New Trail Proposal - Aug 2019

The Hidden Springs Open Space Committee has been discussing the addition of a new trail along Dry Creek Road connecting the Ridge to Rivers Trails Parking Lot on W. Dry Creek Rd. to the South Bitterbrush Trail and the Chukar Butte trailhead.

Trail Description

The proposed single-track trail is intended to provide enhanced recreational opportunities in the Dry Creek Valley for an under-served population of trail users – those who do not want significant physical or technical challenges, yet still want to get somewhat removed from the population center.  The recommended route is designed as a component of a progressive stacked loop system.  Within the population center trails are generally flat and allow users to move easily from one point to another throughout the community.  Within Hidden Springs the intra-community trails are plentiful.  In the stacked loop approach, surrounding the population center is another trail layer that allows residents to easily move out into the surrounding open space.  Trails in this layer will focus on easy access and minimal impediments to most categories of users.  As additional layers are added or stacked, trails may become increasingly more physically challenging and eventually may require well developed skill to safely traverse.

Refer to the accompanying Google Earth image with the proposed trail marked by yellow dots.  The trail is envisioned as a single-track trail, generally consistent with other nearby trails, while making a concerted effort to minimize obstacles.  It is intended to be usable by all skill levels, but with an appeal to beginning mountain bikers, hikers, single individuals, groups, or families.  The trail begins at Point A located at a junction with the Red Tail Trail approximately 750 feet ESE of the Red Tail Trail parking lot on Dry Creek Road.  The first section of proposed trail extends from Point A (elevation 2920 ft) to Point B (elevation 2960 ft), a distance of approximately 2500 feet.  In this section the route will generally follow the land contour with a slight elevation change of about 40 feet.  Some deviations from the contour will be incorporated to allow for trail drainage and a sustainable design.  At point B the trail will fork with a branch of approximately 1100 feet in length heading north for about half the distance, then heading east to an intersection with the Hidden Springs portion of the Bitterbrush Trail (formerly called South Bitterbrush or Landslide Meadow) at Point C.  The elevation change on this section is about 120 feet. Heading north from Point B some modest switchbacks may be needed to reduce the overall average grade to a reasonable trail grade for the intended class of users.  From Point B a southern section of trail will generally follow along the north side of Dry Creek Road to Point D where it will again intersect the Hidden Springs section of the Bitterbrush Trail. The length of this section is approximately 1200 feet with an elevation change of about 65 feet.  Points C and D are connected by an existing Hidden Springs trail, the Bitterbrush Trail (formerly known as South Bitterbrush or Landslide Meadow).  The area traversed by the B – C and B – D trail sections cross gullies or washes that will likely require installation of culverts and elevated crossings to accommodate the intended user skill level.  No abrupt drops or rises are planned.

Project Benefits

The proposed new trail has several benefits to the residents of Hidden Springs and the greater Dry Creek Valley, and even Ada County overall.  The eastern portion of the proposed trail (B – C – D – B) will provide an opportunity to hike or ride a loop of about 3000 feet in length.  It is our intention to route the trail in such a fashion as to create a trail that is accessible to all levels of mountain bike riders, especially those who are just beginning to learn how to ride safely, thus increasing access to a broader base of recreational users.  Modest slopes will also be welcomed by those who want to walk in the open space but don’t relish some of the steep climbs found on most of our other upland trails.

Easy access to this trail will be provided to residents via the southern section of the Bitterbrush Trail (formerly Landslide Meadow Trail).  That trail is considered a beginner level trail with interspersed flat and slight climbing / descending sections.  Hidden Springs residents living in Rolling Hills (Deerpath Drive and Sage Creek Drive) can access the proposed trail from the Bitterbrush Trail.  Additionally, the trail will be accessible from the roadside parking available at the Chukar Butte trailhead.

For those hikers and bikers that find it appropriate to park at the Ridge to Rivers Trails parking lot located along Dry Creek Road, a lower elevation route to the east will provide more convenient access to the Chukar Butte Trail.  Currently, trail users who park here must walk or ride along Dry Creek and Cartwright Roads or ascend the ridge north of Dry Creek Road using the Red Tail Trail, then head east on the Red Tail and Bitterbrush Trails.  This trail route requires a steep uphill climb at first, then an eventual descent to the Chukar Butte trailhead.  One of the issues that has arisen with the Chukar Butte trailhead is that no improved parking currently exists near that location.  Those trail users who want immediate access to this trail park along the side of the road.  There is very limited space, approximately enough to accommodate 4 to 5 vehicles at a maximum.  Parked cars at this location also increases concern over hikers and bikers crossing Cartwright Road as well as potential vehicle collisions.  We also see situations where vehicles are parked incorrectly, not completely off the paved portion of the road.  Providing a more convenient way to access the Chukar Butte trail from the W. Dry Creek Road parking lot could ease this problem.

As regional trail use increases, we have seen increased usage of the Bitterbrush Trail located immediately south of several homes on Deerpath Drive.  The proposed trail would likely divert or disperse some of that usage to the new trail which will be located further away from these homes.

Yellow = Proposed Trail

The Open Space Committee invites your comments and suggestion regarding the proposed new trail. Comments may be submitted to the Hidden Springs Town office at hsta@hiddensprings.com, voiced in person at the Open Space Meeting August 20th or September 3rd.  All Comments need to be received by the close of business (6:30 pm) on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Please contact the Town Office, 208-229-2326 or hsta@hiddensprings.com for more information about the new trail.