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Land Bridge Project Completed

Valley County Pathways recently completed a land bridge project on the North Valley Trail near the Activity Barn. The new bridge now allows the public to stay on the detached pathway through the quarter mile section rather than being detoured to Moonridge Dr. It’s a fantastic addition to the North Valley Trail, so please check it out!

Boulder Creek Trail Dedication

We had a wonderful trail-dedication event on the Boulder Creek Trail in the newly created Fulton Natural Area this morning in Donnelly … A 3rd grade and 5th grade class from Donnelly Elementary came to the festivities, and Hugh and Georgia Ann Fulton, the people who donated the land for the project, were there along with Hugh’s 90-something parents, Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank, Tom Crawford from the Forest Service, Donnelly City officials and more! Thanks to everyone who made this project a success!

The Boulder Creek Trail is more than a trail … it’s an outdoor classroom for Donnelly Elementary kids and the whole community.

New Signs for the Fulton Natural Area on Boulder Creek Trail

We put up the trail signs for the Boulder Creek Trail Saturday in the Fulton Natural Area in preparation for a trail-dedication on Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. The public is invited and welcome to attend. We will thank property owners Hugh and Georgia Ann Fulton and our many project partners for making this project a great success. See you there!

New Kelly’s Whitewater Park Area Map

We wanted to share a new color map of Kelly’s Whitewater Park and the surrounding area in Cascade, Idaho.

Open Kelly’s Whitewater Park Area Map

The map shows the connection between Kelly’s Whitewater Park (KWP) and The Strand, a 2.5 mile walking/bicycling path, a Valley County Pathways project, along the North Fork of the Payette River. You can access The Strand by Fischer Pond Park next to the south Hwy 55 bridge in Cascade, and the pathway runs north to the RV parks at the north end of town. The KWP beau

  • tiful Welcome Center has an indoor amphitheatre that overlooks the water features, a museum with constantly changing local history, and the most elegant public restrooms in Valley County. The Info Depot is full of information for the public. The Depot is a collaborative effort between KWP, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and Cascade Chamber of Commerce.

    Kelly’s Whitewater Park is rapidly growing an excellent reputation. The National Kayak Freestyle Championships were held at the park in early July, with more than 5,000 spectators and many of the nation’s best freestyle kayakers. The whitewater park is available for all paddlers, kayakers, tubers and rafters. And it’s all free. Kelly’s Kayak School operates in the summer, check it out at

    Come visit and check out the statues of Kelly Brennan, for whom the park is named, and John Borbonus, an American soldier killed in Iraq.

    KWP is accessed via Hwy 55, next to the RR Crossing in Cascade. We hope to see you soon! (See Google Map below.)

    – Dwight Jividen, Valley County Pathways board member in Cascade

  • Rails-to-Trails Features VCP’s Boulder Creek Project!

    Here’s a nice article about the Boulder Creek project from our friends at Rails to Trails! Trail will be open this summer, and it’s got a great educational component for the Donnelly Elementary School kids. Read the full article here.

    New Boulder Creek pathway in Donnelly close to completion

    By Steve Stuebner
    Vice President, Valley County Pathways

    Our new 1/4-mile Boulder Creek Trail in Donnelly is moving closer to completion after a group of 16 volunteers built a 255-foot boardwalk in a wetland adjacent to the creek over the weekend of Nov. 5-6.
    “We had a great group of people come out to help us, including several professional builders, and we built the whole boardwalk in two days of hard work,” said Andy Olavarria, Valley County Pathways president.

    We want to thank ProBuild in McCall for assisting with lumber and hardware purchases, and Tim Swanson of Swanson Construction and Art Troutner of Troutner Construction for leading the boardwalk construction project.

    Thanks to the rest of our volunteer work crew: Damon Yerkes, VC Pathways Treasurer, Andy Olavarria, VCP President, Steve Stuebner, Wendy Wilson, Lynn Swanson, Opie Jahn, Joel Chaudoir, Leslie Freeman (champion grand-writer), Bill Zuehl, Greg Lawley, Victoria McCarthy, Liam McCarthy, Katie McCarthy, Mike Murphy and at least three dogs.

    Hand rails will be installed on the boardwalk, the area will be landscaped, and trail signs will be put up next spring prior to an official grand opening for the non-motorized trail.

    The whole project was made possible by a generous property donation by Hugh L. and Georgia Ann Fulton of Donnelly and Melba, who donated seven acres of wetlands to the City of Donnelly and a pathways easement to Valley County Pathways. The wetlands are now called the Fulton Natural Area.

    The Boulder Creek Trail is the first segment of a pathway planned around the edges of the community of Donnelly. Pathways officials vow to work on easements with property owners in the vicinity to add more sections to the trail.

    Three grants totaling $83,558 provided funding to build the pathway, conduct streamside restoration activities along Boulder Creek and create an outdoor classroom near the Donnelly Elementary School.
    Students at Donnelly Elementary have assisted with bank-stabilization work, and they’ve built and installed interpretive signs next to the Boulder Creek Trail so the general public can learn more about the nature area. Idaho Fish and Game volunteers have planted about 500 shrubs next to the creek to help stabilize the stream bank. Students also are raising trout fingerlings to release into the stream.

    “The Boulder Creek project is an outstanding example of how we can blend environmental education and restoration work with the development of recreation pathways for the community to enjoy,” Olavarria said. “We have to thank Leslie Freeman and Damon Yerkes for pulling together a very innovative and exciting project that will have lasting benefits for students and the community.”

    Grant funds came from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee and the Wittenburger Foundation. A long list of partners are contributing to the project, including Trout Unlimited, Central Idaho Recreation Coalition, U.S. Forest Service, McCall Outdoor Science School and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

    Volunteers Needed for a trail work day on Nov. 5th and 6th

    Valley County Pathways needs volunteers for a trail work day on Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6.

    Start time: 9 a.m. at the Donnelly Elementary School on E. Roseberry Road in Donnelly.

    Tools needed: There is no power on site, so we need generators, power tools, battery-powered tools and some hand tools. People with carpentry skills would be a real plus! We need 16-20 people to get the job done in one weekend.

    RSVP: Contact Damon Yerkes or Andy Olavarria if you can come. Damon’s email is Contact Andy at or 315-4991.

    Background: Over the past year Valley County Pathways has been working on a new, non-motorized trail in Donnelly along Boulder Creek. This trail has been funded by various private and government grants. There is a section of this path that crosses wetland area and is a raised deck that spans 255 feet. The pier supports are in place, the decking just needs to be built. This is the last section of the trail to be completed. We have secured the lumber from ProBuild and it should be on site next Wednesday. This project is important to Valley County Pathways and Donnelly Elementary School.

    VC Pathways will provide lunch and drinks. If you know someone that might be interested please forward this information to them.

    Thanks for your support.

    – Damon Yerkes, Valley County Pathways

    Trail Cleanup Party on June 4th!

    Valley County Pathways LogoValley County Pathways is hosting a trail cleanup party on the North Valley Rail-Trail on Saturday, June 4, as part of National Trails Day.

    Please join us to help pick up litter on the trail, and do some brushing and trail-enhancement work.

    We’ll meet at 10 a.m. at the trailhead just south of River Ranch. Valley County Pathways will provide lunch and beverages for volunteers.

    Please RSVP and let us know if you can help out. Contact Andy Olavarria, VCP president, at, 208-315-4991, or Steve Stuebner, VCP vice president,, 208-484-0295.


    Spring 2011 Newsletter

    Hi folks,

    Valley County Pathways is busy with a number of cool projects going on throughout Long Valley in Cascade, Donnelly and McCall.

    Here’s our Spring 2011 Newsletter with all of the details.


    Erv Olen Memorial Bench

    shirley-tries-out-the-bench.jpg The Olen Family recently installed a new and very special bench on the north end of the Crown Point Trail, near Cascade, to honor the late Erv Olen. Erv was a great advocate for pedestrian trails and an awesome worker bee for Valley County Pathways. We are calling it the “Erv Olen Memorial Bench.”

    The bench is located in a beautiful spot that overlooks Lake Cascade near Vista Point. It also just happens to look up at Erv’s favorite elk camp on West Mountain.

    Part of the reason we picked that spot is that Erv had put a lot of work into that section of trail. The Putman family had donated a quarter-mile of private property to Valley County Pathways on the north end of the Crown Point Trail.

    To marry that section of trail with the existing Crown Point Trail, we were required by the Bureau of Reclamation to build a fence along the eastern boundary of the pathway to keep ATV’s off the trail.

    Erv and I worked with Russ Perry of Cascade to build the A-frames for a continuous line of buck fence along the pathway. Jeff Halligan and Damon Yerkes cut a bunch of post and poles in the Boise National Forest and delivered them to the project site. And Clint Kennedy’s Cascade High School science class helped us finish the fencing project by drilling and screwing in the poles to connect the A-frames in a matter of several hours in the fall of 2007. Way to go Cascade High! Those kids rock!

    As a longtime runner who had completed the Race to Robie Creek 22 times, Erv was a big fan of pedestrian pathways. He knew the public loved pedestrian pathways. “Build them and the people will come!” he always said.

    When we first started talking about forming Valley County Pathways in 2003, I discovered that Erv had been talking to several agencies about trying to build a pathway from Donnelly to Tamarack. I didn’t know him, at the time, but I gave him a call and noted that a bunch of citizens had been meeting and wanted to plan a valley-wide pathway system. Would he like to join us?

    Erv thought that was fantastic, and he joined our efforts immediately. We worked together for five years on a variety of projects, including several grant applications to the Idaho Transportation Department to build a pathway from Tamarack Falls to Donnelly. Unfortunately, the topsy-turvy terrain along a narrow strip of land along the lakeshore raised too many questions in the minds of ITD engineers, and our applications were never funded. Someday, they will be.

    Erv’s widow, Shirley Olen, a long-time runner and pathway advocate herself, has stepped up to serve on the VC Pathways Board of Directors and she’s our membership coordinator. We are fortunate to have her.

    The people who contributed to the bench construction project include Shirley, Shirley’s daughter, Christine and her husband, Emil, Wendy Wilson and Steve Stuebner, and Shirley’s second husband Manuel. Thanks everyone!

    In the meantime, the next time you go hiking, biking or cross-country skiing on the Crown Point Trail, take a moment to sit on the Erv Olen Memorial Bench and enjoy the view.

    – Steve Stuebner