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Ridge to Rivers launches new survey for trail users in the foothills

Posted at 3:26 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 17:26:06-04

BOISE, Idaho — In the spring of 2021, Ridge to Rivers implemented four new pilot programs to address growth with more people recreating in the Boise foothills.

Ridge to Rivers is asking the public for input in a new survey, which can be taken until the October 31, they want to know what the public thinks of these changes.

The biggest change came at one of the most popular trails in the foothills, Ridge to Rivers implemented a system at Lower Hulls Gulch where even days are for hikers and odd days are for downhill mountain biking.

"We are just trying to find out if people still support it," said David Gordon of Ridge to Rivers. "What we are seeing is that people are happy with it with really good cooperation you still run into people on the wrong days, but because often they didn’t read the sign, occasionally it is someone that knows better."

The survey will also ask about changing directions at Polecat, the pilot program made this trailhead off Cartwright Road a directional trail where users need to travel clockwise.

"It depends on who you talk to some people love one direction, other people love the other direction," said Gordon. "So what we are trying to determine is are we going to stay with one direction every year or do we want to flip flop each year."

The survey doesn't address the other two pilot programs because making the Around the Mountain Trail a directional changes and what they have done at Military Reserve have worked.

Ridge to Rivers made Buckskin Trail a downhill mountain biking trail, people can ride or hike up Central Ridge, but they also cut a new trail in between just for hikers.

"We know that everyone is pretty satisfied and happy with what we did at Military Reserve and seemingly pretty happy with the direction on Around the Mountain," said Gordon.

The pilot programs were put into place after the area saw massive growth during the pandemic, the changes at Lower Hulls Gulch were put into place to avoid an accident.

Trail etiquette remains really important to all user groups being able to enjoy this amenity, it's important to for downhill mountain bikers to know they are required to yield to hikers, horse and uphill mountain bikers.

Hikers can help out by stepping off the trail to make it easier for a mountain biker to ride by, but what it really comes down to is respect between the different user groups.

"I’m impressed, I think it has improved over the years," said Gordon. "It’s busier than it used to be, but overall etiquette is better especially in the summer, the worst time for trail etiquette is in the spring because you get a lot of new trail users."

You can also take the Happy Trails pledge on the Ridge to Rivers website.