Hiking & Trails

Rock Island Trail (Advanced)

Kudos to the Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association for providing a legal place for riders who want to push themselves on some technical terrain.

SWIMBA volunteers this month built the Rock Island Trail, which is part of the network of trails on Table Rock. Riders looking for challenging terrain now have about a mile of new trail to play on. It's steep, with tight switchbacks and rocky sections purposely built into the trail.

"This is one of the hardest legal trails in the Foothills," SWIMBA President Chris Cook said. "It's expert, double-black diamond."

Some sections have alternate routes if you don't want to deal with the worst of it, but if you decide to ride this trail , be prepared to leave a few layers of skin on the rocks.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take Warm Springs Avenue to the Warm Springs Golf Course parking lot. Park there. The trailhead is across the street.

Open to: Mountain bikers, hikers, horse riders.

Ideal for: Expert mountain bikers.

Trailhead elevation: 2,960 feet.

Destination elevation: About 3,650 feet.

Length: About a mile.

Difficulty: Expert mountain bike terrain.

Out and back or loop: Rock island is part of a larger network of trails near Table Rock, so you can connect it with other trails into a loop.

Wildlife you might see: Deer, coyotes, foxes, quail.

Notes/bathrooms: No bathrooms.

Information: It's not on the Ridge to Rivers trail map, but you can see the other trails in the area with the map, or log onto www.ridgetorivers.org.

If you've hiked or biked a trail you'd like to see featured, call Niki Forbing-Orr at (208) 377-6446, or e-mail outdoors@ idahostatesman.com. Articles and photos submitted to The Idaho Statesman may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms.