The Dry Creek Area/West Boise Foothills is one of the three priority areas identified for Foothills land preservation prior to the passage of the $10 million Foothills Levy in 2001. Polecat Gulch Reserve was created in 2002 with the acquisition from the Blessinger family of 120 acres of undeveloped open space. Subsequent additions include the purchase of 40 acres from Bluegrass LLC in 2005, 80 acres from Linda Dengler in 2005, a 360 acre Bureau of Land Management parcel acquired in 2008 via a land exchange and 80 acres from Sterling Savings Bank in 2010 which included a 70-acre conservation easement previously donated to the City. The entire Polecat Gulch Reserve totals 834 acres between Cartwright and Collister Roads. The city has allocated a total of $3 million in serial levy funds for property acquisition in this area. A trailhead accessible from N. Collister is planned for late 2013.
Polecat Gulch features eight miles of trails and is home to mature vegetation that supports mule deer year round and a substantial population of Aase's onion, a rare plant found in the Boise Foothills. In 2007, a trailhead parking lot off Cartwright Road was built with a $46,000 grant awarded by the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation. There is currently a small 1930s home on the property where a caretaker lives.
Eight miles of Ridge to Rivers trails crisscross the property providing some amazing views of the valley and foothills. Dogs are only allowed on-leash in Polecat Gulch Reserve due to the sensitive nature of the plants and wildlife.
New trailhead now open!
A new trailhead at the north end of Collister Drive will make access easier for visitors to Polecat Gulch Reserve in Northwest Boise.
The new trailhead will includes a 15-stall gravel parking lot with a solar-powered access gate and gravel access road, a vault toilet, fencing, hydro-seeding and soil stabilization.
Western Idaho Construction and Landscape is the contractor for the $88,000 project. Funding is provided by the City of Boise.
The trailhead was built on undeveloped land purchased in 2010. Mayor David Bieter and the City Council approved the acquisition of 80 acres of open space with $270,000 in funds generated by the 2001 Foothills serial levy.
The 834-acre Polecat Gulch Reserve is managed by Boise Parks & Recreation. Located between Cartwright and Collister Roads, Polecat Gulch features 8 miles of trails and mature vegetation that supports mule deer year round. Polecat is also home to a large population of Aase's onion, a rare plant found in the Boise Foothills.
For information about Polecat Gulch Reserve, please contact Julia Grant, Foothills Open Space Senior Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 493-2533.
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.