cars across the lake.
This underwater trail gives the public the unique opportunity to seek out some breathtaking sights. If you're an experienced scuba diver or snorkeler (or simply looking for an excuse to get into the sport), you'll want to check it out. Learn more about the trail at the
California State Parks website and check out the video below from their YouTube channel for a deeper look!
Did you know there was an underwater trail at Lake Tahoe? This has officially inspired me to get into scuba diving; what about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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Emerald Bay State Park, 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA