Gem State Roundup

Work funded by Great American Outdoors Act will temporarily close Cherry Springs area near Pocatello

By: - October 11, 2021 3:34 am
Cherry Springs Day Use Area sign

As part of its East Mink Creek Corridor Revitalization Project, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will begin paving operations at the popular Cherry Springs Day Use Area for approximately two weeks beginning Oct. 11, according to the U.S. Forest Service. (Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)

As part of its East Mink Creek Corridor Revitalization Project, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will begin paving operations at the popular Cherry Springs Day Use Area for approximately two weeks beginning Oct. 11, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release.

During that time, the area will be closed and heavy equipment will be working in the area.

“Although October is a beautiful time to walk the nature trails, it also provides the window of opportunity we need to complete our paving project,” said Westside District Ranger Kim Obele in the release. “Once the contractor completes their pre-work review, actual construction operations should only last for 14 days.”

The East Mink Creek project boundary is five miles from Pocatello, and the recreation corridor connects the urban interface south of Pocatello to the Bannock Mountain Range. It is heavily used year-round for recreation, including dispersed camping, motorized and non-motorized trail use, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, archery, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, shooting and cross-country skiing.

The work is funded through the Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2020, which aims to address the $5.2 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on national forest and grasslands. That includes $3.7 billion for roads and bridges and $1.5 billion for visitor centers, campgrounds and other facilities.

Great American Outdoors Act revitalization work in this area in 2021 included:

  • Repairing and chip sealing 5.31 miles of road up to Scout Mountain Campground through an agreement with Bannock County.
  • Improving the Kinney Creek Trailhead by adding gravel, increasing parking spaces, adding kiosks and maintaining the trail.
  • Repaving the Cherry Springs Nature Area and making sure it complies with ABA/ADA standards.
  • Recontouring the Lead Draw Trailhead, removing garbage and installing new signs.
  • Improving the East Fork of Mink Creek Trailhead and Trail #164 by putting in new trail bridges, adding water dips and replacing culverts. This will be completed in partnership with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Kiosk installation at various trailheads and extensive work to improve the Scout Mountain Campground is anticipated to occur in fiscal year 2022.

For specific times of operation on the Cherry Spring Nature Area paving project, check the Caribou-Targhee National Forest social media accounts. For information, contact the Westside Ranger District office at 208-236-7500 or follow the Caribou-Targhee National Forest Facebook page. Learn more about the national forest’s Great American Outdoors Act projects at https://bit.ly/3iGfU1F.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.

MORE FROM AUTHOR