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Ridge to Rivers trail crew has a busy fall repairing trails after rain this spring and summer

Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 24, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — This spring the Treasure Valley got more rain then usual and then the remnants of Hilary showed up bringing more rain in August. It caused erosion on many of trails in the Boise foothills.

The Ridge to Rivers Trail Crew spent this week fixing a section of Dry Creek where water came down a draw and washed the trail away.

Dry Creek Trail

Dry Creek isn't the easiest hike and I have to walk my mountain bike over the rocks in the beginning section, the trail crew had to navigate this section while carrying rocks to smooth out the trail.

"We got them down here by hand," said Sam Roberts of the trail crew. "Stone is pretty sustainable, it is going to last a while with the idea that we won’t have to come back to this section."

The section of trail the crew repaired

Sam Roberts got into trail building 20 years ago when he was finishing up college, he got an internship in Florida and over a decade ago he moved to Idaho where he has worked with Ridge to Rivers ever since.

“I enjoy the work, I certainly enjoy the office and I like being outside," said Roberts. "But I also like the fact that it is a community resource."

Sam Roberts and two other members of the trail crew

The trail crew consists of four full-time workers and several seasonal workers. The crew took a giant slab of rock and broke it into pieces so they could carry it along the trail. When they got to the eroded spot they put the pieces back together to fix the eroded section of trail.

"They are a hard working bunch, I hike on all the trails around here and I see their improvements," said Eric, a hiker who we met on the trail. "They are one of the reasons we have these beautiful trails so give them credit and say thanks if you see them."

Some of the erosion in the Harrison Hollow area

The soil content in the trails make them susceptible to erosion, it's one of the reasons why we urge people to avoid the trails when they are muddy, but this year the damage occurred because of mother nature.

"The storms have just hammered quite a few trails, we have seen a lot of erosion on the trails," said David Gordon, the Ridge to Rivers program manager. "They were in really good shape coming into the summer, but as the soils dry out, they move readily with a lot of water so we have seen some pretty significant erosion in places."

We got more rain then usual this year

Erosion has happened in the Camel's Back area, Harrison Hollow and Table Rock. However, the crew can't do much in the summer because the trails are so dry. So now it is a race to fix as many trails as they can this fall before winter arrives.

"We got some volunteer groups to help us it will different spill over into next spring because we don't have a long enough window," said Gordon. "There is a long list of places we would like to get to and repair."

The crew heads out after a long day of work

Ridge to Rivers appreciates when people let them know about an impacted area. They also have a ton of resources on their website that can help people utilize the trails in the foothills.