Hagerman Valley Outdoor Recreation
Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Thursday, April 27th, 2023 at 7:42am.
Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Magic Valley, Hagerman is a southern gem built around flourishing aquaculture. The presence of geothermal water that flows through the town makes it an ideal location to practice this kind of unique farming. With millions of fish spawning from this area every year, Hagerman stands as one of the world's largest trout producers, accounting for roughly 70% of U.S. domestic trout production in Idaho alone. The mild weather and abundance of open water year-round make the valley an optimal stopping point for migrating waterfowl as well as an excellent destination for a variety of water sports. Discover all that this area has to offer, from gushing waterfalls, prehistoric fossil beds, pristine hot springs to beautiful canyon springs fed by the water that flows over the porous lava fields of Craters of the Moon. The community of Hagerman continues to attract residents that enjoy the ideal climate, nearby amenities, and range of recreational activities.
Despite being on the smaller side, Hagerman's economy is developing and growing at an increasingly rapid pace. With a population of a little over 900+/- residents, the town is growing at a steady pace in the last 10+/- years as the community has seen an estimated 30 percent rise in population, creating a demand for real estate and jobs. One of the many benefits of investing in Hagerman Real Estate is the chance to be a part of the dynamic economy that attracts niche industries. Home to a national fish hatchery, the area draws professionals from all over the world interested in fish and wildlife industries. Additionally, a university research station occupies the town, offering plenty of career-focused individuals the opportunity for higher education. Few and far between, there are not many places quite like Hagerman, Idaho.
On average, there are about 213 sunny days of sunshine per year in Hagerman, meaning more time to get outdoors or enjoy an evening out. Choose from various great local dining options, including an independent and longstanding restaurant, the Snake River Grill, featuring farm-to-table meals and alligators for those on the adventurous side. A geothermal hotspot, the region also opens the doors to a relaxing day spent soaking at one of the many natural hot springs that provide mineral-rich hot water year-round. A local favorite, Miracle Hot Springs presents over ten Private Hot Pools, six VIP Pools, and four generously sized Outdoor Public Pools. New to the area, Idaho recently acquired Emerald Valley Ranch and constructed what is now known as Billingsley Creek State Park. Highlighted by a beautiful creek that weaves through the park, the site offers outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities and exceptional fishing, not to mention access to an indoor horse-riding arena and market building. Highly anticipated events take place throughout the year, including a local Farmers Market. Check out all that the park offers, including a new paved bike path that connects the park to downtown Hagerman.
The Snake River's idyllic waters attract people from far and near, offering a plethora of outdoor activities and attractions to choose from. For those searching for the ideal location to access the water, the Snake River's free-flowing stretch of river, a part of Hagerman, features an approximately 8-mile whitewater adventure with Class 2 and 3 rapids that can be enjoyed by rafts kayaks, SUPs, and whitewater gear. The Snake River also offers two reservoirs nearby, Upper and Lower Salmon Falls, with access to boat launch facilities and the opportunity for waterside enjoyment, picnicking, water skiing, waterfalls, jet skiing, and fishing. Hagerman offers some of the most extensively unique geology in Idaho with numerous lakes, ponds, and aqueducts to explore, including the sapphire blue cove of Blue Heart Springs, The Nature Conservancy's Thousand Springs Preserve showcasing 400+/- acres of undisturbed bottomland and spring filled creeks, and Ritter Island; a wildlife haven for popular waterfowl and raptors like golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, blue heron, and birds of prey that nest along the canyon's walls. A weekend is just enough time to barely scratch the surface of all that Hagerman has to offer.
The recommendation when visiting the area is the Hagerman Fossil Beds for most folks. There are a few interpretive signs packed with information on the history in this area through the real hidden gems that don't end there. To experience the most authentic treasures offered in the area, add the Billingsly Creek Wildlife Management Area, Lower Salmon Falls Park, and the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area to the go-to list. The Hagerman National Fish Hatchery is found within the vicinity. It offers a first-hand perspective of what it takes to care for and maintain local fish populations such as rainbow trout and steelhead is of interest. The hatchery is open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., though check for any changes and updates. The hatchery offers information on how to fish, with additional details specific to species. The hatchery boasts three separate areas for the fish's various stages and life cycles. When fishing in the region, be sure to check out the rewards offered for catching certain fish that have been tagged. Be sure to check out all local licensing requirements and regulations.
The Hagerman WMA offers some of the most uniquely diverse recreational use year-round. The area may be found stretched 882 acres in Gooding County and was established in 1940. Discover a system of trails and non-motorized access roads. Visitors often enjoy outdoor activity opportunities, pathways, including photography, outdoor enjoyment, birding, educational tours, hunting, fishing, hiking, and other nature-based activities. Please keep in mind if planning a trip to the area for fishing that all the WMA ponds are not accessible to fishing from November 1 to the last day of February to protect the incoming and onsite wintering waterfowl best. Hagerman WMA, known best as Idaho’s first Wildlife Management Area and the beginning of what is said to be a phenomenal resource for locals and visitors alike, was established with the mindset of providing a stable habitat for waterfowl and upland game birds. Before heading out to the WMA, check out a few resources offered. The fish and game department offers publications with additional area information covering topics such as big game, fishing, upland game, moose sheep and goat, migratory, plan a hunt, where to fish, maps, and more!
Owsley Bridge contributed to the growth in the area by spanning across the fresh waters of the Snake River within the Snake River Canyon portion of the Twin-Gooding county line. Be sure to add the bridge to the list of places to check out! Visting the bridge brings visitors to Waterfront Park, an excellent destination ideal for taking a mid-day break during the warmer months. The park boasts benches, greenery, scenic views, photography, and fishing opportunities. Visitors may enjoy the Upper Salmon Falls Reservoir or even Dolman Island by exploring the general area. 1.6 miles w. along Bell Rapid Road from Waterfront Park presents tourists with the opportunity to check out the Snake River Overlook or the Upper Salmon Falls Dam (Upper Salmon Falls Road to access this location). Continuing along the Bell Rapid Road for an additional 2.7 miles will bring explorers to the Oregon Trail Overlook.