Idaho’s top terrains cited
The July issue of Sunset magazine pegs southwest Idaho as a new hot destination for mountain bikers.
Here’s the short version of the magazine’s picks for the top five spots featuring 70-miles of maintained trails from the high, dry foothills of Boise north to the cool mountain and lake country surrounding McCall.
Brundage Mountain Resort, 1,340-acre alpine ski area transforms to summer fat-tire area offering 1,800 feet of vertical descent served by chairlifts
•Payoffs: Lifts and single-track designed for bikes.
•Trails up to 7 miles for immediate to advanced.
Fort Boise Park, Boise’s Ridge to Rivers Trail System contains a network of short, all-abilities trails.
•Payoff: As part of the Military Reserve Loop, the ride along Cottonwood Creek is beautiful with an easy water crossing, rewarded with a view of Boise.
Ponderosa State Park, ride from McCall to enjoy the scenic trails through ponderosa pines and green corridors on a hilly peninsula jutting into Payette Lake.
•Payoff: 1,550-acre park with scenic stops of lake views and 112 bird species. Camping available.
•Trails up to 3.5 miles, moderate to difficult.
Ruby Meadows-Loon Lake Loop, an Idaho Classic – mostly single-track, roller-coaster trails through spruce forests and over bridges and catwalks.
•Payoff: Soak in Loon Lake and learn about the World War II bomber crash on the lake’s south end.
•21-mile loop, moderately difficult.
Tamarack Resort, prime bike-trail system at a new ski and summer resort.
•Payoff: Chairlift option makes this site perfect for riders of all abilities. Classic country rides, bomber downhills, banked single-track and a terrain area.
•Trails up to 15 miles long for all levels
Sailors hold open house
The Panhandle Yacht Club has scheduled an open house on Saturday, noon-5 p.m., to introduce the public to the only sailboat-only facility on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
In addition to moorage and facilities for members, the club also is a base for racing and sailing instruction.
From I-90 at Wolf Lodge exit 22, drive south 8 miles on Highway 97. The yacht club entrance is one mile past Squaw Bay Resort.
Fee areas scaled back
The post-Memorial Day timing was less than perfect, but many people still welcome the announcement last week that national forests in Oregon and Washington are dropping fee requirements at 25 percent of day-use recreation sites where fees have been collected.
One-time $5 parking fees or annual Northwest Forest Passes will still be required at the more extensively developed recreation sites in the Wallowa National Forest in Eastern Oregon and most of the sites where fees are currently charged in the Okanogan and Wenatchee forests of Washington.
The parking pass requirement also will continue at Bead Lake boat launch, the only fee-access site on the Colville National Forest.
However, the Umatilla National Forest is dropping the parking pass requirement on all 19 trailhead sites where the fee has been required in the Blue Mountains, forest officials said.
The Okanogan-Wenatchee forests have reduced the number of fee sites from 112 to 104 and the Wallowa-Whitman forests have dropped the fee sites from 26 to 21, noting that certain sites do not have enough development to justify the fee.
Wenatchee office gets reprieve
The last of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife district field offices has been given a one-year reprieve from the budget ax.
The Wenatchee field office, which was set to close on June 30, will remain open at least through next year, said Bob Perleberg, a 24-year department veteran who was scheduled to lose his job.
The longtime office manager is the department’s only staffer devoted to serving the public that comes into the area’s only office outside of Ephrata.
Agency officials were able to tweak their budget to come up with the funding for a year and will ask the Washington Legislature for supplemental funding in 2007, Perleberg said.
However, agency officials said they still must reduce staff in other areas.
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