Outdoors Blog

Playing Outdoors featured activity (Feb. 17): Don’t run for the Foothills just yet

The 180 miles of trails in the Boise Foothills are a tempting recreation option with some spring-like weather in the forecast — but walkers, hikers, runners and bikers still must be careful. If mud sticks to your shoe or tire, turn around.

People using muddy trails has been one of the biggest complaints during an ongoing master-plan process.

“It’s a huge problem every year,” said Sara Arkle, the Foothills and open space senior manager for the city of Boise.

A Facebook page — search Boise Foothills Trail Conditions — provides daily updates to help guide users to suitable trails. Shoe and tire prints in the mud can damage trails and people who try to avoid mud can widen the trails.

“Once somebody’s out there, they’ve kind of committed and it’s hard to turn around,” Arkle said, which is why the Facebook updates have become important (the page has more than 8,100 likes).

Most Foothills trails likely will be muddy in warm February weather. Recommended all-weather trails include the Hulls Gulch out and back, Hillside to Hollow out and back, Rocky Canyon Road and the Greenbelt, Arkle said.

Have a suggestion for our weekly featured activity? Email outdoors@idahostatesman.com.