Outdoors Blog

Boise Foothills’ eastern trails will re-open Monday; more than 11,000 violated closure

All of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area’s trails on the eastern end of the Boise Foothills will re-open to the public Monday (May 1), Idaho Fish and Game announced Tuesday. That will include motor-vehicle access to East Highland Valley Road off of Idaho 21.

The Boise Front segment of the WMA, which includes the Homestead, Cobb and Lucky Peak trails, has been closed since Jan. 19 to protect wintering wildlife. The Charcoal Creek segment has been closed since early February for the same reason.

East Highland Valley Road has been closed to vehicles since the Mile Marker 14 Fire last summer. It traditionally opens May 1. The road requires a high-clearance vehicle. The preferred route for vehicles is East Highland Valley Road to East Shaw Mountain Road (right at the fork).

Keep in mind that dogs must be on-leash on the WMA.

[Related: Idaho Outdoors to host Hiking, Biking & Trails panel discussion at Payette Brewing Co.]

Idaho Fish and Game’s trail counter at the Homestead trailhead adjacent to the Harris Ranch neighborhood has counted 11,744 user visits since the closure was ordered, said Krista Biorn, who manages the WMA. The closure also affects the Cobb, West Highland Valley, East Highland Valley and Lucky Peak trails on the Ridge to Rivers map.

Violations also have been rampant on the other WMA trails, Biorn said.

Fish and Game has been issuing misdemeanor citations to people who violate the closure and will continue to do so until the property re-opens to the public, Biorn said. A $25 fine can cost nearly $200 after court costs are added.

The closure was maintained while Fish and Game waited for fawns to leave the WMA. As of Friday, only 36 percent of radio-collared fawns had migrated off the WMA.