I received a call several days ago from Ridge to Rivers (RTR) to inform me the new feature trail on Table Rock has been seeing a high level of use. This is a good thing and it tells me there is a desire by Boise mountain bikers for more diverse trail types throughout the foothills. The enhanced and new rock features, jumps, rollers and berms have added a good deal of fun and technical challenge to the Table Rock trail system. But along with this great new fun stuff has come the desire by some (without previous approvals from RTR) to add to or change the nature of the trails. There have recently been rocks removed from the trails and new lines built adjacent to them by individuals with a desire to have it their way.

I know, here it comes…..but you did a bunch of illegal work in the past…...yes I did, but I’ve gone through the “Illegal Trail Builders 12 Step Recovery Program” and now work within the system.

Sure working within the system takes longer and can be agonizing to those whose attitude is “I want it now so build it now!” It just doesn’t work that way. RTR is the assigned management group by the City of Boise to build and maintain our trail system. Any and all work done within their jurisdiction must go through them, and quite often multiple other agencies or private land owners for approval prior to implementation. Trails are evaluated and designed based on an extensive list of criteria. Haphazard work is just not allowed. When done outside the system, often times the end product is unsustainable, does not follow the overall intent or serve the predominant user group of the trail. Also, each and every time illegal trail work is undertaken, RTR must stop work on other projects to remove and restore the damage done. This just makes it more difficult for those trying to work within the system to build the features a growing number of riders are requesting.

Also, please try to stay on trail at all times. Respect the trail closures and reroutes. They have been done for good reason. Though these reasons may not be immediately apparent, try to take look at it from the perspective of others. Consider the environment of the trail; some uses are just not compatible with the geology, ecosystem or current traffic type.

So let’s all work within the system to build new trails and trail features, if not, we will surely lose what we do have through closures and removal of previously approved work. RTR is very accommodating when dealing with the wants and desires of the many trail user groups they serve. They will take the time to return phone calls and emails of those who present ideas for our foothill trail system.