Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My favorite trail-running route close to home

I live on N. 39th in NW Boise, near Hill Road, 36th Street and Hillside Junior High, so it's really convenient to go hiking, biking or trail-running in the Hillside to the Hollow foothills open space area. I had a small window of opportunity at lunchtime today, so I went for it.
It's a 5-mile 55-minute run from my house. I head up to Hill Road to the 32nd Street entrance to the Hillside to the Hollow area, and then I climb the heinous 32nd St. ridge to the top of the mountain (500 feet of gain). Puff-puff. A contour trail takes you downhill to a saddle, where you can take a hard right above a big white water tank, and then contour back toward Hillside Jr. High. It's a gentle downhill grade for quite a ways, and then you have to climb again to the 32nd St. ridge, and then a higher ridge above Hillside. Once on top, it's a steep downhill (take small steps) to the junior high, and then a mile back to my house.
The thing I love about this run is that it spanks your butt on the steep climb up to the top, and then you have awesome views on the way back, overlooking the city. It's like you can reach out and touch it. And then you have a second steep climb back to the Hillside ridge at the end. You will get a workout on this run.
Anyway, in case you haven't heard about it, there is a citizens group called the Hillside to the Hollow Coalition that's working on preserving the area by calling on the Boise Foothills Levy Committee to strike a deal with the private landowners in the area and purchase the last, best foothills open space area close to Boise.
Please see http://www.hillsidetothehollow.org/ for more information.