Thursday, February 2, 2012

Discover several sweet walking paths along the Eagle Greenbelt and Boise River

New pedestrian bridge provides access to the south side of the river

Red lines indicate trails in the vicinity (click to enlarge)

Here's our puppy "Huck" crossing the ped bridge
Typical scene on south side of the river

Ducks and geese like the ponds


Typical habitat in the area

Nice pathways - thanks Eagle!

Huck surveys the scene

North Channel of the Boise River
Hi all,

We've got a new puppy, a German shorthair-English pointer mix. He's pretty little -- only 9 weeks now -- so I've been taking him on relatively short walks, and introducing him to nature and the big world out there.

I like to walk him on dirt or gravel paths, so the other day, I thought I'd take him out to the Eagle Greenbelt section that's best accessed from Merrill Park in Eagle River or behind the Bardennay Restaurant in Eagle.

It's a great place for a low-key walk with or without dogs. A new pedestrian bridge that spans the North Channel of the Boise River opens up access to a number of pathways on the south side of the channel. There's a gravel neighborhood connector trail that runs next to a future development called Hidden Island, and farther upstream, the gravel path makes a nifty loop over to another pedestrian bridge and neighborhood connector trail.

On the north side of the channel, the dirt paths around Merrill Park provide a short loop. For longer trips, you can walk the Eagle Greenbelt east along the north side of the channel to Riverside Park/Glenwood Bridge, which is 4.6 miles or about two hours walking time. That trip is detailed in my guidebook Boise Trail Guide: 75 Hiking & Running Routes Close to Home.

Or, you can do a short loop from Merrill Park by crossing the pedestrian bridge, go west to the Eagle Road bridge, cross the highway bridge to the other side of the river, and then walk the path along the north side of the channel east back to Merrill Park. That loop is 1.4 miles.

With the trail map shown above, you'll see the options in this little-known neck of the woods. You'll see quail, kingfishers, ducks and geese, maybe a few deer or fox and coyote, and possibly a bald eagle or red-tailed hawk. There certainly must be some owls hiding out in the cottonwoods.

To get there from Boise, take State Street/Idaho 44 west to the traffic light west of the concrete plant at the Idaho 55 junction. Turn left on Riverside, and then take an immediate right by the Park & Ride to enter the Eagle River business park. Go west about a half mile, and you'll see Merrill Park on the left where E. Shore Drive goes splits off to the left from Riverside.

Have nice walk!


Andy HN said...

We're gonna try it today with our Border Collie, Marley. Looks like it might be off-leash? You didn't mention that but in the photos it looked like your dog was roaming free.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Steve Stuebner said...

Yes, he was roaming free at times ... I'm trying to let the little puppy learn how to stay close even when not on leash ... but I think it's good to carry a leash on those trails to avoid conflicts with other dogs.