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Commissioners seek right-of-way for trail system

Staff Writer | August 17, 2023 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Boundary County commissioners have reached out to the Idaho Transportation Department to acquire the old North Hill right-of-way for use of a county-city trial system. A letter was sent to ITD officials on Aug. 14.

The trail system would connect the North Bench to the well and connect the Riverside trail and park located by the Kootenai River.

At this time the old North Hill right-of-way, commonly called Mudslide Hill, is used by residents. At the top of the hill at the overlook are benches and a picnic table. Typically every year the senior class’s graduation year is spray painted on the side of the hill for passing traffic to see.

Commissioner Tim Bertling told the Herald that the right-of-way would be a benefit to the community allowing anyone walking or biking down from Three Mile or Homestead Loop to safely travel to town without having to go on the side of the highway.

The trail system would be maintained by 9B Trails, a local nonprofit dedicated to the development of non-motorized trails in Bonners Ferry and Boundary County. The organization has already designed and maintained several trails across the county.

Bertling said acquiring the right-of-way would not be an expense to the county since no money would change hands. He added that if the right-of-way is not used as a trail after a set date it would revert back to ITD.