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City of Boise planning to build 5.7-mile trail in Hawkins Range Reserve

The Hawkins Loop Trail in the Boise Foothills will be a single-track trail designed for runners, hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers.

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise announced Tuesday it is planning construction of a 5.7-mile trail in Hawkins Range Reserve through the Ridge to Rivers partnership. 

The Hawkins Loop Trail in the Boise Foothills will be in an area previously inaccessible for the public, according to city officials. The single-track trail is designed for runners, hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers. 

Hawkins Range Reserve is a 393-acre area off North Bogus Basin Road, purchased by the City of Boise from the Hawkins family. The property was protected in 2015.

According to the City of Boise, a 0.6-mile Harrow Trail also will be built by Ridge to Rivers to combine both ends of the Hawkins Loop. The smaller trail creates a 1.5-mile trail opportunity for increased access and a shorter hike. 

“I’m grateful to see plans moving forward to add more opportunities for responsible recreation in the Boise Foothills,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said. “Our open spaces are incredible assets for residents and offer protection for a variety of wildlife year-round.”

Hawkins Range Reserve Trailhead plans include paved parking, a restroom and parking for horse trailers. Hawkins Range Reserve and trail access is closed seasonally from November to March for animals in the Boise Foothills. 

The trailhead's design also includes trees to provide shade for visitors and a variety of plants and shrubs. Picnic tables at the Hawkins Range Reserve Trailhead are included in the Ridge to Rivers plan.

Credit: City of Boise
Hawkins Range Reserve trail map

Boise Parks and Recreation and Ridge to Rivers submitted a project application to the Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee to use funds collected from a previous levy to build the new trail and trailhead. 

The committee unanimously recommended approval of the funding request on April 13, according to the City of Boise.

Costs to build the trail and trailhead are estimated at $1,011,500. The City of Boise already budgeted around $195,000 for the project, while project managers requested around $820,000 to complete the project from the Open Space and Clean Water Levy. 

The 2015 levy has more than $7.8 million available to pay for open-space projects and clean water.

“This addition to our incredible Ridge to Rivers Trail System meets the city’s conservation goals of protecting wildlife habitat, providing non-motorized outdoor recreation opportunities and promoting shared responsibility of open space,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director, Doug Holloway said. “Our trails continue to grow in popularity and this new loop and trailhead provides another option for people looking to get outside for their health, relaxation and recreation.”

The City of Boise said if the project proceeds, a private donation could potentially decrease the amount of levy funds required to complete the Hawkins Loop Trail and Hawkins Range Reserve Trailhead. 

The levy funding request will be considered by the Boise City Council during its meeting on Tuesday, May 10. If the project is approved, construction could begin later in 2022.

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