NewsIdaho Back Roads


Volunteers pick up dog waste at Harrison Hollow Preserve in the foothills

Posted at 1:34 PM, Mar 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-20 14:57:39-04

BOISE, Idaho — Furry Friends in the Foothills is a Facebook group that organizes dog walks, and they love visiting the off-leash area at Harrison Hollow.

Harrison Hollow is one of 13 all-weather trails created by Ridge to Rivers in the foothills. This trail has been an all-weather trail for two winters now and it was bustling with people and their dogs on Saturday.

“The all-weather trail has been a Godsend this winter," said Jeannie McCarthy-Jaggi, who's with the Furry Friends in the Foothills. "To be able to let our dogs run freely is just a wonderful resource. Yes, we can walk them on a leash on the Greenbelt, but it is not quite the same thing."

However, the group left their dogs home on Saturday and walked around this popular reserve picking up dog poop left behind by other dog owners.

"There has been lots of controversy about E.coli in the water and runoff," said Dave Van Gorder, also with the Furry Friends. "We want to keep this clean and pristine for everyone."

The group has concerns that the city could put an end to the off-leash dog area, so they went to work temporarily solving this problem. But they need help from all dog owners in the future.

"We would like to do everything possible to keep the trail clean, keep the trail leash-free, and raise public awareness that we need to pick up after our pets," McCarthy-Jaggi.

The Furry Friends in the Foothills installed a dog waste bag dispensary at the top of one of the hills to try and make it easier for people to pick up after their dogs.

However, the group estimated that they picked up around 70 pounds of waste on Saturday morning. They also told us Payette Brewing organized a similar event last weekend and removed roughly the same amount.

"'No poop left behind' is one of our mottos," said Van Gorder. "We just want to keep this environment that we have been given good and useful for everyone."

Everybody needs to do their part to pick up after their dogs. If people can do that it will ensure that dog owners will continue to have places like Harrison Hollow to enjoy with their pets. We also learned it is a favorite spot for senior citizens.

"Oh boy, wouldn’t that be tragic if that were to be taken away from them," said McCarthy-Jaggi. "I know it means a great deal to them as well to all of us."

The trails in the Ridge to Rivers system have started to dry out, but people still need to avoid muddy trails to prevent damaging them. The trails higher in elevation have not dried out yet.

The Ridge to Rivers website features an interactive map, a list of all-weather trails, and information about proper trail etiquette.