Palisades Ranger District teams up with volunteers to complete the Bear Creek Trail Improvement Project
Swan Valley, Idaho, May 17, 2022: Over the weekend, volunteers form local groups teamed up with the Forest Service to install a bridge on a section of single-track trail that crosses Bear Creek, west of Palisades Reservoir, on the Palisades Ranger District. This bridge install was the last step to a large project that began in 2020. Over 50 people made the five-mile trek by horse, dirt bike and bicycle to come together and complete this much needed work.
The project was made possible with funds secured by the Forest Service. A grant awarded to the Forest Service from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation provided the funding for most of the bridge materials and paid for the helicopter that delivered the materials last fall. The Forest Service also paid for a portion of the bridge material. Anheuser-Busch Foundation and The National Forest Foundation teamed up to provide funds to purchase explosives and hire temporary employees to reroute about a mile of trail last year. The re-engineering of this single-track will create a more sustainable trail that is less susceptible to erosion, flooding from beaver dams and will increase the season of use.
“Without the help of great partners and volunteers, we could not get this scale of work completed on our trail systems,” said Colby Jacobson, Palisades District Recreation Manager. “Not only did we have people getting work done on the ground, but there were also many other volunteers and business that donated their time and energies behind the scenes to support the overall effort.” Some of the volunteer groups included the Idaho Single Track Alliance, Back Country Horsman of Idaho, Snake River Mountain Bike Club, Idaho Falls Trail Machine Association, Idaho Mountain Trading, Idaho Parks and Recreation and Bonneville County Sherriff’s Back Country Division. Sponsorship, meals and door prizes were provided by Klim, Wackerli Auto Center, Action Motorsports, Lithia Ford and Upshift.
We want to remind visitors to make sure they are using the forest trail system appropriately. Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM’s) display National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails) or areas designated as open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (ex. highway-legal vehicles, vehicles 50 inches in width or less and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, distance allowances and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. These maps are free and available at each local Ranger District office or on the web at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ctnf/maps-pubs/?cid=fseprd1023682.