Thursday, October 24, 2019

Six all-weather trails in the Boise Foothills when the weather gets wet

Mountain Cove Trail in Military Reserve Park has a new all-weather surface.
Good place to go when things get wet! 
Hi all,

We've been getting some pretty dicy weather lately as we make the transition from fall to winter.

For those in-between days, or times when the trails can get soaked from storms in the Boise Foothills, it's good to know about the all-weather trails available so you can get out on a walk and not worry about causing damage on a muddy trail. You can enjoy yourself GUILT-FREE!

All-weather trails have extra sand and gravel on the surface to absorb moisture and provide a pretty bomb-proof compacted surface. They're all pretty short in distance, and mostly suited to walking, running or a small bike ride.

I noticed the Ridge to Rivers trail crew putting in a new all-weather surface on the Mountain Cove Trail in Military Reserve Park last week. The trail runs for a little less than a mile parallel to Mountain Cove Road, next to Freestone Creek. The trail also connects to Central Ridge, Bucktail, Shanes and more in the Military Reserve complex.   

Mountain Cove Trail is the newest edition to Ridge to Rivers' quiver of all-weather trails. There are five others to consider:

1. Red Fox - Owl's Roost - a 2.2-mile loop from Camelsback to the Foothills Learning Center, suitable for all abilities. Hulls Grove Trail next to Owl's Roost is another all-weather alternative in that area.

Hulls Ponds from Red Fox Trail near Camelsback Park 
2. Harrison Hollow - Slightly less than a mile (one-way), all-weather trail in the hollow behind Highland's Hollow Brew Pub and Healthwise. Super easy trail, very gentle incline.

3. Neighborhood all-weather trails in the Foothills East subdivision off of Shenandoah and Shaw Mountain Road. Beautiful colors in that area right now!

Fall colors are pretty nice in Military Reserve Park right now. 
4. Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Trail #19A  (Table Rock/Castle Rock area) Flat and easy trail for all abilities. 

5. Red-Winged Blackbird #35A (Camelsback Park area) - Flat and easy trail for all abilities. It runs from the Hulls ponds to Chickadee Ridge through a wetlands environment. 

All of the all-weather trails are mostly flat because they're most suitable for the sand-and-gravel compacted treatment, explains David Gordon, manager of the Ridge to Rivers trail system. Steeper trails wouldn't work - they'd be too subject to erosion. 

So keep this list in your hip pocket when needed! 

In the meantime, you might have noticed that Ridge to Rivers has put out some signs related to Happy Trails! The signs are symbolic of a recent campaign by the R2R to encourage trail users to smile and be friendly out on the trails, Gordon says. 

"Realize that you're out on a shared-use trail system, so smile at your fellow trail users and be nice!"

From the etiquette section of Steve's early
mountain bike guides. 

I'm all for it, personally. I think if you're trying to be a good trail ambassador anywhere, you show good trail etiquette and say hi to folks and be friendly when you pass by. For mountain bikers, it helps to slow down and show the walkers and runners respect as you pass by. They appreciate it! 

Here's the R2R web page on Happy Trails for more information and etiquette tips. You can actually take the Happy Trails Pledge! I did it! It took about 15 seconds.  

In the early editions of my Boise Foothills mountain bike guides, I paid an artist to create a drawing (right) to encourage folks to be friendly and courteous on the trails ... Some things are timeless even if they're a little dorky! :) (circa 1992)

- SS 

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