Contact: Parks and Recreation Media Relations
New Seasonal Trail Closures in the Boise Foothills
January 25, 2024
The Ridge to Rivers partnership, led by the City of Boise, is closing additional trails in the Boise Foothills to prevent long-term damage due to persistent wet and muddy conditions. The closures start Friday, January 26 on the following trails and trail sections:
Heroes Trail from the entrance at the Boise VA to the connection with Elephant Rock Loop Trail.
Seamans Gulch Trail from the water tank at the trailhead to the Wild Phlox Trail junction.
Who Now Loop Trail from the Harrison Hollow/Harrison Ridge/Connector Trail junction west to the junction with Buena Vista Trail and Kemper’s Ridge Trail, and south to the Down and Out Trail junction.
Bucktail and Two Point Trails (separate pedestrian and cycling routes) – Central Ridge Trail will continue to provide access from Military Reserve to Shane’s Trail and Rocky Canyon Road.
These closures are in addition to the seasonal closures of the Old Pen Trail in Table Rock Reserve and Ridge Crest Trail in Military Reserve that took effect on December 1 last year. A hard freeze in the forecast Friday morning allows crews an opportunity to lock gates and place fencing and signage at trailheads and trail junctions without damaging the trail system.
Please stay out of fenced areas to protect the integrity of these closed trails. All seasonal trail closures can be viewed on the Ridge to Rivers interactive map and are expected to remain in place until conditions improve in the spring.
“It’s important that we close these trails to protect the trail tread when it’s most susceptible to damage,” said Ridge to Rivers Trail Manager David Gordon. “We continue to observe high use of these trails despite muddy conditions, which is unfortunate. This is leading to trail deterioration, rutting and widening in popular areas so we are taking immediate action to prevent further damage that is difficult if not impossible to undo.”
Heavy clay content in the soil in many popular open space reserves make Boise’s trails highly susceptible to damage during the wet winter months. Unlike soils in other areas of the country, footprints and tire tracks can become permanent parts of the trail tread as the ground freezes and thaws. These impacts are difficult, time consuming and often costly to repair – if improvements are possible – for Boise Parks and Recreation’s small trail crew.
Additional trail closures could be implemented in the future as weather conditions and use patterns change. Trail users expressed overwhelming support for Ridge to Rivers to enact seasonal trail closures to protect the trail system in the 2023 trail user survey. Results and a breakdown of additional user recommendations and feedback are available now on the Ridge to Rivers website.