Cherry Springs Nature Area

The Cherry Springs nature area

POCATELLO — As part of its East Mink Creek Corridor Revitalization project, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will begin paving operations at the popular Cherry Springs Day Use Area for approximately two weeks beginning Monday. During that time, the area will be closed. Heavy equipment will begin mobilizing as early as Friday.

“Although October is a beautiful time to walk the nature trails, it also provides the window of opportunity we need to complete our paving project,” said Kim Obele, Westside District ranger. “Once the contractor completes their pre-work review, actual construction operations should only last for 14 days.”

The East Mink Creek project boundary is 5 miles from the city of Pocatello. This recreation corridor connects the urban interface south of Pocatello to the Bannock Mountain Range. It is heavily used year-round for recreation, including dispersed camping, motorized and non-motorized trail use, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, archery, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, shooting and cross-country skiing.

Great American Outdoors Act revitalization work occurring in 2021 included:

— Repairing and chip sealing 5.31 miles of road up to Scout Mountain Campground through an agreement with Bannock County.

— Improving the Kinney Creek Trailhead by adding gravel, increasing parking spaces, adding kiosks and maintaining the trail.

— Repaving the Cherry Springs Nature Area and making sure it complies with ABA/ADA standards.

— Recontouring the Lead Draw trailhead, removing garbage and installing new signs.

— Improving the East Fork of Mink Creek Trailhead and Trail No. 164 by putting in new trail bridges, adding water dips and replacing culverts. Completed in partnership with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Kiosk installation at various trailheads and extensive work to improve the Scout Mountain Campground is anticipated to occur in fiscal year 2022.

For specific times of operation on the Cherry Spring Nature Area paving project, please check the Caribou-Targhee National Forest social media accounts. For more information, contact the Westside Ranger District office at 208-236-7500 or follow the Caribou- Targhee National Forest Facebook page. Learn more about the CTNF GAOA projects at https://bit.ly/3iGfU1F.