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Join us for a group ride on Opening Day for Trails

Join us for an “Opening Day of Trails” event on Saturday, April 28 in McCall.

There will be a group bike ride starting at 2 p.m. next to McCall City Hall on McCall Pathways heading out to the North Valley Rail-Trail. It’s a 10-mile ride out and back. Walkers and trail-runners are welcome to join. Refreshments will be served afterwards. The Opening Day of Trails event coincides with the National Rails to Trails Opening Day of Trails event for hundreds of rail-trails across America.

VCP officials will be clearing the North Valley Rail-Trail of snow prior to the event to ensure there is a way through shady areas on the way out to Heinrich Lane.

For more information, contact Steve Stuebner, 208-484-0295,, or Lida Clouser,, 208-630-3358 or go to

New IMBA feasibility study on singletrack trails is super-exciting!

This story ran in the Idaho Business Review recently. Reprinted with permission.

 Mountain bikers at Brundage Mountain near McCall.

A bicycle trail connecting the Valley County towns of McCall, Donnelly, and Cascade is one step closer thanks to a grant to help determine its feasibility. The study is slated for spring, and the trail could be completed by as early as next summer.

Valley County Pathways has been working to develop bike trails in the area over decommissioned rail lines, but was stymied because private property owners have been using that land and didn’t provide recreation access, said board vice president Steve Stuebner.  “We realized we would need to look at other corridors as our highest priority,” he said.

Instead, the organization started considering a narrow singletrack pathway for biking along the right-of-way of existing county roads. This is where the feasibility study comes in, because the area gets a lot of water with snowmelt and there are drainage ditches along the roads. Also, the extent of the county right-of-way isn’t clear, Stuebner said. So with a $15,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors, awarded in October, as well as some matching funds, Valley County Pathways is working with the International Mountain Biking Association, or IMBA, to determine whether the project is workable.

Although the IMBA is doing the work, the proposed trail won’t be limited to mountain bikers, Stuebner said. “Our whole vision for that Valley County pedestrian pathways is this should be open to anybody, at any level – walkers, runners, bicyclists, potentially horseback riding,” he said. A similar system, the North Valley Rail Trail near McCall, has been developed for winter use such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as well, he said.

The city of Cascade, Kelly’s Whitewater Park and Valley County Pathways are working on a 12-foot pathway that extends for 2.25 miles along the Payette River between Water’s Edge RV Park and Fisher Pond Park, according to the Valley County Pathways website.

A singletrack trail accommodates one bike; a doubletrack trail has two parallel tracks and can be used by four-wheeled vehicles. “It’s a dirt, meandering single track,” said Andrew Mentzer, executive director of the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council, a nonprofit regional economic planning body for the west central mountains, including Valley County and Meadows Valley in Adams County. Mentzer’s group suggested the idea for the trail. Typically, such tracks are functional for about five months of the year, from June through October, outside of winter and “mud season,” he said.

While there are some singletrack trails in the Boise foothills, in Sun Valley, and in the mountains around Tamarack, “to do it on the valley floor is really a brand-new concept,” said Stuebner. Singletrack is considerably cheaper than other alternatives, and a track built specifically for mountain biking is more exciting. “Folks like IMBA can build in some cool trail flow features to make the riding experience more interesting for people – bank corners, little jumps,” he said.

On the other hand, a trail in the valley floor is going to be easier for people than a trail on the mountain where there are rocks and roots to contend with, Stuebner said. “It’s a base on which you start,” he explained. “Then they can build their skills and go from there.”

The grant was put together by the Mountain Central Association of Realtors, according to president Cory Corbet, a realtor at Century 21. “We liked the concept of getting more trail systems for bikes, and connecting communities from Donnelly, Cascade, and McCall, and making it a trail-friendly venue,” she said. “We were excited to hear they had this feasibility study they were doing.”

The singletrack system is a great benefit to the community, especially to people who want to commute between the towns via bicycle, said Corbet, who said she is a bike rider herself. Donnelly is about 13 miles from each of McCall and Cascade, she said, adding that the trail would also be a perfect venue for electric-assist bikes as well.

IMBA will take about four days to identify routes and drainage patterns, then a few weeks to produce the actual study, Mentzer said. “You could see us getting underway on construction within days of getting approval from the county,” he said. “It could be 2019, it could be this summer.”


North Valley Trail is freshly groomed and ready for winter xc ski season!

Wendy Wilson on classic xc skis on the North Valley Trail

We received some timely new snow prior to the Christmas-New Years holiday, just in time to get the xc ski trails in the McCall area groomed for the public to enjoy.

There’s about 5+ miles of xc ski trails to explore south of McCall, starting at the Activity Barn and going out the North Valley Rail-Trail to Heinrich Lane. The trails are open to xc skiing, snowshoeing and snow-biking. There is no charge to use the trails. You can ski or ride a big loop in the snow-covered pastures by the Activity Barn, and then do an out-and-back experience on the North Valley Trail.

I snow-biked the full length of both trails on Saturday, Dec. 30, and the trails were nice and firm for snow-biking and all of the other activities. I saw people xc skiing, snow-biking, snow-shoeing and boot hiking. Everyone had a smile on their face on a sunny bluebird day with temperatures just below freezing. Pretty much ideal!

While you’re out by the Activity Barn, consider adding to the fun quotient by going tubing or sign up for a sleigh ride. 

We sure appreciate our volunteer snow-groomer who grooms the North Valley Trail on a regular basis. Donations are encouraged and appreciated to take care of grooming costs, fuel and upkeep. People can donate on our web site or send a contribution by mail, P.O. Box 233
McCall, ID 83638. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Thank you! Happy Trails!

Steve Stuebner with Valley County Pathways

Thanks to all for Mountain Pathways Celebration

20170805_104932Hi all,

We had a successful event on Saturday, Aug. 5th even though we awoke to dark, smoky skies in McCall. We appreciate everyone who participated, and also everyone who volunteered for the event and our event sponsors and co-sponsors.

First, a big thank you to St. Lukes-McCall and McCall Parks & Recreation for co-sponsoring the event. Lyle Nelson and Kurt Wolf were instrumental in planning the event, and Erin Roper put a polished touch on our event poster.

Thanks to Midas Gold for sponsoring the Harlow’s bus shuttle, and to Idaho First Bank for sponsoring the McCall Party Rentals Bounce House. Our bus driver, Christy, donated her time after working the event. She did a great job! We also want to thank Albertson’s in McCall for donating food and water bottles.

20170805_104204We had awesome volunteers at our aid stations along the 5-mile course on the North Valley Trail and McCall City Pathways. Thank you to our aid station volunteers!

At Mile 1, McCall Parks & Recreation.

At Mile 2, Melanie Holmes of Remax Realty and Sherry Maupin of Idaho First Bank volunteered at the River Ranch location. Both of these professional women are very busy and stretched to the limit, but they still came out to support pathways.

At Mile 3,  Michele Crester, manager of the McCall Activity Barn, regaled participants as they passed by the tubing hill, which is a beautiful tall-grass pasture for cattle in the summertime.

At Mile 5, Brett Shepherd from Tamarack Resort and Cindy Lee greeted folks as they disembarked the bus shuttle and started their journey into McCall.

This was a fund-raising event, and we made most of the funds from quality items donated for our raffle.

20170805_105006A big thank you to all of the businesses that donated items for the raffle:

  • Hala Hoss SUP $1,100.00 value, donated by River Gear, a paddle and bike shop in Cascade, owned by Damon Yerkes, a long-time VCP board member and treasurer
  • YETI cooler, $199 value from May Hardware
  • Cheap Thrills ½ day Wave-Runner rental $175 value
  • Four passes to open skating at Manchester Ice Center
  • Two gift certificates for three movie rentals at Sunset Video
  • Two ½-day SUP rental from McCall Sports Exchange
  • Two $25 G.C.’s to McCall Jewelry
  • Lift tickets to Tamarack Resort
  • Ski tune and lesson packages from Kurt Wolf
  • Full-day mountain bike rental from Gravity Sports

20170805_105301We also want to thank Hometown Sports for bicycle maintenance support at the event.

Volunteers who worked the Start/Finish area included Wendy Wilson, Kurt Wolf, Lyle Nelson, Steve Stuebner, Andrew Mentzer, Genny Mentzerske, and we had a great D.J., Dayna Kunkel, who played upbeat music all morning.

It will take a broad-based community-wide effort to build a valley-wide pathways system in Valley County! The same kind of community spirit that prevailed during our event will give us strength to move ahead!

Best, Steve Stuebner
Valley County Pathways

Mountain Pathways Celebration Online Registration

Please send us $5/person for the Mountain Pathways Celebration. Before you checkout in Paypal, let us know if you’re going to walk, run or bike and how far in the dropdown menus below.

We are arranging for bus/shuttle transportation and need to know how many people will need a shuttle. The people who walk, run or bike 5 miles will need a shuttle so they can experience the full breadth of the North Valley Trail and McCall City Pathways.

The options are:

  • 1 mile walk or run
  • 2.5 mile walk or run
  • 5 mile walk or run
  • 5 mile bike
  • 10 mile bike

Thank you for pre-registering!


Mountain Pathways Celebration coming up Saturday, Aug. 5th in McCall!


Hi all!

Valley County Pathways and St. Luke’s McCall are teaming up on a new event, the Mountain Pathways Celebration, on Saturday, Aug. 5th, 2017.

We want to celebrate pathways in the greater McCall, Valley County and West Central Mountains region by hosting an event on McCall city pathways and the North Valley Trail. This will be a non-competitive event that’s open to families, kids and the “average Joe and average Jane” … Please come and experience these pathways in perhaps a way that you haven’t before …

For folks who might want to walk, run or bike 5 miles, they’ll ride a bus out to the south end of the North Valley Trail on Heinrich Lane, and enjoy a continuous 5-mile journey through the beautiful, tree-lined rural outskirts of McCall — passing by the Activity Barn and the McCall Airport — and then into the downtown area to the Start/Finish area behind City Hall.

For walkers, we’re offering distances of  1, 2.5, 5 and 10 miles. Ditto for runners. Bicyclists can ride 5 miles from Heinrich into downtown McCall using the bus shuttle, or they can ride from downtown McCall and go out and back for 10 miles.

The trail is nearly flat the entire way with a couple of short uphills and downhills. Very kid friendly for all ages. Seniors too!

We want folks to have fun at this event! Costumes are encouraged. We’ll have music at the Start/Finish area. We’ll have coffee, fruit and muffins. We’ll have aid stations at every mile, with fun activities at each one. Scavenger hunts are planned for kids. Bounce house for kids.

Entry fee is $5 per person. You can pre-register online. Same-day registration is OK too.

Prizes: Bring a prize to share at the event … toys or stuffed animals for kids, used recreation gear, hats, whatever you think someone else might want!

To make things go smooth on the course, this is the timing and sequence we will use for walkers, runners and bicyclists:

8 a.m. Last-minute registration and liability release forms. Coffee, muffins and fruit for participants. Music.

8:15 a.m.-9 a.m. Start walkers and runners on 1, 2.5  and 5 miles courses. Shuttle walkers and runners who are walking or running 5 miles to the south trailhead.

10 a.m. Start bicyclists on 5 or 10 mile courses. People who wish to bike 5 miles will be shuttled out to the south trailhead.

Please spread the word! Thanks!

Steve Stuebner, Valley County Pathways

Speak up about bike lanes on Warren Wagon Road on Wednesday in McCall

scott-road-riding-in-kit3Hi all,

Federal highway officials will be holding a public open house on Wednesday, May 24, this week to give us an update on the Warren Wagon Road improvement project. This will be another opportunity to encourage FHWA officials to build 4-foot bike lanes where possible as part of the repaving project. In meetings in February, FHWA officials said they would build 3-foot shoulders to improve pedestrian safety as part of the project, and we encouraged them to go 4-feet wide where possible to increase safety even more.

Here are the details on the meetings on Wednesday — a daytime session and an evening session.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM & 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Informational Open House

Payette National Forest Building – Weiser/Idaho Conference Room
500 North Mission Street, McCall, ID 83638

ID PFH 21(7); Warren Wagon Road Project


Valley County and Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will hold a public open house regarding the latest updates on the proposed reconstruction of Warren Wagon Road, located in Valley County.

Identified as Warren Wagon Road Project, the proposed project focuses on approximately 5.5 miles of roadway, from milepost 2.23 (McCall/Valley County line) to just beyond the intersection with East Side Drive in Valley County.

The project includes pavement widening, culvert replacements, and guardrail installation. At Milepost 7.89, the intersection of Warren Wagon Road and East Side Drive would be reconstructed to a 90-degree approach. Proposed improvements also include a wider paved shoulder to more safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

All interested persons are invited to attend and present relevant comments and questions. Design information will be displayed and personnel from WFLHD will be present to answer questions and receive comments. The “open house” format allows the public to come at any time during the advertised hours, gather pertinent information about the project, speak one-on-one with project personnel, and leave as they wish. A formal presentation will not be included as part of this open house.

Comments will be collected through June 23, 2017. Written comments or requests should be submitted to: Dan Slanina, Project Manager, Western Federal Lands, 610 East 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661; voice telephone 360-619-7617.

Thank you!

See you there!

VCP Master Plan closer to the finish line

Dear Pathways supporters,

AWESOME job on the letter-writing campaign!

We’ve hadWendy on Crown Pt. Trail more than 80 letters of support submitted to the Valley County Commissioners, and more are coming in …Thank you!

Valley County Pathways presented several proposed tweaks to the Pathways Master Plan to address landowner concerns on Monday, May 15. The commissioners were pleased with our changes. We are very close.

A final decision is expected in late July. Please stay tuned.

But please be assured, the commissioners were moved by your letters of support.

THANK YOU so much for your efforts!

Best, Steve Stuebner
VCP Vice President


VCP updated Master Plan receives warm welcome from Valley County government


Dedication of the Boulder Creek Trail in the Fulton Natural Area … definitely one of our highlights over the last 10 years!

Hi all,

I think it’s fair to say that the new Master Plan for Valley County Pathways was a hit with the Valley County Planning & Zoning Commission in March. The commissioners voted unanimously to move it forward to the Valley County Commission for adoption in May.

“I’d really like to thank the Pathways group for putting this plan together,” said Ed Allen, a McCall-based member of Valley County P&Z. “It’s not every day that we have a group that brings us a plan like this. It’s really quite comprehensive. It will be an important tool that can be used for the future planning and development of pathways in our valley.”

“I think it’s really awesome,” added P&Z Commissioner Johanna Defoort.

The Star News in McCall covered the story, printed on the front page of the March 16 issue.

If adopted by the Valley County Commission, the newly updated 37-page Master Plan would be incorporated into the Valley County Comprehensive Plan, a document that guides the future planning and development of the county. The previous Master Plan was adopted by Valley County government in 2005. The plan also is strengthened by the latest pathway plans developed by the Cities of McCall, Donnelly and Cascade, and it also embraces the North Fork Payette River online Water Trails recreation guide. A new 2-inch binder contains all of the plans in living color, including all the maps.

“I think the plan is going to be an excellent document for the county and the cities to use moving forward,” said Steve Stuebner, vice president of the VCP board of directors, who presented the new Master Plan to the P&Z Commission.

The plan’s vision has stood the test of time, Stuebner said. The Vision Statement of VCP is as follows:

VCP_MASTER PLAN MAP 11x17_022717_v2Vision Statement
A north-south pathway system in Long Valley would seek to connect the communities of McCall, Donnelly, Lake Fork and Cascade, complete a pathway around Payette Lake, and establish a pathway corridor around Lake Cascade. To the maximum extent possible, the Valley County Pathway System would connect valley trails to community and neighborhood pathway networks, tourism amenities and services, parks, schools, natural areas, and national forest roads and trails.

In our update, the vision now includes linking to Adams County, New Meadows and the Weiser River Trail.

Stuebner pointed out a long list of accomplishments that have occurred since 2005 by VCP and partner organizations, including:

  • Creation of VCP web site, brochures, T-shirts and bonafide non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.
  • Extension of the Crown Point Trail by ¼ mile in each direction through a donation of real property from the Putman Family to Valley County Pathways in 2006.
  • Creation of the North Valley Trail from River Ranch to Heinrich Lane via property donations and easements. The trail opened in 2007 and new pieces have been added since that time.
  • Acquisition of multiple easements on the old Railroad Right of Way from the Idaho Power Company from McCall to Donnelly.
  • Creation of the Strand in Cascade, a 2-mile trail that runs along the North Fork of the Payette River from the south bridge to the Water’s Edge RV park. The trail also ties into pathways and observation decks at Kelly’s Whitewater Park on the North Fork Payette River, and it parallels The Strand Water Trail. Special thanks go to Dwight Jividen for development of The Strand and to the Marc Pickard family for the beautiful pathways, green space and observation areas next to the whitewater park.
  • Creation of the Boulder Creek Trail in Donnelly through the donation of property by Hugh and Georgia Ann Fulton and a substantial grant from the Boise National Forest Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The trail opened in 2012.
  • Linking up groomed cross-country ski trails from the Activity Barn to the North Valley Trail for xc skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking, working with Brundage Mountain Resort. The new xc trails at the Activity Barn are a substantial improvement to the overall mileage and diversity of the winter trail system.
  • Improved highway signage pointing out pathway trailheads to motorists and tourists visiting the valley.
  • Creating a new Master Plan and Master Plan map, outlining existing and proposed pathway corridors along with xc ski trails, water trails and key public trailheads in Valley County and Adams County.
  • Working to expand space for bike lanes on Warren Wagon Road when the Federal Highways Administration plans to repave a 5.5-mile section of the road in 2018.
Crown Pt fence project 1_1

Cascade High School kids build buck fence along the Crown Point Trail as part of a class project

Milestones accomplished by our partner organizations:

  • Substantial update of the McCall Area Pathways Master Plan in 2012.
  • Creation of the Donnelly Pathways Master Plan in 2014 with an emphasis on creating pathway corridors that tie together between Donnelly and Lake Cascade.
  • Creation of the Cascade Bike and Pedestrian Plan in 2015.
  • Development of a new, detached pedestrian pathway from the City of McCall to Bear Basin Road (summer use only at this time).
  • Creation of the Payette River Water Trails online story board and detailed guide to 10 water trails in the North Fork Payette River Basin. This product turned out extremely well. See more at
  • Creation of a new detached pedestrian pathway along Deinhard Lane between the Ridley’s Shopping Center and Spring Mountain Drive.
  • Creation of a new detached pedestrian pathway from River Ranch to Lick Creek Road, and then along Lick Creek Road to Shady Lane.

We will post the executive summary of our new Master Plan and full text of the plan on this web site.

I’d like to hit on a few more high points in our plan.

Highest priority projects for VCP:

  • Work on property easements or donations of property along the old Railroad ROW from Lake Fork to Pine Lakes Ranch. In particular, VCP is focusing on working with property owners along the RR ROW between Lake Fork and the city of Donnelly, starting from the south and north ends and moving toward the middle.
  • In the interim, develop “Share the Road” or “Bike Route” on Norwood Lane from Lake Fork Road to West Roseberry Road in Donnelly, providing a public road corridor for bicyclists, walkers and trail-runners, tying together the communities of Lake Fork and Donnelly.
  • Develop public road corridor connecting Valley County to Adams County and the Weiser River Trail. We have identified the Fish Lake Road and Big Creek Road as the public roads connecting a public corridor between the two counties. These corridors should be signed with “Share the Road” or “Bike Route” signage to show people the way to connect to Adams County and the Weiser River Trail.
  • Work on developing a detached pathway or bike lanes from Roseberry Road to Roseberry (aligns with City of Donnelly priority) and on Farm to Market Road from Roseberry to Elo Road, Krahn Lane and Sampson Trail to link Farm to Market to McCall (aligns with city of McCall priority).
  • Work on developing a detached pathway on West Mountain Road from Blackhawk to Tamarack Falls.
  • Work on developing a detached pathway on West Deinhard Lane to the junction with the existing McCall bike path near Mission Street.
  • Continue working on pathway corridor around Payette Lake. New, wider bike lanes will be built on Warren Wagon Road on the west side of the lake in 2018. In the meantime, we recommend applying for grant funds to commission a study of building a detached pathway around the east side of Payette Lake. A study will help understand the different land ownerships and costs involved.
  • Work toward more detached bike paths along Lick Creek Road from Shady Lane to East Side Drive. This initiative connects to the goal of building a pathway around Payette Lake.
  • Work toward building bike lanes or a detached pathway along Davis Road to Gold Fork Hot Springs, a popular destination.
  • Work with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to develop pathway corridors around Lake Cascade. A system of priorities should be developed for these potential pathway segments to determine which ones should be focused on in the near term vs. long term.
  • Develop detached pathways between the city of Donnelly and Tamarack Falls on West Roseberry Road. The City of Donnelly is working on developing a detached pathway on the south side of West Roseberry Road to Dawn Drive and the city beach as a high-priority.
  • Develop a detached pathway along Cabarton Road from the Clear Creek junction to the city of Cascade.

We love the new Master Plan map, shown above, created by Paul Mitchell of Mitchell Geography. It’s great to see how all of the pathways or pathway corridors link up to Forest Service trailheads, state parks, Jug Mountain Ranch, Tamarack Resort, Bear Basin and other points in the valley. The map also delineates the Water Trails. The map was built on a GIS platform. It will be shared with Valley County government so they can fit it into their overall data base and maps.

We want to thank everyone for their support in developing the new Master Plan. We received letters of support from the McCall Parks & Recreation Dept., Donnelly Pathways Member Brett Shepherd, Andrew Mentzer, executive director of the Valley County Economic Development Council, Cascade Lakes Realty and the America’s Best Communities organization in Valley and Adams county.

Please stay in touch and help us get over the final hurdle with the Valley County Commission in early May!

Contact Steve if you have any questions about the plan … Thanks!

Thanks to Payette River Subdivision #2 for generous donation!

snow bike at Activity Barn

Groomed trail on top of the hill at the Activity Barn … beautiful spot!


We wanted to share some good news!

Tom Yergovich, President of Payette River Subdivision #2 in McCall, recently presented a $2,000 check to Andy Olavarria, President of Valley County Pathways, to help cover the costs of grooming the North Valley Trail, a cross-country ski trail that links up to xc trails by the Activity Barn, south of McCall, on Moonridge Drive.

Altogether, there are over 5 miles of xc ski trails in the North Valley Trail/Activity Barn xc ski trail system. The trails are open to xc skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking. The trails are available at no charge. But Valley County Pathways encourages the public to donate to our non-profit organization to help with grooming costs — fuel and operator work time. Contributions help not only with winter maintenance, but also with VCP’s liability insurance and overall expenses.

“We really appreciate the generous donation from the Payette River Subdivision #2,” Olavarria said. “We have been receiving a number of individual contributions, but this kind of donation goes a long ways to cover our groomer operator’s time and expenses for this winter season. We also appreciate our neighbors stepping up to help us take care of a community resource. Many of the residents use our trail system on a regular basis. They enjoy the easy access and health and fitness benefits. ”

Valley County Pathways gives full credit to groomer operator Todd Clouser, who has been diligently working with the Activity Barn to keep this trail maintained this winter.  A construction contractor, Todd has done a lot of work on the North Valley Trail over the years for VCP. “We would like to thank Tom and the HOA for this donation and hope to continue this in the years to come,” Olavarria said.

To make a tax-deductible donation to VCP, please visit our website: