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Trail Blaze: The Blog of Idaho Trails Association

Is that a grizzly bear or a chipmunk walking around the tent?

Some friends ask me why someone who has no kids of their own would work so hard to provide opportunities to get someone else’s kids outside and into the backcountry. Well, it started when I was young. My parents liked to camp and visit the mountains and national parks during my childhood in the 60s.  I […]

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10 year Anniversary shirts and cups are here!

We have new shirts and cups to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! Every donor who gives $100 or more to our Idaho Gives campaign will have the choice of one of these goodies. Give today!

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Idaho Gives is here!

Do you remember going on outdoor trips when you were young? Do you have fond memories of making s’mores around a campfire, learning how to pitch a tent, and using a crosscut saw to clear trails? Okay, probably not that last one. But maybe you remember hiking as a kid! Outdoor experiences from childhood have shaped […]

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ITA Response to COVID-19

The health and safety of our staff, members, family and community are our number one priority.   In response to the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak and the concern it poses to everyone’s health and well-being, our entire staff will be implementing best practices which will still allow us to do our jobs safely and help keep our […]

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Featured Projects

With so many great projects on the schedule, it’s hard to even know where to start! Here are a few that we are especially excited about: April 26 – May 2 • North Central Idaho • Gospel Hump Wilderness • Sheep Creek Jet Boat TripJet boat from Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp, outside of Riggins, to Sheep Creek in […]

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Our 2020 Project Schedule is Live!

We’re so excited to announce that our project schedule is open to members to sign up! There are so many great maintenance and monitoring trips this year and we can’t wait to get out on the trail with you. We have projects from one to seven days and ranging from easy to difficult. Our Members-Only sign-up period will be until April 1 when it […]

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Social Media Etiquette in the Outdoors

On January 29th, as part of the ITA Trail Master Presentation Series, board member Pam Bond and Leave No Trace Ambassador Evan Worthington discussed the potential impacts, good and bad, of sharing our outdoor experiences through social media like Facebook and Instagram.  Those who attended had varying opinions about how outdoor enthusiasts should share their […]

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Join Us For the 2020 Trail Master Series!

We are getting ready to kick off our third season of the ITA Trail Master Presentation series. We thought it would be a great idea to start offering a recurring presentation on something related to hiking, outdoor skills, etc. over the long winter months to keep our members, and the general public, engaged with ITA […]

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Nearly 8,000 hours of service in 2019!

Since ITA’s start in 2010, the number of projects, volunteers, and supporters has grown every year. 2019 was no exception! Two hundred and seventy-seven volunteers contributed 7,996 hours of service and completed a total of 37 trail projects across the state. 2019 Totals: Miles of trail cleared- 189.5 Week-long Projects – 13 Multi-day Projects – […]

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Crew Leader Spotlight: John McCarthy

John McCarthy

Going from freezing morning temperatures to an 80-degree bluebird afternoon is just part of the fun and excitement of an Idaho Trails Association project. In early June, our ITA crew started the day at Meyers Cove with a thick layer of frost on our tents. By afternoon we’d hiked 16 miles down Camas Creek to […]

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Preserving Traditional Tools and Skills

This week, we would like to highlight why ITA chooses to use traditional tools and skills for our work. We are fortunate enough to have our work take place in the wilderness. But what does wilderness really mean? Wilderness can be a general term used to describe a tract or region of land that is relatively undisturbed by […]

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Giving Tuesday

Amidst the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, join us on December 3rd for Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. Giving Tuesday is your chance to support the community organizations that contribute to your way of life. For the outdoor enthusiast there are plenty of ways to support your favorite recreation areas, including […]

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Women Only Weekends- WOW!

This week we highlight our Women Only Weekends (WOW) and it’s official! WOW has become an official Idaho Trails Association program called ‘Women in the Wild’. This program was unintentionally created last season when ITA partnered with the Boise Bold Betties Chapter for an all-ladies trail maintenance weekend. It was such a success, we decided […]

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First Season for ITA’s Youth Program

This week, we would like to highlight a new ITA initiative. As we know, one of the big pushes nationwide is to get America’s youth outside and away from the electronics and sedentary lifestyles. ITA has answered that call by starting our Youth Program for 14 to 18 year olds. With this program, we aim to get our youth into the backcountry to […]

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Message from our Executive Director, Jeff Halligan

Why Become a Member of Idaho Trails Association? As the snow starts to blanket the high country, we’re planning ITA’s trail projects for 2020. I have to say we had a great season in 2019. We had a record number of volunteers provide time and energy to get the work done, we had a record number […]

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Sheep Creek in the Gospel Hump Wilderness 2020!

It’s going to be 2020 soon! We are in the process of putting together our 2020 projects and it looks like we are going to have some doozies! Have you ever wanted to jetboat up the Salmon River and spend a week in the Gospel Hump? We are working on that opportunity for you! Camp […]

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Kirkwood Trail Bridge 2020

Don’t have a week? We are going to rebuild the bridge at Kirkwood Ranch in Hell’s Canyon! We are planning a weekend in Hell’s canyon at the Kirkwood ranch rebuilding a trail bridge. The plan will be to jetboat up to the ranch from Pittsburg landing and spend 2 days working on the bridge. We […]

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Coyote Springs 2020

Fly into the Frank Church! Have you ever wanted to spend the week in one of the most remote places in the lower 48? We are looking at a flyin project where you will fly from McCall to Cold Meadows on a Monday Morning. The project is clearing the trail through Coyote Springs to Black […]

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Announcing the 2019 Fall ITA Membership Drive!

Join Idaho Trails Association. Idaho is blessed with over 10,000 miles of non-motorized hiking trails on our public lands. These trails take hikers to some of the most beautiful parts of the state. Unfortunately, funding for the care of trails is far short of what is needed to keep them open and usable. ITA is […]

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2019 Volunteer Appreciation Parties

4th Street Market

Mark your calendars, it’s party time! Are you a current ITA member or have volunteered with us in the past? We are having two parties to celebrate YOU! Haven’t volunteered with ITA before? No problem. New recruits are welcome as well. Signup to attend one of our volunteer appreciation parties: https://www.idahotrailsassociation.org/volunteerparty/ — May 4, 2019 Volunteer […]

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Thank you Larry Callister!

A special thank you to ITA member Larry Callister for a donation of cross cut saws!  We are so thrilled to have these new additions to our tool cache.  The Simonds 513 is going to be limited to shows and demonstrations.  Come give it a try at the Spokane Great Outdoors Expo on February 24th […]

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Fred Meyer Community Rewards

Hello ITA supporters! Did you know if you are a Fred Meyer customer you can help the Idaho Trails Association just by shopping for your daily essentials? It’s true. Just register your Fred Meyer Rewards card on their website, go to the Community Rewards link: https://www.fredmeyer.com/topic/community-rewards-4 then ‘re-enroll or link your Rewards Card now’ and pick […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: Thom Klein

The Idaho Centennial Trail takes hikers 900 miles through some of Idaho’s most beautiful places. With the current rise in popularity of long distance hiking, it is high time that the ICT gets the recognition it deserves as one of America’s most rugged and remote hikes. But an increase in hikers means an increased need […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: Howard Shay

We here at ITA are proud to have grown beyond our Boise roots into the beautiful backcountry of North Idaho. From the Selkirks to the St. Joe, you’re sure to find some of the most pristine forests in the mountain West. Our volunteers have been hard at work improving trails for all to enjoy. As […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: Tobey Jinkins

Without our volunteers, the Idaho Trails Association could not do the important work of keeping public trails open. As part of our 2016 membership drive, we’d like to introduce you to some of the folks that have made our projects so successful and fun. Tobey has volunteered on our Alice-Toxaway project two years running and […]

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Join Idaho Trails Association During Our 7th Annual Membership Drive

Become a Steward of Idaho’s Trails Join ITA During Our 7th Annual Membership Drive Dear Idaho Backcountry and Wilderness Trail Lovers: Idaho’s network of backcountry trails leads hikers to and through some of our state’s most beautiful, hidden places. As one of the state’s fastest growing volunteer-driven organizations dedicated to clearing backcountry trails, Idaho Trails […]

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Bee Top Connector Trail Work Debrief

On Tuesday, July 26, eleven volunteers helped work on the final sections of the new Bee Top Connector Trail in the Sandpoint Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. This new trail will re-open access to the Bee Top/Round Top Trail #120 from the east end for the first time in many years. The […]

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Hum Lake trail work party debrief

On July 2nd, 2016 ten volunteers donated 80 hours of volunteer time to clear the Hum Lake trail on the Krassel Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. We were met with clear blue skies, temperatures in the 60s and an empty Trailhead.  We started off with introductions and a safety meeting to discuss the day’s […]

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2016 Cleanup of the Beehive Lakes Trail #279.

On June 25, volunteers with the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) completed maintenance work on the Beehive Lakes Trail in the Sandpoint District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Fourteen ITA members and friends brushed out 4 ½ miles of trail, re-built or re-opened 43 water diversion ditches, and cut out 5 fallen trees that had […]

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English Point Trail Work Party Debrief

Our first trail work party of 2016 was another great success. On Friday, April 29, eight volunteers helped the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) do maintenance work on the English Point Trail #80 in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. The group cleaned out water bars, cut back brush, cleaned sod off of a raised walkway, and […]

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A WEEK IN THE WHITE CLOUD WILDERNESS

Peter Lovera the Idaho Conservation Leagues’s 2015 Artist in Residence elegantly captured the 2015 Livingston Mill/Castle Divide  trail work vacation that he volunteered on! His words and photos capture how a week of stewardship in Idaho’s wilderness can change you and connect you to the wild. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, […]

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Volunteers Pick Up Trail Work Where Forest Service Left Off…..

The Boise Weekly published an article about the Idaho Trails Association on July, 2015. It’s a great article on how we got started, our mission, and how we accomplish our mission. Read more here.

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2015 Hum Lake Trail Work Party Debrief

Idaho Trails Association trail work project on July 25th & 26th, 2015 was at Hum Lake on the Krassel District of the Payette National Forest. We backpacked into base camp at Hum Lake on Saturday and then divided into two crews and conquered. One group headed north on the trail and did some much needed […]

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2015 Alice-Toxaway Trail Work Vacation Debrief

We are thrilled with the work our volunteers accomplished during this Epic trail work vacation in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Our amazing volunteer crew along with a Forest Service Wilderness Ranger got this staggering list of  accomplishments done! 10-ITA Volunteers contributed 400 hours of volunteer time. Cleared 7 trees from the trail within Wilderness. Resurfaced 1500 […]

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National Trails Day Summary

National Trails Day 2015 was a success from the start.  Volunteers met at the BLM field Office in Boise and carpooled to the Perjue Canyon Trailhead in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness.  REI supplied sandwiches, chips and drinks while volunteers provided homemade cookies for the return trip.  15 volunteers made the trip with BLM Recreation […]

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Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative

We are collaborating with IYWI another Idaho nonprofit organization to get youth outdoors and experience nature! IYWI will create opportunities for Idaho’s youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures provided by trained and equipped adult youth leaders. The mission of IYWI is to create opportunities for Idaho youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures by breaking down […]

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Restoration of Jenny Lake Trails Continues in 2015 – Guest Blog

The following is a guest blog from Teton hiking trails. Restoration of Jenny Lake Trails Continues in 2015 The Spring 1939 issue of Grand Teton Nature Notes pronounced that “By far the most popular trail in the park is the lower portion of the Cascade Canyon Trail which leaves Jenny Lake and climbs above Hidden […]

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Eckles Creek Trail Work Party Debrief

Our second trail work party of 2015 was another great success. We had 15 Rock star volunteers come help maintain trail in the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation area.  We partnered with the Payette National Forest Service to work on trail #223 Eckles Creek trail in Hell’s Canyon. We did some heavy trail pad repair and […]

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Fuel up for the trail…..

I am going to re-hash the old weight versus taste argument. Do you take whole food or dehydrated? Believe it or not, your body has the answers! Many Rock Climbers will lean towards the freeze dried due to weight and a Backpacker tends to go with the more whole food option Calories are literally energy, […]

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Oolite Trail Work Party Debrief

Our first trail work party of 2015 was a huge success. We had over 30 volunteers eager to get outside on a gorgeous Saturday in January!  We partnered with the Bruneau Field Office of the BLM to work on the Oolite Interpretive Trail in the Owyhees. We did some minor pruning and signed the 0.5 […]

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