There’s a brand new trail connection in the City of Boise named in honor of local veterans and our community’s health care heroes. Mayor Lauren McLean, members of the Boise City Council, leaders from the Boise Parks and Recreation Department, Ridge to Rivers, and representatives from St. Luke’s and the Boise VA Medical Center gathered Tuesday (October 5, 2021) for a dedication and ribbon cutting in honor of the new Heroes Trail. The event marks the completion of the three-quarters of a mile long trail that connects the Boise VA Medical Center to existing trails in the Military Reserve area, near Boise's North and East End neighborhoods.
The Heroes Trail name was inspired by the sacrifices of our local health care workers, veterans and servicemembers in part due to the area’s military history and its location next to the Boise VA Medical Center.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boise Foothills have proven to be an incredible refuge for many seeking peace, calm and an escape from the stresses of life,” said Mayor Lauren McLean. “Heroes Trail will forever be a place for us all to reflect on the sacrifices of these brave community heroes who have served our community, our state and our country.”
The new recreation trail follows requests from community members in the area – it was highlighted in the North End Neighborhood Association neighborhood plan as a desired amenity. The Boise VA Medical Center happily agreed to help create access to the trail.
off West Union Street. It provides a new neighborhood access point to the Ridge to Rivers Trail System, without a formal trailhead or additional parking. The trail is a multi-use, controlled dog off-leash trail but users should note that dogs must be kept on-leash on the VA campus if walking through to access the trail connection.
“It’s an honor to construct and name a trail connection after two of the most dedicated and selfless groups we have in our community,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “Honoring those who have bravely served our country, while celebrating the incredible health care workers who are saving lives every day during the ongoing pandemic, is humbling for us all. This trail will be a permanent reminder of their sacrifices – they are truly heroes in every sense of the word.”
In addition, the project could not have been completed without the support of St. Luke’s. The health system donated $12,000 for development of the trail.
“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Boise to provide this new trail connection as a way to give back and celebrate the completion of the latest phase of enhancements to the Boise hospital,” said St. Luke’s Chief Operating Officer Sandee Gehrke. “This trail will improve access to outdoor recreation and is something our employees, families, neighbors and the community can enjoy.”
Trail work began in May 2021 and recently wrapped up just in time for the fall season, which is one of the most beautiful times to enjoy the changing leaves and views of the City of Trees from the trail. You can learn more about the trail system and plan a hike or ride along Heroes Trail on the Ridge to Rivers website.