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National Trails Day

Saturday, June 4, is National Trails Day. If you’re not normally the outdoorsy type, you may not realize that the Boise Foothills are known for having some of the best trails in the country with miles of beautiful paths perfect for hiking, running, biking, and horseback riding. With such a wonderful resource right in our back yard, there’s really no excuse not to get out and enjoy it. However, it’s good for both newbies and trail veterans to review safety and etiquette guidelines for trail use before heading out:

Always let someone know where you’re going. Although the trails at the Boise Foothills receive heavy use, not all trails do. If something happens to you while you’re out, you want people to know where to look for you.
Plan to be out for a set time rather than to travel a set distance. This is especially true for those who are new to trail use. Trails are uneven, rocky, and sometimes slippery, and the terrain places extra challenges on the muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, hips, and core. If you can easily walk two miles in a half hour on paved roads, don’t necessarily think you can accomplish the same on a trail.
Carry your own water. For very hot days and for those who plan on being out for more than a few minutes, it’s important to have your own water handy. Dehydration and heat stroke symptoms can quickly become serious, and you don’t want to be far away from water when you really need it.
Keep dogs on leash. No matter how well-behaved, all dogs should be kept on leash while out on the trails, except in designated off-leash areas (which will be marked as such). This not only ensures your dog won’t disturb other trail users, but it protects sensitive wildlife (such as ground nesting birds, who will abandon chicks if bothered).
Stay on the trail. Trail preservation is an important responsibility for everyone who uses them. Walking off the trail gradually wears away plant growth and destroys habitat. It’s up to each of us to conserve the trails for future generations.

For more information on enjoying the Boise Foothills, visit the Ridge to Rivers website. Hope to see you on the trails this Saturday! Keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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