Sunshine and warm temperatures have trail managers concerned

Friday, February 10, 2017

As the uncharacteristically deep Foothills snowpack begins to melt, Ridge to Rivers Trail Manager David Gordon is preparing for what may be a very busy season of repairs.  "There’s a lot of water coming off the Foothills at the moment.  That means that trails are saturated at best, and running water like small streambeds at worst."  These conditions combined with the sunny, warm temperatures headed our way this weekend could create the perfect storm for trail damage – excessively muddy trails that should not be used, and trail users unwilling to resist the temptation to stay away after weeks of cold, cloudy weather and snow-cover.

"Use under these conditions leads to trailside vegetation loss, trail widening, and significant tread damage as waterbars installed to divert water from the trail become trampled and flattened, losing their effectiveness. "

"It becomes increasingly difficult for people to restrain themselves when it’s sunny and the temperatures climb into the forties and fifties - and that’s when we see a lot of unnecessary damage to the trails," says Gordon. 

Gordon urges users to check the Boise Foothills Trail Condition Report page on Facebook, or the Ridge to Rivers homepage – both of which contain daily updates on trail conditions.  Managers are asking users to stay off the trails until the hills have had a chance to dry back out.  Suggested alternatives include the Boise Greenbelt, the Boise Parks system and dirt roads such as upper 8th Street and Rocky Canyon.

Contact: David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers Trail Manager, (208) 866-2878

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