Valley County Pathways honors Putman Family
for donation of land on Crown Point Rail-Trail
Valley County Pathways, Inc., today opened a quarter-mile new section of the Crown Point Rail-Trail, near Cascade, thanks to the donation of 1,500-feet of old Railroad Right of Way by the Putman Family, who have a family cabin adjacent to the trail.
“These are exciting times for Valley County Pathways,” said Steve Stuebner, chairman of Valley County Pathways. “The Putman family’s donation is the first of its kind since Valley County Pathways formed three years ago, and this quarter-mile section of pathway is the first section of public pathway that Valley County Pathways has opened since the beginning. We hope that the Putman family’s donation will encourage other landowners to consider this approach.”
“We want to extend our heart-felt thanks to the Putman Family for donating this property to not only the Pathways group, but really, to the whole community,” said Frank Eld, Valley County Commissioner. “I am really impressed with everything that the Pathways group has accomplished so far. I want you to know that you’ve got our full support.”
Stuebner said more sections of the old Union Pacific RR ROW will be opening south of McCall in the coming weeks. Valley County Pathways has an access agreement with Idaho Power Co. to open 2.5 miles of the old RR ROW between McCall and Donnelly. Pathways officials have been negotiating with private landowners in between the Idaho Power parcels to block up more continuous sections of trail.
“We’re really close to piecing together a public corridor in between McCall and Lake Fork,” Stuebner said. “Over time, we hope to realize the vision of our master plan – building a trail around Lake Cascade, Payette Lake, connecting the Railroad Right of Way in between McCall and Cascade, and building detached pathways along Farm to Market Road and West Mountain Road.”
All told, it’s a 100-mile system that may take more than a decade and $20 million to build.
Mrs. Eleanor Putman, who spoke for the Putman Family, said her family wanted the trail to be open for the general public to enjoy in perpetuity. “It’s a really nice gentle and flat trail that just about anyone can enjoy,” she said. “Our family has had many great times up here. But now that we’re selling the family cabin, and we wanted to make sure that the RR ROW portion of our property be preserved as a public trail.”
Stuebner said the trail will be managed in harmony with the existing management direction of the Crown Point Rail Trail, as set by the Bureau of Reclamation and Lake Cascade State Park. It will be managed as a non-motorized trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding in the summer, and for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
Pathways will need to spend up to $5,000 to develop a trailhead and build fence around the RR ROW to keep ATVs and motorcycles off the trail, Stuebner said. He encouraged the general public to consider donating to Pathways to help defray the costs. The group will hold its second-annual fund-raiser on Sunday, July 1.
“Right now, we’re operating purely on donated funds,” Stuebner said. “We encourage the community to get behind the cause, and help accelerate the development of new pathways with charitable giving.”
As an extra measure of thanks to the Putman family, Stuebner said Pathways will place a plaque on a granite boulder alongside the trail, with the following words inscribed: