NewsIdaho Back Roads


Old Pen Trail closing through winter to prevent mud-related damage

Muddy Trails, Table Rock, Old Idaho Pen
Posted at 9:53 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 11:53:50-05

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise announced Tuesday it is closing the Old Pen Trail at Table Rock to prevent damage due to mud.

The Boise Parks and Recreation Department entered into an agreement with the Idaho Department of Lands to manage sensitive open space near Table Rock and the trails that cross it. The agreement gives the City the authority to close the .6-mile trail this winter to prevent damage.

A news release says the closure period for the trail depends on the weather. It will start on December 22 and is expected to last through at least the second week of March. The trail will reopen once conditions have dried out.

Related: Searching for hiking alternatives during the muddy trail season

“Trails in the Table Rock area have a high clay content, and as such, are highly susceptible to damage from irresponsible trail use during winter months,” said Ridge to Rivers Program Manager David Gordon. “The Old Pen Trail is arguably the most susceptible to damage and by closing it this winter, we hope to prevent further damage while slowly improving tread conditions over time.”

Trailhead parking will not be affected by this seasonal trail closure, according to the City.

Access to the top of Table Rock is still possible with the Table Rock Trail #15 when conditions are dry enough or frozen. Trails in the Table Rock area are frequently too muddy to use without causing damage during the winter months.

Ridge to Rivers posts daily trail condition reports on its Facebook page and website. If you are leaving tracks, it's best to turn around and find a place to recreate somewhere else.

Ridge to Rivers has more information on responsible winter trail use on its website.