Hiking & Trails

Oregon Trail path expanded (Easy)

A land swap with a developer has added a link between local neighborhoods and the Oregon Trail Reserve Park. The link is about a half mile long and connects the west end of reserve park to the surrounding residential neighborhoods in Columbia Village, Surprise Valley and Homestead Rim subdivisions.

The new path offers great views of the Foothills and the Boise River riparian areas. Even if you don't live in the adjacent neighborhoods, it's worth a trip to the reserve to check out the trails, get a glimpse of the Oregon Trail and read about the history of the area at the interpretive signs along the route.

How to get there: Take I-84 east to Idaho 21 (Exit 57). Go northeast on Idaho 21 to East Lake Forest Drive. Follow it to the interpretive area.

Open to:Hikers and bikers.

Ideal for: Hiking, running, biking in all weather conditions because most of it is gravel.

Trailhead elevation: 2,920 feet.

Destination elevation: Trail is pretty level unless you drop down into Surprise Valley.

Length: About 4 miles.

Difficulty: Easy.

Out and back or loop: Both.

Wildlife you might see: Snakes, rabbits, ground squirrels, raptors, quail.

Notes/bathrooms: Bathroom at main Oregon Trail trailhead.

Information: Check Ridge to Rivers map or log onto www.ridgetorivers.org.

If there's 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.