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In July of 2004, a citizens group formed the Valley County Pathways Committee. For many years, people from different areas in Long Valley have thought about the potential of developing a valley-wide pathway system that could be used for walking, biking, running, roller-blading, horseback riding, commuting, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Most of this effort was focused in McCall. The Valley County Pathways Committee created an organization that would make a pathways system possible throughout the Long Valley region.
VC Pathways has a county-approved pathways master plan that envisions more than 100 miles of pedestrian pathways between McCall and Cascade, including the prospect of revitalizing an old railroad right of way that runs the length of Long Valley, and building trails around Payette Lake and Lake Cascade.
Why is it important for Valley County to develop a valley-wide pathway system?
Research and experience related to existing pedestrian pathway and greenway systems across the United States indicate that pathways create multiple public benefits:
-Create new opportunities for recreation and for people to commute to work or shopping areas without using fossil fuels.
-Boost local economies.
-Provide transportation links to culturally or historically valuable areas.
-Tie together parks, schools, waterways and communities.
-Create opportunities for people to improve physical fitness and healthy lifestyles.
-Enhance a community’s quality of life.
-Preserve open space corridors.
The 2000 Leisure Travel and Recreation Study, performed for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, shows that hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and cross-country skiing are among the most important recreation pursuits by residents and non-residents. The 2002 Idaho Outdoor Recreation Survey shows that Idaho residents enjoy hiking and biking more than any other recreation activities. Clearly, there is strong public demand from residents and non-residents for the type of recreation opportunities that will be accessible to the public via the Valley County Pathways System.
-Cascade Ranger District, Boise National Forest
-Bureau of Reclamation
-Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
-Valley County Commissioners
-Jeff McFadden, Valley County Road Superintendent
-City of McCall
-City of Donnelly
-City of Cascade