Thursday, January 14, 2010

Explore Boise Trails for fitness and fun!

Start from Barber Park, Bown Crossing or River Run to access the walking/running trail

the Herrick house

New underpass at E. ParkCenter Bridge

The heron rookery

This is a favorite venue for runners and walkers - no pavement!
Hi all,

Bandanna Running and Walking has come up with a cool promotion for 2010 -- it's called Explore Boise Trails. The idea is to expand your horizons and try new hikes and trail-running routes that you haven't experienced before.

Bandanna recommends using my guidebook, Boise Trail Guide: 75 Hiking & Running Routes Close to Home, as the source for inspiration.

Listen to Chris Chandler at Bandanna explain the program:

If you want to knock off all 75 routes in one year, and you're one of the first five people to do so, you could win a $100+ pair of Cascadia 5 trail-running shoes. The shoes were made especially for Scott Jurek of Seattle, who is considered by many to be America's greatest trail-runner. His motto is "embrace your adventurous side."

We all know it's January, so I recommend starting on Greenbelt trails, Snake River trails, Owyhee County trails and lower-elevation Ridge to Rivers trails during the winter mud season. Please be sure to check on trail conditions before you go on Ridge to Rivers trails at I have a link to the trail conditions report on as well.

To get you started, I recommend the walking/hiking trail along the Boise River between Barber Park and ParkCenter (see map above). I did a 5.5-mile run on the trail on Thursday morning, and it was totally fabulous. At this time of year, you can see bald eagles perched in the tall cottonwoods, not to mention an occasional great blue heron, kingfishers, many types of ducks and songbirds. You might even see a mink, muskrat or beaver at the river's edge.

Part of this trail section has been renamed the Bethine Church River Trail to honor Bethine and the late U.S. Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, for all of their outstanding conservation work. There is an interpretive sign near the East ParkCenter Bridge that explains the dedication.

I hope Bandanna's promotion inspires you to go where you've never gone before. At the same time, you could improve your fitness and endurance levels. It's a good way to get ready for Robie if nothing else!

- SS