BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
The Ridge to Rivers trail system has announced seasonal closures of two foothills trails to prevent further damage due to muddy conditions, and as we all know, using foothills trails when they're muddy causes lots of damage that makes the trails unsuitable for later users. It's a delicate balance this time of year, when hard-frozen trails are OK to use, but melted muddy ones aren't.
The Old Pen Trail at Table Rock Reserve and the lower portion of the Ridge Crest Trail in Military Reserve are the two seasonal trail closures announced today. “These closures are an important step in our efforts to protect the Ridge to Rivers trail system and Boise’s open space assets during the muddy trail season, and we appreciate the cooperation of our users in advance,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said in a news release. “Using muddy trails is the leading cause of damage to the trail system. It’s up to all of us to take care of the trails and prevent long-term damage.”
The seasonal closures are expected to last through mid-March; users are asked to stay out of signed and fenced areas.
Ridge to Rivers reports that with early morning temperatures hovering around freezing, lower Boise foothills trails will likely thaw and become muddy sooner rather than later each day this week.
"Trails in Hillside to Hollow Reserve, Table Rock Reserve and Polecat Reserve are good examples of places to avoid after mid-morning. Sandier trails such as Hulls Gulch and Dry Creek Trails are going to be the better bet as the temperature warms up and the sun comes out. Please remember, if you're leaving tracks, it’s time to turn back!" Ridge to Rivers said in its announcement.
Ridge to Rivers is a partnership between the city of Boise, Ada County, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Four Rivers Field Office, the Boise National Forest and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. New this year, the trail system is offering an interactive map to show real-time conditions for trail users, along with a daily trail condition report, tips for winter trail use and trail etiquette online here.
This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.
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