Easier trail opened on Scotchman Peak

Submitted by

Sandy Compton


Three years of work culminated on Saturday, Sept. 24, with the dedication of the realignment of the lower portion of Scotchman Peak Trail #65 in the National Forest Foundation’s Lightning Creek Treasured Landscape. The US Forest Service and Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness invited the press and the public to a short “survey tape cutting” ceremony held at 4 pm at the Trail #65 trailhead. This  officially opened the new portion of trail that replaced the first three-quarters of a mile of the old trail, famous for being a steep “knee-buster,” as well as being prone to heavy erosion due to its steep alignment.

“The new section is a lot more user friendly,” said FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton. “Up-bound hikers will have a chance to warm up a little before they hit steeper portions up higher and down-bound folks won’t have such a knee-jarring end to their hike.”

The new alignment, engineered by Compton and Idaho Conservation League associate Brad Smith, features a much gentler grade than the old section, as well as good views that appear much earlier on the trail. USFS Sandpoint District trail crews under the direction of Mary Ann Hamilton cut out the corridor early last summer, and Friends of Scotchman Peaks staff and volunteers have been steadily extending the tread since June of last year. On October 6, Clark Fork High School students will decommission the “retired” trail segment.

Construction was  finished last weekend in honor of National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24).

Directions to the trailhead can be found here: http://www.scotchmanpeaks.org/hiking/getting-there/