This morning Anthony and I hiked the Ridge to Rivers, Gulch Reserve - Polecat Trail Loop (#81) marked in dark blue on the map. We entered the loop from North Pierce Park Lane/Cartwright Road in the upper right hand corner of the map.
The loop is approximately 6 miles with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. It features gently traversed sagebrush-covered hillsides and walking on the high ridges offers views of Boise National Forest and the Treasure Valley below. This is a popular trail for hikers, joggers and mountain bikes. Horses are allowed too but we did not see any this morning.
Since the temperatures were rising quickly, there is no shade or free flowing water (streams or rivers) Raisin and Jay were sidelined this morning. Also this is a dogs "on-leash" trail which would not have been as fun for them. This mornings wildlife viewing was limited to insects (dragonflies and grasshoppers) and little song birds and hummingbirds. Although we did not see any I believe that deer, coyotes and larger birds of prey make this area their home too. Since we started our hike around 8:00 a.m. and it was already over 70 degrees I think most of the wildlife was probably starting their search for water and shade.
We enjoyed breakfast at Barryhill Bacon downtown after our hike. All I could think about the last mile was how much I wanted some cold iced tea and Barryhill Bacon. A great motivator to get back to the truck.
Ridge to Rivers - http://www.ridgetorivers.org/trails/detailed-area-descriptions/polecat-reserve