Monday, February 25, 2013

Greenbelt update - west of Boise

Last year I got all twitterpated when I read a story about the Greenbelt being extended on the south side of the Boise River, west of town. And I rode out that way a couple times in late summer and fall, to get a feel. Exciting stuff.

Last time I was out there, in late October or even maybe early November, they had graded a mile or so west of where the pavement ended, and hoped to lay down some asphalt before winter. (I continued on the graded section, riding as far as I could until the pathway was blocked by an official-looking fence.)

10 days or so ago, I finally mustered the time and energy to venture out that way to get a visual update. (Plus, I finally had some confidence that most of the snow would be gone, even in the shady spots.)

And - I made it all the way to Eagle Road, on the skinny tires!

The pavement extends farther, but there's still an unpaved stretch at the far west end, and there were a couple of muddy spots that made me nervous. "If I don't make it all the way through, I'll be going home with muddy shoes." But somehow I prevailed - fences that had blocked the way last fall were gone. I was thrilled to arrive on heavily-traveled Eagle Road!

Having the path extend all the way through makes it a viable transportation corridor, as well as being a scenic recreational trail.

I hope they can muster what is needed to pave the remaining distance. As it currently stands, I can't confidently recommend it for any but the "adventurous" type. It's definitely not suitable for a lightweight road bike. Once it gets dry, I imagine that most people with reasonable skills on a fat-tire bike would do just fine. (Of course, at the other end you're dealing with Eagle Road, and that ain't gonna change. Traffic is heavy and fast.)

I believe the dream is to continue even farther out by 2 or 3 miles, to Eagle Island State Park. To make it attractive to most cyclists, they'll probably have to figure out how to get bike traffic under Eagle Road. I didn't check out the bridge, to see if there's room for a path underneath.)

Once I got to Eagle Road, I "paid my dues," riding south on roaring Eagle to Pine, then eastward back home. Ended up with a 25-mile commute for the day.

(This photo is how the pathway looks, where it emerges onto Eagle Road.  It's still pretty drab and wintery-looking out that way; I expect photos will be forthcoming in another month or two.)

1 comment:

Clancy Anderson said...

I would like to see bike camping allowed at Eagle Island. That would make a nice overnight trip.