Step Out of the City into the Peaceful Boise Foothills
by Kevin Hughes
on Friday, July 8th, 2011 at 12:21pm.
As hues of deep oranges, reds, and pinks dance down the horizon, a grand view of bustling Boise lies below in the valley. There is only one place where one can find this panoramic view of Idaho's capitol city, The Boise Foothills.
The Boise Foothills can be found just outside the city of Boise, Idaho. This wide open area has become a play area for runners, walkers, hikers and bikers. The Ridge to Rivers Trail system within the Foothills has over 135 miles of trails.
About the Trails
The Ridge to Rivers Trail system was developed to organize the various groups that use the open Foothills area. This system is managed by five different Boise agencies: Boise Parks and Recreation, Ada County Open Space and Trails, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Fish and Game, and finally the United States Forest Service. The partnership amongst these groups enables the system to be managed as one ownership. In essence, the Boise Foothills are the playground to the city.
More than recreation is managed by these groups. The Foothills area includes vegetation and wildlife. There are bands of sheep that use the foothills as pasture for grazing in the spring and autumn seasons. There is also a 36,000 acre game range located within the area.
Trail counters have been installed in the Foothills area to determine the number of users. Over the last few years, approximately 14,000 users have been counted at the Homestead Trail.
There are a variety of trail etiquette signs that have been installed in the area to educate users on acceptable and responsible behaviors. These signs remind users to be respectful of all people and wildlife in the area and to work together to keep the Foothills a vibrant place to be.
Some of thetrail etiquette includes: keeping off muddy trails, particularly in winter; cleaning up after pets; and keeping tracks meant as single lanes, single. These regulations keep the area manageable and safe, especially when it is busy.
One of the greatest challenges for the managers of the Foothills is keeping hikers and bikers off of any trails that are muddy in the colder months. Users are tempted to use these trails when the weather warms up but this can damage the areas.
Another challenge is having pet owners keep their pets on a leash and cleaning up after them. By educating the public, the area will remain clean and safe for use by thousands.
Motorized Vehicle Use
Motor bikes and all terrain vehicles can also cause problems in the area. There are new trails designated for these vehicles and drivers are advised to use them to prevent any erosion on the existing trails.
Most users experience a positive sentiment while in the Boise Foothills area. Various groups and businesses have sponsored projects in the area, raising proceeds to be spent on further developing the trails.
The Ridge to Rivers Trail system has been extremely successful in maintain this aspect of Idaho Real Estate. The agency managers understand the importance of properly maintaining the area. Local and visiting users understand their good fortune in having such a space to visit.