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Muddy Trail season strikes again in the foothills but we have some alternatives

Posted at 10:28 AM, Apr 17, 2022

BOISE, Idaho — The trails in the foothills dried out in March, but all the moisture from this week will provide another season of muddy trails that people need to avoid to prevent damaging the trails.

When people use the trails when they are muddy that causes erosion and ruts, plus we don't want to undo all the hard work Ridge to Rivers has already done this spring to fix some of that damage.

"They have really been working hard," said Doug Holloway the director of Boise Parks and Recreation. "They have been out daily repairing some of the winter damage that we are experiencing on a lot of the trails."

So what are some of the alternatives, one of my favorite spots is Camel's Back Park where the city installed stairs in 2016, two years later they would add more steps.

Climbing to the top not only provides good exercise, but the trails around the stairs including Lower Hulls Gulch normally hold up better than some of the other trails in the system.

The Boise Fire Department used Camel's Back for their annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation Stair Climb each of the last two years during the pandemic when they weren't able to go to Seattle, climb this beast three times to accomplish this feat although the firefighters were weighed down in full gear.

Another favorite of mine is the climber at JUMP that people can use it at their own risk, but it provides a fun obstacle to climb in the heart of downtown.

The City of Boise has also installed outdoor gyms at several parks, this initiative started with Ann Morrison, but there is also one at Camel's Back Park.

"That was even more popular than Ann Morrison," said Holloway. "We include that in our master planning process when we look at upgrades that we are doing at neighborhood parks and we ask the neighborhood are you interested in a feature like this and it seems to be pretty high on everyone's list."

This summer Boise Parks and Recreation will install two new outdoor gyms on the Boise Bench, one at Bowden Park and another at Franklin Park as this improvement will also include a new playground for kids.

"They are healthy, they get people outside and they get people exercising," said Holloway. "People like to do things outside in Idaho when the weather is nice."

And even when the weather isn't nice the Greenbelt is always a viable alternative with multiple bridge crossings and paths on both sides of the Boise River for most of the way that people can navigate to get all the way from Lucky Peak to Eagle.

"It’s a beautiful setting along the river in the springtime," said Holloway. "If your favorite trail isn’t conducive with the conditions check out the Greenbelt maybe give that a shot and see how that works for you."

I've also seen runners going up and down 8th street and Shaw Mountain Road where the Race to Robie Creek is held every year.

Ridge to Rivers provides updates on trail conditions on their website as well as an interactive map and people can also find almost daily reports on their Facebook page.