VISIT A PRESERVE
Our preserves or public properties are community spaces where you can connect with the beauty of nature. Whether it’s by doing some fishing, going for a hike, or sitting and letting the landscape wash over you, we are proud to have protected the following treasured landscapes for generations to come.
THE FOLLOWING 14 PRESERVES (AND ONE SPECIAL EASEMENT) ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Be sure to watch the digital preserve tour before heading out so that you don’t miss anything when you are planning your own adventure!
About: Acquired through the Rinker familyís generosity in 2013, Rinker Rock Creek Ranch is a valuable asset for the community, providing close-to-home recreation and important wildlife habitat. In 2019, the Ranch was transferred to the University of Idaho to become a center for research on the intersection of ranching, habitat protection and restoration, and recreation. The Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy serve on an Advisory Board with other industry and agency stakeholders to help guide management of the Ranch.
Getting There: To get to the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch from downtown Hailey, head west out of town on Bullion Street. Continue along Bullion as it turns to Croy Canyon Road. After about 4 miles you will take a left onto Rock Creek Road. Continue along Rock Creek Road for 1.6 miles to reach the informational kiosk.
About: What started with the initial acquisition of 7.4 acres, the Howard Preserve has expanded to over 35 acres over the years to solidify its reputation as a beloved place that provides public access to the Big Wood River, in addition to opportunities for education and community partnerships, including the Friends of the Howard Preserve and the City of Bellevue.
Getting There: The Howard Preserve is located at 85 Martin Lane in Bellevue. To get there from downtown Hailey, head south on Main Street/Highway 75 for 4.7 miles. Take a right on Broadford Road followed by an immediate right onto Martin Lane. Follow Martin Lane past the big open parking lot to the small dirt parking lot at the end of the road. Keep an eye out for the signs directing you to the parking area!
About: The Cow Catcher Ridge Preserve provides a beautiful scenic backdrop to the city of Bellevue and provides a beautiful hike with views of the Wood River Valley. The property is habitat for many species of songbirds, game birds, deer and elk.
Getting There: To get to the Cowcatcher Ridge from downtown Hailey, head south on Main Street/Highway 75 for 5 miles and look for a left turn onto Elm Street. After .5 miles, turn left at 8th street, and take an immediate right onto Slaughterhouse Creek Road. In a quarter mile, look for the small parking area on the right.
About: What originally started as a small conservation easement has now become one of the most celebrated protected areas along the Big Wood River, and serves as one of the most important components of the Hailey Greenway. In 2018, the Colorado Gulch Preserve was expanded by nine acres thanks to the generosity of a silent donor and big fan of the Land Trust. This preserve is well-regarded as a community treasure, and rightfully so. With a multi-use trail system, protected river corridor, habitat for wildlife, and multiple ongoing restoration projects, this area has plenty to offer everyone in the Valley.
Getting There: To get to the Colorado Gulch Preserve from downtown Hailey, head south on Main Street and take a right turn onto Cedar Steet followed by an immediate left onto Broadford Road. After about a mile, take a right onto Colorado Gulch Road, and park in the gravel lot at the end of Colorado Gulch Road.
About: What began with a lot donation, and later expanded into the iconic 84-acre preserve along the Big Wood River in Hailey, the Draper Wood River Preserve is the most well-known and frequented of our preserves. This critical property forms the heart of the Hailey Greenway, and is regarded as an ideal haven for both wildlife and people. Whether you enjoy a picnic at the pavilion, catch a glimpse of moose, wet your line in the river, or visit the idyllic Bow Bridge ñ the Draper Wood River Preserve is easily your next favorite wild space.
Getting There: To get to the Draper Preserve from downtown Hailey, head west out of town on Bullion Street. Just after you cross the river, turn right into Lions Park. Continue through the large parking lot, past the baseball fields, to the small dirt parking lot by the Draper pavilion.
About: On this 100 acre property, you are likely to see elk and mule deer on their Pioneer Mountain migrations from higher elevations to lower elevations. This habitat also supports beavers, moose, songbirds, black bears and many species of grouse. These lands have been designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern due to the sensitive wildlife, so be careful letting dogs roam free.
Getting There: To get to the Porcupine Creek Preserve head to Quigley Drive. Continue past the dirt parking lot along Quigley Canyon Road/NF-115. Stay on Quigley Canyon Drive/NF-115 for about 13.5 miles at which point it takes a left and becomes NF-067/Porcupine Rd. This is a rough, seasonal drive, and we recommend a high clearance/4wd vehicle.
About: The 7-acre Boxcar Bend Preserve is located along 75 just north of East Fork. The Preserve got its name from the boxcars placed in the Big Wood River by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1952. This was a result of attempts to prevent the erosion along the riverbank that threatened the ground beneath the railroad tracks, but the attempt ultimately failed. Several decades later, the community and various stakeholders came together to restore this section of the river, and now this beautiful respite along the river has become one of the most popular fishing access points in the Valley.
Getting There: To get to the Boxcar Bend Preserve from downtown Hailey, head north on Main Street/Highway 75 toward Ketchum. About three quarters of a mile past the East Fork light, take a right turn into the dirt parking area. Cross the paved bike path, and take one of the wood chipped access trails down to the river.
About: The Independence Creek Preserve provides an access point to The Bureau of Land Management trails. The propertyís upland slopes and free flowing creek provide habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife species. Itís also a great place close to Ketchum, located in the Elkhorn neighborhood, to hike with dogs.
Getting There: To get to the Independence Creek Preserve, head to the Forest Service kiosk on Independence Creek Road and catch the trail from there. Alternatively. you can access the trail from Elkhorn Road where it intersects with Juniper Road.
About: Established in 2015 to protect salmon habitat, wetlands, and the scenic views of the stunning Sawtooth Valley, the 34-acre Valley Creek Preserve in Stanley is a perfect example of how our organization has worked to protect critical resources not just in the Wood River Valley ñ but throughout Central Idaho. A major tributary to the Salmon River, Valley Creek has historically provided spawning habitat for Chinook and sockeye salmon, steelhead, bull and westslope cutthroat trout, and other native fish species. The Preserve also provides a wild oasis for all residents, human and wild, as it meanders through downtown Stanley.
Getting There: To get to the Valley Creek Preserve from downtown Stanley, head west on Highway 21 toward Boise. Three quarters of a mile from the intersection of 75 & 21, youíll see a sign for public fishing access. Turn here, onto Terra Tracts Road and look for the limited public parking before the bridge. Do not block the bridge!
About: The most recent addition to the Hailey Greenway, the 118-acre Simons Bauer Preserve is an important wildlife and now recreation corridor and contains extensive wetlands including a 1-mile section of Croy Creek that feeds into the Big Wood River. This property also allows for the opportunity to reconnect the Big Wood River to its floodplain at Lions Park. Simons-Bauer has the capability to change how we deal with flooding downriver in a holistic way that is beneficial to habitat, the river, and our community. This acquisition also included the 16 -acre Vorberg Gulch.
Getting There: The parking for the Simons Bauer Preserve is the same as for the Draper Preserve. Head to Lion’s Park in Hailey, and park at the dirt parking lot at the end of the road.
About: These 40 acres up Ohio Gulch road provides critical big game winter habitat and beautiful views of the Big Wood River. While we don’t have an official trail through the preserve, adventurous hikers will be rewarded with panoramic views from the top of Blue Grouse Point.
Getting There: To get to our Blue Grouse Preserve from Hailey, head about 4.5 miles north along Highway 75 and look for the right turn onto Ohio Gulch Road. Drive .5 miles along Ohio Gulch Road and park off the road. There isn’t a trail so look for the ‘knob’ at the point of the hill, and start your adventure to the top!
About: Lake Creek Preserve is a very accessible preserve, located just north of Ketchum on Hwy 75. It is home to many species of birds, ungulates, and wildflowers. As a dog friendly preserve, it is a great place to interact with nature, access the Bureau of Land Management’s trails, and observe the scenic views. All this can be accessed near where Lake Creek Road meets Highway 75. The sagebrush hillside is accessible from Cottonwood Lane however parking is limited along the roadside and there are no official trail markers. A ridgeline trail on the property can be accessed from adjacent BLM and USFS land.
Getting There: To get to the Lake Creek Preserve, head about 3.5 miles out of downtown Ketchum along Highway 75. Turn right onto Cottonwood Lane and find limited parking along the road.
About: This half acre is critical for stream bank protection.Located in Ketchum, the Trail Creek Preserve was donated to the Wood River Land Trust as part of the condominium development.This unique preserve connects Spruce Avenue to Lucy Loken Park, and features a beautiful sitting bench right at the entrance to Lucy Loken Park for residents of Ketchum to enjoy the babbling sounds of Trail Creek.
Getting There: To get to our Trail Creek Preserve, head to the parking lot at Lucy Loken Park on Walnut Avenue.
EAST FORK PRESERVE
About: Our East Fork Preserve is located between the East Fork Fire Station and the bike path.This property was donated to us to ensure that the bike path would retain its expansive feel through the East Fork area.
Getting There: If you bike the section of the BCRD paved bike path from the East Fork light south to the bridge, you’ll have passed our East Fork Preserve!
About: Located just east of Hailey, Quigley Farms is a super accessible network of trails managed by out partner Blaine County Recreational District. It’s a great place for walking your dog, biking, running, hiking, cross country skiing and taking in the scenic views. Thanks to the public access easement we hold, these trails will be open to the public in perpetuity.
Getting There: To get to the Quigley trails from downtown Hailey, head east on Croy Street from Main Street. After about .5 miles Croy makes a sharp right turn as it becomes 8th. Just after this elbow, look for a left turn onto Quigley Road. The parking lot for the Quigley Canyon trails is located at the end of Quigley Road.