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Past Projects

Farragut Corral Project (2005)

St. Joe River Project (2003)
Marie Creek: A Tale of a Trail

Farragut Corral Project ~ 2005

Today, May 21 [2005] several BCH Chapters met at Farragut Park to begin construction of corrals for the new equestrian area. Members from Panhandle, Priest River, Selkirk, and North Idaho (Sandpoint) participated in the construction. This was the initial phase of a project that will provide corrals for day use, an overnight camping area with high lines, parking areas, a toilet facility, and an outdoor arena. A large parking area is also planned. The area is on the back road, just west of Thimbleberry, but on the north side of that road. The present trail passes right thru the area, but soon this will be the new trailhead.

Bernie Lionberger
Trail Boss

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Letter of Appreciation
Panhandle Back Country Horsemen

Many Thanks for your involvement and efforts during the summer of 2005 in the assembly of our new day use corrals. The new equestrian area will be open for use in the spring of 2006. I have attached a map with the area's layout and future plans. We are working hard to provide equestrian users with a world-class facility, but it will take a couple more years until we have the finished result.

Many Thanks from Farragut State Park
Park Ranger Jim Mallet

St. Joe River Project ~ 2003

St. Joe River
Since 1983, PBCH has been involved in over one hundred St. Joe projects, most likely totaling in thousands of man-hours. We have worked 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 Cabin.

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.

Work 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 improvement 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 with trailhead preparations including a corral, as well as working the trail systems in the surrounding area. Major improvements such as puncheon construction have been completed by PBCH on Trails 251 and 261 out of Camp 3 and Mark's Butte.

PBCH 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 out the 201 Road at Sawtooth Saddle, PBCH improved that small campsite to include a stock tank, hitch rails, and feed bunks plus installed water bars on both the trail down to Sawtooth Cr and the trail out to Sawtooth Pk.A trailhead facility 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.

Some 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 Cabin on Foehl Cr. We also participated in such diverse work as the reconstruction of Arid Pk Lookout, now a rental site north of Avery, and noxious weed spraying from horseback along the Nelson Pk Trail #186. Other trails worked include the 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]

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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.

Ed Burton
Portland, Oregon

Thank you Ed, Lyn, and Bernie, for supplying the interesting articles.

Please 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 FUN!

Thanks, Connie

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