Trail Plan a Blueprint for a Connected Community

“A well-planned trail system creates a more livable community and . . . can encourage residents to be healthier and more active.” — Bonner County Trails Plan

Hiking trails, bike paths, mountain bike single track and numerous other types of trails criss-cross Bonner County, but there are gaps in this loose-knit system of trails.

Two years ago, ICL teamed up with the Trust for Public Land and the relatively new Trail Mix Committee to build on the county’s unfinished trail plan.

This spring, the new Bonner Country Trail Plan was completed, and now the Trail Mix Committee—a collaborative group of nearly two-dozen stakeholders—is looking at how to implement the plan to provide for more recreation trails and connections for commuters and kids.

The two highest rated proposed trails in the plan— the Watershed Crest Trail and the Pack River Trail—are between brainstorming and development stage. The Pend Oreille Pedalers bike club and City of Sandpoint have teamed up to build the Watershed Crest Trail—a trail that will extend from Schweitzer Mountain ski resort to Mount Baldy and down a ridgeline to Sandpoint, offering up an epic mountain bike ride, hike or trail run near town.

The Pack River Trail partly exists in wildlife management areas that hug the serpentine Pack River as it winds its way from the Selkirk Mountains to Lake Pend Oreille. The county and Trail Mix Committee are looking at how to connect these existing public parcels to make a longer, more continuous trail that offers great bird-watching, views of the river and mountains, and gentle terrain for all ages to enjoy.

The Trail Mix Committee, which includes nonprofit groups, the cities, county, state and federal agencies, also is looking at how to provide better information to residents and visitors about the existing trails in the area through a user friendly website or through printed maps.

Check out the plan here, but you don’t need to wait to get out and enjoy the many miles of trails already at our disposal!

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