ITD helps make expanded 'Oregon Trailhead' a reality

Ada County officials will officially reopen the Oregon Trailhead on the east side of Highway 21 in East Boise with a Tuesday (July 13) ribbon-cutting. The event highlights a 15-year collaboration. Partners include: Ada County, JR Simplot Corporation, The Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, the Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Parks and Recreation Department, Boise City Parks and Recreation Department, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Oregon-California Trail Association.

The event begins at 11 am and is open to the public.

The trailhead has been closed for construction since early April. With the reopening, the public will have access restored to approximately 12 miles of paths and trails extending east to Bonneville Point and Lucky Peak Dam. Users also can connect to Boise City and neighborhood paths west of Highway 21, which lead downtown and to the Greenbelt.

The improved trailhead facility has a paved parking lot, basalt, sculptured steel interpretive kiosk and panels that tell the story of the Oregon Trail, and values of the Boise foothills and wildlife. The trail is located with several branches of the Oregon Trail and the Kelton Road all intertwined.

ITD transferred right-of-way land to Ada County in 2008 to connect land donated by Simplot Corporation. ITD also is administering enhancement grant funds for the Ada County Parks and Waterways purchase of land and easements to preserve the Oregon Trail west of Idaho 21.

Recreational trails will be open to all non-motorized uses – walkers, runners, mountain bikes and horseback riders. Users will enjoy scenic vista of the Boise River, the Boise foothills, New York Canal, Boise River Diversion Dam, Lucky Peak Dam and an historic ramp through the rimrock, which was used during the Idaho gold rush to access Beaver Dick’s ferry across the Boise River.

All ITD employees are invited to come on out for the ribbon cutting celebration.

Published 7-9-2010