Walk on the wild side
The Idaho Trails Association’s summer trail maintenance projects bring volunteers into the outdoors and turn the tree-covered hillsides into a living and breathing classroom.
Working to preserve Idaho’s trails promotes more than a passion for the land. It also teaches an understanding of Idaho’s unique resources.
In an interview with hiking guidebook writer Scott Marchant, the ITA discussed how Idaho has a wide range of trails, offering a nature-infused experience that will suit an even wider range of hikers.
In his book, “The Hiker’s Guide to Greater Boise,” Marchant describes how some Idaho trails come complete with vehicle parking, allowing hikers to “car-camp” instead of traditionally camping along the trail.
“A lot of times people want to go out for the weekend and they may not want to backpack but they want to have that outdoors experience,” Marchant said.
Whether you’re going to be backpacking along the trails for a few days, or are simply out for a refreshing day-hike, Marchant said Idaho has trails that are begging to be explored.
“One thing I wanted to do with this book is help people see that we have great access to hiking trails here in Idaho,” Marchant said to the ITA.
While celebrating National Trails Day on June 2, the ITA hosted six trail projects spread throughout the state of Idaho. From the Boise Foothills to the Tindall Trail, volunteers set out to put some muscle into polishing local trails.
Most trail-improvement projects require eight to 15 volunteers to run smoothly. Volunteers work to maintain Idaho’s trail systems and complete a series of jobs, depending on geographic area and current status of the trail.
Some trail volunteer groups find themselves widening trails for increased accessibility and safety, pruning tree and brush growth that has impeded the trail, while others clean up campsites and clear campers extinguished fire rings.
Volunteering with the ITA nurtures backcountry trekking, directional and safety skills, turning one from a simple outdoor enthusiast into a true explorer.
Upcoming ITA Events
July 7 – Pistol Creek Trail Project in the Salmon-Challis National Forest
July 16 – Alice-Toxaway Loop Trail Project at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area
August 4 – South Fork Camas Creek Trail Project in the Salmon-Challis National Forest
August 4 – Marble Creek Trail Project in the Payette National Forest and Salmon-Challis National Forest
August 17 – North Fork Lick Creek Trail Project in the Payette National Forest
August 18 – Gant Ridge Trail Project in the Salmon-Challis National Forest
August 24 – Wewukiye Trail Project in the Boise National Forest
Chloe Rambo can be reached at email@example.com