Ridge to Rivers will test new management strategies in the Boise Foothills trails based on feedback from trail users and best practices.
The partnership announced Thursday the pilot program will begin April 28 and run through November 1, 2021. The new strategies were decided upon based on a Ridge to Rivers trail user survey, according to the program. The program will test directional and separation of use opportunities. Trails included in the program are:
- Lower Hulls Gulch Trail #29 – On even-numbered days of the month, the trail is closed to all downhill bike travel (open to hikers and equestrians to travel in both directions and open to uphill mountain bikers) for the duration of the pilot. On odd-numbered days of the month, the trail is only open to downhill bike traffic (closed to all other users) for the duration of the pilot.
- Polecat Loop Trail #81 – All trail users are required to travel one direction (counter-clockwise) throughout the duration of the pilot. The first half-mile of the trail from the Polecat Trailhead on Collister Drive will remain multi-directional to provide an out-and-back experience at Polecat Reserve.
- Around the Mountain Trail #98 – All trail users are required to travel one direction (counter-clockwise) throughout the duration of the pilot. This trail is jointly managed by Ridge to Rivers and Bogus Basin.
- Bucktail Trail #20A – A new pedestrian-only trail will be constructed between Central Ridge and Bucktail Trail. The existing Bucktail Trail will be modified and open to downhill mountain bike travel only. Uphill mountain bike access will be via Central Ridge Trail.
“Use has tripled on Ridge to Rivers trails since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and we are interested to see how these management strategies provide the experience in the foothills users of all kinds want to see,” said Doug Holloway, Boise Parks and Recreation director, in a statement. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we test these new strategies, and we will continue to listen to users as we work to meet the needs of our growing recreation community.”
New signage will be added throughout the trail system this month as well, according to the program. Ridge to Rivers asks trail users to be mindful and courteous to all users as the new strategies are implemented.