Originally founded in 2011 under the name the Wood River Bike Coalition, the Wood River Trails Coalition (renamed so in 2019) is a non-profit trail stewardship organization working to create, maintain and sustain the Wood River Valley’s network for all users. With so many locals and visitors alike using the trails for walking, hiking, biking, and enjoying with dogs and horses, trails in the area take a pretty good beating every year. According to the Wood River Valley Trail Study from 2012, the Ketchum Ranger District of the Sawtooth National Forest alone sees over 90,000 user days annually, 35,000 of those being visitor user days. Harsh winters mean that trails need even more maintenance after the snow melts to ensure they are up to snuff for summer outdoor enthusiasts. It is with the help of the Wood River Trails Coalition that this is made possible.
With more than 500 miles of single-track trails for various uses, land management agencies are tasked with the job of maintaining this vast area. Without predictable annual funding to pay for a proper trail crew to maintain current trails and begin projects on new ones, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have a difficult task before them.
This is why the Wood River Trails Coalition is so important to the area. In addition to doing its own part through trail service nights, the group also works to financially support local land management agency trail crews. Currently, the WRTC funds one trail crew member at the Sawtooth National Forest – Ketchum Ranger District.
WRTC hopes to expand their financing program and fund several crew members per season. Funding for the program comes from donations, memberships, events, and mountain bike rental dollars donation program with local bike shops. The money for trail crew members means trails that have brushed back encroaching vegetation, fixed drainage and erosion issues, new creek crossing and bridges, and trails that have been re-routed due to unsustainability. It means new trails and projects too!
The WRTC has partnered with local bike shops Backwoods, Sturtevant’s, Formula Sports, the Elephant’s Perch, PK’s Bike Shop and Sun Valley Resort in their Bike Rental Dollars Program. These bike shops all add a dollar donation to their mountain bike rentals which goes to the WRTC.
Trail Maintenance and Education
In addition to helping fund those whose job it is to maintain trails, the WRTC makes a major difference by getting bodies out there to help do the work themselves! The WRTC had numerous volunteer opportunities including Volunteer Trail Work Days in the Sawtooth National Forest. Roughly six of these events are hosted each summer and focus on maintaining trails around the Valley such as Forbidden Fruit, Adam’s Rib, Proctor, Alden Gulch, and Pioneer Cabin. Summer trail work days are determined after winter to see which areas need it the most. Volunteer nights go for about two hours and end with beers and brats for all!
To help members determine areas that need maintenance, the WRTC website also has a trail reporting form.
Become a Member
Supporting our local trails has never been easier. Join community members, businesses, and organizations in a WRTC supporting membership!
If getting out on the trails is a bit too much but you still want to support the WRTC, become a member! Becoming a member helps fund trail crews, new trails and trail projects, administrative costs, and volunteer events. Both annual and monthly memberships are available for as low as just $5/month (which includes a membership sticker).
We’re fortunate to have such an incredible entity in the Valley to help maintain the endless miles of trails that we have!