St. Joe River
Since 1983, PBCH has been involved in over one hundred St.
Joe projects, most likely totaling in thousands of man-hours.
from the western areas such as Big Creek/Bronson Meadows
to the far eastern reaches of the area including the Line
Creek Stock Camp and its trail complex. This includes work
on the many camping areas all along the St. Joe River.
One of our first big projects was the establishment of a
trailhead at the old CCC camp up Big Cr, just north and east
of Calder. Many three-day weekends were spent at the site
installing fire pits, hitch rails, stock loading ramps, and
providing for more parking areas.
In addition to that, all
the trail systems accessed by the trailhead were improved
including the connector trail from the CCC camp to the
East Fork of Big Creek Trail #44. This trail leads to a pristine
cabin, the Big Cr Cabin, which PBCH has spent many hours
on, improving the roof, and porch area, as well as installing
hitch rails and building an outhouse from ground up. Just
over the ridge to the north, in the upper portion of Bronson
Meadows, we also installed new flooring in the Ames Cr
In 1986, PBCH pushed for construction of a trailhead/stock
camp at a meadow site just above Red Ives. A cooperative
effort between PBCH and the Forest Service produced the Line
Cr Stock Camp. The creation of this camp was especially important
in view of the fact that horses were excluded from Spruce
Tree Camp further up the road, and the lack of horse facilities
all along the St Joe River. PBCH has, through the years,
helped maintain Line Cr Camp by repairing and painting feed
bunks, installing high line posts, and placing fresh gravel
around the feed bunks.
In addition, the entire trail system
surrounding Line Cr Camp has been improved by PBCH installing
miles of water bars on the various trails, and hundreds
of feet of puncheon bridges on the main trail up the St Joe
from Spruce Tree through the Wild and Scenic River corridor.
We have worked the many spur trails off the upper St Joe
such as Pass Cr and the entire Bacon/Bean loop system.
performed by PBCH at the Red Ives Station stock facility
includes removal of old corrals and construction of a
portion of the fence around the pasture area as well as trail
on the Copper Ridge Trail #263.In 1989, another cooperative
effort between the Forest Service and PBCH produced a
trailhead up the Marble Cr drainage called Camp 3. We assisted
trailhead preparations including a corral, as well as
working the trail systems in the surrounding area. Major
such as puncheon construction have been completed by
PBCH on Trails 251 and 261 out of Camp 3 and Mark's Butte.
encouraged and assisted with the construction of a
trailhead at Table Camp along the 201 Road near the Mallard-Larkins
Pioneer Area. We constructed a toilet, improved a spring
for drinking water, and installed feed bunks. Further
the 201 Road at Sawtooth Saddle, PBCH improved that
campsite to include a stock tank, hitch rails, and
plus installed water bars on both the trail down to
Sawtooth Cr and the trail out to Sawtooth Pk.A trailhead
at Bathtub which provides trail access to Snow Pk and
out Lightning Ridge, was improved by PBCH in the late 1980s,
and the two trails themselves were improved by installing
water bars. Short portions of both trails were relocated.
of the other projects undertaken by PBCH over the last
twenty one years include a thorough "signing" project
in the Mallard-Larkins, trail work in Simmons Cr, puncheon
work along Trail #50 on the Little North Fork of the
Clearwater River, and major reconstruction work on Chicadee
Foehl Cr. We also participated in such diverse work
as the reconstruction of Arid Pk Lookout, now a rental
of Avery, and noxious weed spraying from horseback
along the Nelson Pk Trail #186. Other trails worked include
Fly/Mosquito trail system as well as the Grandfather/Grandmother
Mountain system of trails. We are presently in the
process of planning for the projects of 2004. [Provided
by Bernie Lionberger]
Marie Creek: A Tale
of a Trail
Marie Creek: A Tale of a Trail
It's took over 14 years of visualizing, planning, and organizing,
followed by thousands of hours of back- breaking work by
many volunteers, to build the Marie Creek Trail. Now, finally
completed, the Marie Creek Trail is a ten + mile loop that
provides hikers and horsemen a true backcountry experience.
On June 8, 2002 at 10:00 a.m., Panhandle Back County Horsemen
and the U.S. Forest Service dedicated the trail.
The history of the construction of the Marie Creek Trail
dates back to the mid-80's. Back then, only a rough pack
trail existed through the area. In 1988, the Back Country
Horsemen, led by Joe Swendig, joined forces with the Forest
Service to begin making Marie Creek a reality.
The first step was to design and excavate a trailhead. Harry
Rohner, a PBCH member, provided the back hoe, cat and labor
for the excavation work. Gravel was added by the Forest Service
- Marie Creek Trail was underway!
By 1991, the required government studies for trail design
and construction were completed. Now with a trail head in
place the daunting task of building the trail was next. Forest
Service capital investment funds were used to get switch-backs
cut into the first part of the trail. Once over the first
hill, the work of sawing out dead fall, chopping out hillsides,
filling in lowland, and moving rock commenced. In addition
to the countless hours contributed by the Back Country Horsemen,
volunteers from the Boy Scouts, Anchor House and the general
community worked on various phases, slowly extending the
trail. Some years, real progress was made only to have winter
downfall and/or flooding destroy the work. One year, about
a mile of new trail was obliterated from logging activity.
However year by year, foot by foot construction continued.
By 1997, a trail was finished across Skitwish Creek and
through the lowland, but, to make a loop trail, the next
huge obstacle to overcome was building up the hill on the
other side of Skitwish Creek. Not only was the hillside fairly
steep, but it was covered in fallen trees and brush. Jim
and Karen Kimball headed up the project for PBCH, working
closely with Andy Boggs, a trail specialist from the forest
service. Just figuring out a route where the trail could
be located presented a real challenge!
In 2000, through joint efforts of the horsemen and the forest
service, a matching-funds grant was obtained from Idaho Parks
and Recreation Department to pay contract labor to build
the trail up that steep hillside. Last fall, the remaining
segment of the loop trail was completed. So 14 years later
the trail was finally done!
Thank You PBCH from a reader in Portland, Oregon
A short note about the Marie
Creek Trail east of Coeur D'Alene
by Ed Burton.
My father (born in 1910) spent part of his early childhood
living on a homestead up Marie Creek at the mouth of Burton
Creek. In fact, I'm certain we are the Burtons Burton Creek
is named after. His name was Ed Burton as is mine. He passed
away many years ago but we went up the road past the old
Wolf Lodge School (where he attended school) in the early
1960s during the proverbial family road trip to Yellowstone
(to/from western Oregon).
I drove up the road with my wife in 1977. Fortunately, he
marked the approximate location of the homestead on a topo
map in case I ever got up that way. August 2003 was the first
time I've been back since 1977 (time flies!!). It appears
the old school has been torn down in the interim. At least
I didn't see it.
I stopped by the Fernan Forest Service office and learned
about the trail. Two people there were very helpful, the
receptionist and a man that was quite familiar with the area,
I wish I knew their names (Carl rings a bell for the man
but ??). My son and I tried to squeeze in a hike to the approximate
location of the old homestead but we didn't have all the
time we needed. We made it just past the top of the ridge
looking down into Burton Creek before we had to return to
the car. I will be back soon (relatively speaking) with more
time to spend on the hike.
Thanks to all the volunteers from your group that helped
in the development of the trail.
Thank you Ed, Lyn, and Bernie, for supplying the interesting
send any information you may have on our chapter's history.
It's a wonderful way for
newcomers visiting PBCH to learn what we've done in the past,
and informative for people
that may be interested in joining our efforts......... and