Table rock trails back open after fire

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 10:35:28-04

Hiking and biking trails in the table rock area have reopened less than a week after a massive wildfire scorched the ground.

Although blacked and charred, you can now walk to the top of Table Rock. Burned during the firework caused Table Rock Fire which covered 2500 acres and destroyed one home.

"It's unfortunate this time of year when we get those fireworks and we get this dry weather. Just something that's an unfortunate reality," said one hiker.

Park officials say the fire also burned over 98% of the trails near Table Rock. Fire operations have ceased in the area and now the  trails are safer recreation.

"Table Rock is one of our most popular trailhead which is why Boise Parks and Rec and its partners felt like it would be important to open that back up. And to encourage people to responsibly use the trails," said Sara Arkle of Boise Parks and Recreation.

The Homestead Trail in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area remains closed until further notice. Vehicle access to the top of Table Rock is also currently not allowed, but you can still tackle the trails from many other spots.

"I'm gonna go up a little bit and just try out the ones right above the penitentiary, we're not going to get into it too much," explained one hiker.

Park officials say they are working to rehab the area. Fence posts have been damaged and the trails have been widened during fire suppression efforts. Combine that with the burn scar and officials say there is a lot of work to be done.

"The challenge is now how to restore that habitat. All the agencies that were impacted by the fire are just now trying to figure that out," Arkle said.

Officials are asking the public if they go hiking in the area to stay on the trails. We could be carrying invasive species and the root system needs time to heal.

As trail rehabilitation efforts progress, temporary trail closures may occur to preserve public safety.