Following extensive public engagement and with the support of the Boise City Council, the Ridge to Rivers partnership will test several new management strategies on trails in the Boise Foothills. The pilot program is expected to take place from April 28 to November 1 of 2021 and is based on industry best practices and feedback from local trail users.
The City of Boise leads the Ridge to Rivers partnership that also includes Ada County, the Bureau of Land Management Four Rivers Field Office, the Boise National Forest and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Trails throughout the Boise Foothills often cross land managed by a combination of these agencies.
Click here to view the survey response report (February-March 2021 feedback period).
Click here to view individual comments (all are anonymous).
Click here to view follow-up survey results (March-April 2021 feedback period).
With more than one million visits and counting on the trails each year, we are committed to being stewards of Boise’s unique trail system. As you can imagine, Ridge to Rivers users have wide ranging opinions on how the system should be managed, and we are doing our best to make sure the trails are enjoyable for everyone no matter their age, background, or abilities. The year 2020 was the busiest year on our trail system to date. It takes understanding, compromise, and kindness to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to so many different people.
2021 pilot management strategies are being implemented on the following trails with a focus on directional and separation of use opportunities:
- Lower Hulls Gulch Trail #29 – On even numbered days of the month, the trail is closed to all downhill bike travel (open to hikers and equestrians to travel in both directions and open to uphill mountain bikers) for the duration of the pilot. On odd numbered days of the month, the trail is only open to downhill bike traffic (closed to all other users) for the duration of the pilot.
- Polecat Loop Trail #81 – All trail users are required to travel one direction (counter-clockwise) throughout the duration of the pilot. The first half-mile of the trail from the Polecat Trailhead on Collister Drive will remain multi-directional to provide an out-and-back experience at Polecat Reserve.
- Around the Mountain Trail #98 – All trail users are required to travel one direction (counter-clockwise) throughout the duration of the pilot. This trail is jointly managed by Ridge to Rivers and Bogus Basin.
- Bucktail Trail #20A – A new pedestrian-only trail will be constructed between Central Ridge and Bucktail Trail. The existing Bucktail Trail will be modified and open to downhill mountain bike travel only. Uphill mountain bike access will be via Central Ridge Trail.
The management strategies outlined above received support from a majority of users who participated in the Ridge to Rivers 2021 trail user surveys.
“Use has tripled on Ridge to Rivers trails since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and we are interested to see how these management strategies provide the experience in the foothills users of all kinds want to see,” said Doug Holloway, Boise Parks and Recreation director. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we test these new strategies, and we will continue to listen to users as we work to meet the needs of our growing recreation community.”
Ridge to Rivers and Bogus Basin staff will be adding new signage throughout the trail system in 2021 and the pilot program is expected to formally start on Wednesday, April 28. Trail rangers and Ridge to Rivers team members will focus on visiting the four trails included in the pilot program to educate users about changes, and to answer any questions. Please be mindful of and courteous to all users as these pilot management strategies are implemented.
Trail managers plan to use information collected during the pilot program and a subsequent user survey to determine if these strategies will be made permanent on any existing or future trails. The Ridge to Rivers partnership will continue to engage the public throughout the process. If you would like to contact the Ridge to Rivers team, please email us.
In the meantime, please be sure to take the Happy Trails pledge and join us in creating a positive outdoor experience for everyone on the trails. When you take the pledge, you can also sign up to join our email list for future updates from the Ridge to Rivers partnership.