4500 E Lake Forest Dr
Goats to help reduce the risk of fire in Oregon Trail Reserve
A two-month goat-grazing project will help reduce the risk of fire in the 110-acre Oregon Trail Reserve in Southeast Boise. Trails will be closed periodically in June and July as the goats move through the area.
Oregon Trail Reserve, 4500 E. Lake Forest Drive, is a city-owned reserve surrounded by the Surprise Valley and Columbia Village neighborhoods. In addition to providing open space and trails, the reserve is a historically significant part of the Oregon Trail.
The goat-grazing effort is part of an ongoing effort to help thin fuels in the wake of the fatal Oregon Trail Fire of 2008. In 2012, targeted sagebrush thinning was funded by a grant from the Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation and Development Council.
The goat grazing project will also create an opportunity for native grass restoration. Future projects include the use of herbicides targeting non-native species and reseeding of native plants.
Electric fencing will be used to keep the goats contained and to minimize impacts to existing trails. Please use caution around the fences.
Trail closures will be marked with signs.
This goat-grazing project is a collaboration between the Boise Fire Department and Boise Parks & Recreation. Funding is provided by Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation and Development Council.
For more information please contact:
Sara Arkle, Foothills & Open Space Sr. Manager, Boise Parks Department, email@example.com or (208) 493-2533
Jerry McAdams, Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator, Boise Fire Department, firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 579-6576
The Oregon Trail Reserve is a 77-acre site in Southeast Boise. The area features a scenic view of the Boise Front and the historic Kelton Ramp, a path forged by overland travelers heading down the rim to the Boise River. This site was made a "reserve" with the goal of preserving remnants of the Oregon Trail and educating the public about this valuable historic resource.
A partnership between the Boise City, the BLM and the residents of Surprise Valley was forged during the creation of the reserve. The Boise Parks & Recreation Department is responsible for maintenance of pathways and restrooms. The BLM assisted with the production and installation of interpretive signage. Surprise Valley residents help with upkeep of pathways below the rim.
Columbia Development LLC added a .4-mile gravel walking path that connects the west end of the reserve to surrounding residential neighborhoods in the Columbia Village, Surprise Valley and Homestead Rim subdivisions. Located on the rim of the basalt cliffs separating Surprise Valley and Columbia Village, the new pathway provides spectacular views of the Barber Valley and Boise Foothills.
Oregon Trail Ramps
Two ramps are located in the vicinity, the Beaver Dicks and the Kelton Ramp. The Kelton ramp is located about 500 feet NW of Highway 21 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The ramp dates back to the early 1860s. It is a rock cut through the basalt rim between the second and third terraces above the Boise River.
Features of the ramp include rock art (pictographs) drawn on the basalt rim face. Origins of the pictographs are unknown, but they may represent early advertising attempts.
The travel route left the Kelton Ramp on the lower terrace and then crossed the river at Beaver Dick's Ferry located north of the Kelton Ramp. The trail finally proceeded over the mountains to Idaho City
Places to Walk
Download a map of the walking paths and distances in this park.
The walking map sign located in the park was created through a partnership with SelectHealth and Let's Move Boise.
Rare Bronze Sculpture to Mark Historic Oregon Trail
The family of distinguished American sculptor Avard Fairbanks
has donated to the city of Boise a rare bronze casting of "Old
Oregon Trail". The 36-inch round medallion has been mounted into a
7-and-a-half-foot tall stone monument and installed at the Whitman
Trailhead in the Oregon Trail Historic Reserves Park off Highway 21
and E. Lake Forest Drive. Boise Mayor Brent Coles, the Boise Parks
& Recreation Department and members of the Fairbanks family
unveiled and dedicated the monument.
The sculpture, valued at $23,000, was cast from Avard Fairbank's
original model which he created in 1924. It depicts a pioneer
mother and child in a covered wagon with her husband driving oxen
on a rocky trail. It was inspired by Fairbanks' friendship with
Oregon Trail Pioneer Ezra Meeker, whose passion for recognition and
preservation of the Trail was legendary.
The Oregon Trail was the backbone of transportation in the early
American West, serving as a travel route for nearly 500,000
pioneers between 1841 and the 1880s. An estimated 20,000 people
perished along the route, which stretched from points along the
Missouri River into the Northwest Territories.
Avard Fairbanks, Ph.D, 1897-1987, was a sculptor, anatomist and
educator. In his career he created more than 100 public monuments
to great characters and events in history. His sculptures include
religious characters such as Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the
Angel Moroni; secular works such as garden statuaries and war
memorials; and prominent people like Abraham Lincoln, George
Washington and Florence Nightingale. He also created memorial
statues to western pioneers such as Marcus Whitman, located in
Walla Walla, WA, the Pioneer Family, in Bismarck, ND, and the
Tragedy at Winter Quarters in Omaha, NB. Fairbanks also designed
and sculpted the original Dodge Ram and Winged Mermaid hood
ornaments in the 1930s for Dodge and Plymouth automobiles.
Restrooms are now closed and park drinking fountains are turned off for the winter.
For a list of restrooms and portable restrooms that are available year around in parks and the reserves, click here.
Smoking is prohibited in all public parks, including within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt, except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks and city-owned golf courses.
NOTE: E-cigarettes are not prohibited under the ordinances.
Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's risk and expense. Boise Valley Towing at (208) 389-9707.
A Master Plan is a concept drawing illustrating recreation facilities and landscape features planned for a park site. It does not necessarily represent what amenities are currently in a park.